Six Meet Records Fall; Wellesley Leads After Day One of Seven Sisters Championship

Courtesy Kenneth Chung
Courtesy Kenneth Chung

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Wellesley College leads the team standings after day one of competition at the 2016 Seven Sisters Swimming & Diving Championship at Chandler Pool.

The Blue have amassed 835 points through 13 events, while Vassar College trails in second place with 530.5 points. Mount Holyoke College is in third with 453 points, followed by Smith College in fourth with 411.5 points and Bryn Mawr College in fifth with 182 points.

Six meet records fell on the first day of competition, with the first record belonging to Mount Holyoke senior Cathleen Pruden (Raleigh, N.C.). In the day's third event, Pruden smashed her own Seven Sisters mark of 2:09.91 with an NCAA B Cut time time of 2:05.81 in the 200 IM.

The senior's 200 IM victory was the second in the first three events for the Lyons, as Mount Holyoke also opened day one with a victory in the 200 Free Relay. Pruden anchored the race, teaming up with juniors Katie Tyler (Hadley, Mass.), Annie Kuenning (Bow, N.H.) and Emily Craig (Rochester, N.Y.) to record a time of 1:40.60. 

Pruden would also add a victory in the 400 IM, delivering an NCAA B Cut time of 4:26.35 in the second event of the afternoon session. 

In the second event of the morning, the 500 Free, Vassar College first year Sammy Stone (Wake Forest, N.C.) took the title in her first Seven Sisters appearance. However, Stone wasn't done on day one, as she returned later in the day to win the 200 Free. Stone set a new meet record in the process, with a time of 1:55.25.

Stone was responsible for two of the three Vassar victories on day one, with the third belonging to junior Julia Cunningham (Yardley, Pa.). Already the meet record holder in the 100 Fly, Cunningham established a new Seven Sisters standard in the event with a time of 57.52.

The rest of the day belonged to the Blue, as Wellesley captured seven of the final ten events.

First year Cathy Chen (Parsippany, N.J.) earned her first Seven Sisters title with a victory in the 50 Free, thanks to a time of 25.04. Chen's win was followed by a Wellesley win in the final event of the morning session, the 400 Medley Relay.  First year Sunny Chiang and seniors Charlotte Harris (Cincinnati, Ohio), Dorothy Ren (San Jose, Calif.) and Ieva Galinyte (Irvine, Calif.) combined for a time of 4:03.57 to take the event.

The Blue opened the evening session with a Seven Sisters record in the 200 Medley Relay, as this time Cathy Chen teamed with Harris, Ren and Galinyte to down the previous mark of 1:50.99, set by the Blue in 2014, with a time of 1:50.16. Both Harris and Ren were also members of the team that set the event record in 2014. The duo would then go on to add individual event wins in the afternoon. Harris took the title in the 100 Breast, thanks to her time of 1:09.63. In the 100 Back, Ren took down her own Seven Sisters mark of 58.59 by establishing a new meet record of 57.78.

Wellesley closed out the day with a thrilling victory in the 800 Free Relay. Galinyte opened and was followed by first years Karen Wang (Holmdel, N.J.) and Chiang, before Harris closed the race to give the Blue a time of 7:59.37.

Wang's day also included a third place time of 4:39.34 in the 400 IM. The mark established a new Wellesley school record, taking down Wellesley Athletics Hall of Famer Deborah Twichell McDermott's mark of 4:39.79 set in 1990. The record had been the longest standing mark on the Wellesley record board.

In 1-Meter diving, Wellesley's Maura Sticco-Ivins (Framingham, Mass.) broke her own Seven Sisters meet record with a score of 530.00.  The sophomore currently holds the meet records in both the 1-Meter and 3-Meter events.

The 2016 Seven Sisters Championship will resume tomorrow morning, when Sticco-Ivins takes aim at her second-straight Seven Sisters title in the 3-meter diving competition at 9:30 AM. Following 3-Meter diving, the final swimming session of the weekend is set to commence at 12:15 PM.