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February 24, 2012

Records Fall on Night Two of the 2012 Ivy League Women's Swimming & Diving Championships

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Watch: Harvard head coach Stephanie Wriede Morawski | 100-back final
100-breast final | 100-fly final

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --  On a record setting day, a trio of stars including Princeton sophomore Lisa Boyce, Penn sophomore Shelby Fortin and Columbia junior Katie Meili won individual championship finals for the second consecutive night.

Day two of the 2012 Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships will also be remembered for several record setting performances, beginning with Yale junior Alex Forrester's 52.51 time in the 100 fly, which set an Ivy Championship Meet and Blodgett Pool record. Also in prelims, Boyce swam a 52.96 to shatter the Ivy Championship Meet, Blodgett Pool and Ivy League records. Both Forrester and Boyce went on to win those championship finals.

Not to be outdone, Meili picked up where she left off from a day ago and swam the 100-breast prelim in a then Ivy Championship Meet, Blodgett Pool and Ivy League record time of 1:00.54. Then for the night session's encore, she broke the one-minute mark with a scorching 59.64 for an NCAA 'A' cut.   

In the team standings, freshmen Courtney Otto, Faith Martin and Kelsey Hojan Clark helped Harvard expand what had been a three-point lead over Princeton after day one to a 92-point lead over the Tigers entering the final day of the championship.

Friday night's finals session began with the 200 Medley Relay. Boyce put Princeton in the early lead and senior Kerry Gruendel kept the Tigers in front at the halfway point. But then Yale's Forrester took over and her fly closed the gap, allowing Hayes Hyde to complete the comeback in the final 25 yards as the Bulldogs won in 1:41.05 to set a Blodgett Pool record. Junior Cynthia Tsay and senior Athena Liao were the other record-setting swimmers on Yale's relay team. The Tigers finished second in 1:41.18.

Next up, the fastest heat of the 1,000 free saw Harvard freshman Hojan Clark and Columbia freshman Cha Cha Bugatti battling it out in the first half of the race. Hojan Clark pulled away in the second half of the race to win in 9:48.95, followed by Bugatti who finished in 9:53.42. Penn sophomore Kristi Edleson closed strong to win a fierce battle for third with a time of 10:00.14. Hojan Clark's time ranks as the sixth fastest in Ivy Championship Meet history.

The Crimson placed four swimmers in the 400 IM final and went on to the top two spots as Otto (4:10.22) and Martin (4:16.83) finished first and second, respectively. It was Harvard's 11th all-time win in the event, tops amongst the Ivy teams. Columbia sophomore Alena Kluge finished third in 4:18.61, with each of the top three times making the NCAA 'B' cut.

After her record setting performance in the 100-fly prelims, Forrester won the championship final in 52.53 for her second career Ivy title in the event, having also won as a freshman in 2010. Hyde finished second (54.36), followed by Carter Stephens of Princeton in third (54.69).

Then in the 200-free, Fortin became the first swimmer at the 2012 championship to win two individual titles. She built a slight lead by the 50-yard mark over Yale junior Joan Weaver and then pulled away to win in 1:47.27. Weaver finished second (1:48.29), followed by Dartmouth sophomore Christine Kerr (1:48.60).

In the 100-breast, Meili put on a show to win in 59.64 for her second individual title in as many nights. It was also notable as it was Columbia's first ever win in the event at the Ivy Championship. Brown sophomore Briana Borgolini placed second (1:02.03), followed by Yale's Liao in third (1:02.43). Both of those second and third place times were NCAA 'B' cut marks.

In the last individual championship final of the night, Boyce – fresh off her record setting performance in prelims - won her second title of the championship to keep pace with Meili and Fortin, winning in 53.54. Yale's Tsay placed second (55.35), followed by Harvard senior Meghan Leddy (55.41).

In the three-meter diving consolation final, Dartmouth took the top two spots as Katy Feng finished ninth with 268.80 points and Erica Serpico placed 10th with 267.00 points.

In the 800-free relay, the final event of the evening, Harvard once again got a boost from its freshman class as Otto and Martin swam the final two legs in which the Crimson caught and then passed Yale to record its first relay win of the championship. Yale finished second (7:19.55), followed by Columbia (7:21.23).

The 2012 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championships come to an exciting conclusion tomorrow, Feb. 25 with Harvard looking for its first Ivy Championship since 2009. But less than 100 points behind, the Tigers are still lurking. Preliminary heats are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., while Saturday's championship finals will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Standings Through Day Two
1. Harvard, 942.5
2. Princeton, 850.5
3. Yale, 739.5
4. Columbia, 716
5. Penn, 539
6. Dartmouth, 536.5
7. Brown, 484.5
8. Cornell. 461.5