2014-15 Women’s Ivy League Preview

2013-14 Look Back

In the end, the 2014 Women’s Ivy League Championships followed the script we’ve all come to expect: either Princeton or Harvard wins and the other is runner-up. The two have finished 1st or 2nd every year since 2003. This time Harvard came out on top by a 25-point margin.

Some of the things we hadn’t counted on were Columbia’s undefeated dual meet season and the outsized performance of Yale’s incredible freshman class. Indeed, on the road and at home, Columbia picked off their Ivy opponents one by one. Unfortunately, they had little left in the tank when the championship title was on the line and ended up fourth at Ivies. Yale had a very strong conference championship performance, with half their points coming from a freshman class that swam even better than we had predicted (we *had* said it looked like the strongest class in the Ivies).

Penn had several excellent performances but couldn’t quite catch Columbia. They finished fifth, a little more than 100 points ahead of Brown, who was almost 100 ahead of Cornell, who was, yes, just over 100 ahead of Dartmouth.

In a similar fashion to the men’s Ivy League matchup, the Harvard women dominated freestyle events and diving while Princeton scored well in IMs, back and fly. Yale and Penn had several event winners (diving, distance free and 200 fly for Yale, mid-distance free and fly for Penn) but not enough depth to knock Princeton and Harvard out of the top spots.

Columbia scored a good percentage of their points in IM and breast, and Brown did well in fly, breast and sprint free. Cornell and Dartmouth both had some big-scoring events: fly/back for Cornell; mid-distance free for Dartmouth.

One interesting thing to note: again, very much like the men’s side of Ivy swimming, the class of 2016 continued its freshman success into its sophomore season and was the most powerful scoring class for many of the Ancient Eight. As noted before, Yale was the glaring exception: 52% of their individual points came from the new freshmen; for Penn it was 42%. On nearly all the other teams, the freshmen and sophomores split the bill.

Harvard (1,409)

Key Losses: Sara Li (64 individual points), Deirdre Clute (62), Alex Stanton (46), Danielle Schulkin (34).

Key Additions: Hannah Allchurch (England-Diving), Geordie Enoch (MD-BR/IM), Katie Evans (CT-BR/IM), Regan Kology (NJ-Distance), Jing Leung (England-Diving), Kristina Li (MD-BK/FL), Alisha Mah (CA-Diving), Gabby Simms (IL-FR/BK/FL).

Princeton (1,384)

Key Losses: Lisa Boyce (92 individual points), Maureen McCotter (41), Emily Kaplan (23), Rachel Zambrowicz (20), Randi Brown (16), Rebecca Lewinson (15).

Key Additions: Mary Kate Davis (NJ-Distance/BK), Emily Jiang (CA-FL/FR), Alisabeth Marsteller (OH-FR/IM), Colleen McHugh (OH-Diving), Claire McIlmail (MD-FR/FL), Heidi Miller (PA-FR/IM), Larkin Papa (TX-Diving), Lily Reisinger (MO-FR), Lindsay Temple (NJ-BK/IM), Maddie Veith (PA-FR/BR), Elsa Welshofer (NC-FR/FL).

Yale (1,163.5)

Key Losses: Courtney Randolph (55 individual points), Allison West (18).

Key Additions: Alexa Kalandiak (FL-FL), Paulina Kaminski (IL-BR/IM), Danielle Liu (NC-IM/FR), Kate Rogers (MI-BK/IM/FR), Cailley Silbert (NJ-FR), McKenna Tennant (CA-Diving), Heidi VanderWel (WA-BK/FL), Cheryl Xiang (IL-FR/IM), Amy Zhao (CT-FR/FL), Maddy Zimmerman (PA-FL).

Columbia (945)

Key Losses: Alena Kluge (81 individual points), Cori Bertelsen (48), Grace Senko (38), Katie Furr (25).

Key Additions: Brooke Bernardin (MA-Diving), Cristina Frias (CT), Kelcie Gerson (CO), Chloe Hacker (AZ-Diving), Chapman Hughes (NC), Kathleen O’Rourke (NJ), Nicole Papsco (NY), Maddie Pujadas (PA), Gabby Ramil (CA-Diving), Isabel Weiss (OR-Diving).

Penn (882)

Key Losses: Shelby Fortin (88 individual points), Kristi Edleson (20), Katherine Ashenfelter (14).

Key Additions: Ryan Alexander (MA-BK/FR), Virginia Burns (MA-FL/FR), Carly Catella (NC-FR/IM), Madi Dirks (CO-FR/FL), Meagan Dollard (PA-FR), Maggie Heller (OH-Diving), Kristen Moss (CT-FR/BK), Lauren Murski (TX-FR), Kim Phan (Canada, FR/FL), Ashton Pollard (VA-BK/FL), Lindsay Stearns (NJ-FL), Sydney Tan (TX-BR), Annie Tran (CA-FL), Carolyn Yang (PA-FR/IM).

Brown (792.5)

Key Losses: Briana Borgolini (60 individual points), Leigh Holmes (29), Paige Gilley (22), Emma Lamothe (6), Hillary Mulvey (3).

Key Additions: Sarah Cronin (NJ-FR), Aja Grande (HI-FR/BK/BR), Natsumi Horikawa (MD-BK), Hailey Jacobson (MT-BR/FR/IM), Olivia Katcher (FL-FR/FL), Megan Pope (CA-Diving), Korbyn Simpson (MD-FR/FL/BK), Caroline Wilek (CT-FR), Jenna Zagoren (NJ-BK/FR).

Cornell (662)

Key Losses: Manita Herlitz-Ferguson (32 individual points), Kim Jerome (31), Sara Schlichte (27), Stephanie Ah-quah (26).

Key Additions: Victoria Chan (FL-Diving), Sarah Kannan (MD-FR), Micaela Luders (CA-BK/FR), Emily Rhodes (PA-FL/BK), Jade Song (PA-FR), Lizzy Thayer (MA-FR), Tessa Wilson (TN-BK/FR), Ingrid Winter (OR-BR), Sasha Wootton (CA-Diving).

Dartmouth (535)

Key Losses: Danielle Kerr (49 individual points), Christine Kerr (42), Katy Feng (41), Mary Van Meter (41), Natalia Vecerek (2).

Key Additions: Katie Altmayer (CA-FL), Allegra Codamon (IL-Diving), Caroline Filan (GA-FR), Lydia Jabs (VA-Diving), AnnClaire MacArt (CA-FR), Natalie Mueller (TX-BR), Jessica Wang (NY-FL/BK), Hayley Winter (CA-Distance), Katherine Yamahata (CA-FL/BK).

2014-15 Look Forward

Composite calendar 2014-15 women

Yale has had two fantastic recruiting classes in a row. Their freshmen last year looked strongest on paper and then performed best at Ivies. Coach Jim Henry has done it again this year with some big names and a lot of depth. It would be tempting to say this could be the year that Yale disrupts the Princeton-Harvard hegemony… but… they both brought in serious talent this year.

Harvard made a big bet on diving. It’s probably a good move, considering how well divers did for the Crimson men. Princeton had one of those magic classes, where everything just came together. If everyone stays healthy and performs half as well as expected, Princeton might climb back to the top of the ladder. One caveat: 2015 Ivies will be held at Harvard, giving their women a slight edge. With these two competitors, sometimes a slight edge is all one needs. Plus, Harvard has a lot of big point-scorers returning: Danielle Lee, Victoria Chan, Sherry Liu, and a handful of others. Princeton suffered a big loss with Lisa Boyce’s graduation, but Nikki Larson, Sada Stewart, and Beverly Nguyen are only juniors.

Yale should continue to improve and thus continue to vie for the top talent. The Bulldogs look like a shoe-in for third; although finishing top-two seems a stretch this year. They lost Courtney Randolph but still have Eva Fabian, Sydney Hirschi, and Kina Zhou. Penn brought in an enormous class of 2018: fourteen swimmers and divers. There is some strong point potential in that group; it remains to see how well they come together at Ivies. The Quakers graduated NCAA qualifier Shelby Fortin; Rochelle Dong and Taylor Sneed should provide guidance for the freshmen at Ivies.

Columbia has lost a major scorer in each of the last two years. First it was Katie Meili, now it’s Alena Kluge. In addition to the rest of the roster, the Lions should once again be able to count on Mikaila Gaffey and Kristine Ng. Brown has a relatively new pool, brand new coaches, and a newly-split program. There have been a lot of changes recently; the rebuilding will pay off, it’s just a question of timing. The new class, led by veterans Kate Dillione and Megan Viohl and the rest of the Bears, could begin making their move this year.

Cornell lost several big scorers including Kim Jerome, but Jenn Immormino and last year’s freshmen, led by the Murch Eliot sisters, had a very successful Ivy championship. Dartmouth graduated 52% of its points at 2014 Ivies, which is a blow, but Charlotte Kamai will show the rest of the team, especially the new freshmen, how to step it up at Ivies.

 

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SwimFan

Should be an exciting championship meet. Good thoughtful summary to set the excitement.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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