2015 Ivy Women’s Championships Day 1: Harvard’s Divers Keep the Crimson on Top

2015 Ivy League Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

  • Dates: Thursday, February 19 – Saturday, February 21, 2015; prelims 11am, finals 6pm
  • Location: Blodgett Pool, Cambridge, Mass (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champions: Harvard (results)
  • Live Results: Available
  • Live Video: Available
  • Championship Central

Day One of the Ivy League Women’s Championships came to a close much as anticipated, with Harvard at the top of the standings, but by a much narrower margin than expected. In what should have been their strongest day, the Crimson finished with only a 14-point lead over rival Princeton, and just 39 points ahead of Yale.

Penn and Princeton were the only two teams to improve both their pre-meet seedings and their prelims positioning. Penn, in particular, had a spectacular opening day, culminating in an Ivy League title for freshman Virginia Burns in the 500 free. Princeton’s Elizabeth McDonald and Caitlin Chambers won individual crowns in the 50 free and 1-meter diving, respectively, helping to narrow the gap against Harvard. The Crimson picked up an individual title from freshman Geordie Enoch in the 200 IM.

So far, it hasn’t been the fastest meet on record. None of the standing meet marks have been in danger of falling, but both winning relays broke Blodgett Pool records.

Full finals results are available here.

200 Freestyle Relay

Princeton led off with a strong showing in the 200 free relay from McDonald (22.94), Nikki Larson (22.60), Kathleen Mulligan (23.18), and Maddy Veith (22.38). Their 1:31.10 won by 1.2 seconds and lowered the Blodgett Pool record by .84. Yale, better known for its distance freestylers, came in second with sophomore Kina Zhou and three freshmen: Amy Zhao, Maddy Zimmerman and Danielle Liu (1:32.28). Brown’s strong sprint group finished .10 back; led by senior Kate Dillione, the quartet included freshmen Aja Grande and Sarah Cronin and junior Reia Tong.

500 Freestyle

Penn freshman Burns swam a smart race from the outset, staying abreast of leading Sherry Liu of Harvard and Claire McIlmail of Princeton through the 250, when she began to descend gradually. By the 400 she held a slight lead and ended up winning by 7/10 in 4:45.67. Liu picked up second, coming to the wall at 4:46.34. Yale’s Eva Fabian, the top seed after prelims, had the best back-half in the field, unsurprisingly. The 500 is a sprint for this National Teamer in open water, and she moved from fifth at the 200 to third at the touch, clocking a 4:47.75.

The rest of the podium consisted of Yale’s Cailley Silbert (4:48.58) and Olivia Jameson (4:48.80), AnnClaire MacArt of Dartmouth (4:50.48), Ashlee Korsberg of Harvard (4:50.98), and Princeton’s McIlmail (4:51.57).

One of the more exciting races of the evening was in the B final, where Princeton’s Reese Iriondo battled Yale’s Isla Hutchinson-Maddox to the wall, edging the Bulldog, 4:51.43 to 4:51.66.

200 Individual Medley

Top-seeded Enoch of Harvard and Sada Stewart from Princeton trailed Harvard’s Stephanie Ferrell at the 150, with Princeton’s Olivia Chan just a tick behind. Then everything shifted as the breaststrokers fell off. Enoch brought it home in 28.2 for a winning 2:00.66, while Stewart made up a .7 deficit on Ferrell, out-touching her 2:01.54 to 2:01.76.

Ellie Grimes of Penn finished fourth (2:02.06), followed by Yale’s Liu (2:02.53), Princeton’s Chan (2:02.77), Sydney Hirschi of Yale (2:03.16), and Beverly Nguyen of Princeton (2:03.19).

50 Freestyle

Princeton junior McDonald, swimming out of lane 4, held her position to get the win with 22.72, .06 faster than her prelims swim. Penn’s Rochelle Dong reached in just ahead of McDonald’s classmate Larson, 22.81 to 22.85, for second. Dillione, at fourth, was the only other sub-23, going 22.96.

Jenna Immormino of Cornell placed fifth in 23.00, followed by Columbia’s Christina Ray (23.08), Brown’s Tong (23.20), and Victoria Chan of Harvard (23.25).

1-Meter Diving

Harvard had five divers in the championship final but it was Princeton’s Caitlin Chambers who dominated the boards on Day One. She posted 310.75 points for the win, narrowly missing the meet record of 312.05. 2014 Ivy Champion Lilybet MacRae of Yale was second with 290.60 points. The Harvard quintet (Hannah Allchurch, Elina Leiviska, Schuyler Moore, Alisha Mah, and Jing Leung) placed 3-7; Deborah Daly of Princeton was eighth.

400 Medley Relay

Yale medley relay team of freshmen Heidi VanderWel (55.03), Paulina Kaminski (1:02.45), and Maddy Zimmerman (52.35) and sophomore Zhou (49.26) broke the Blodgett Pool record with their 3:39.09 finish. Penn’s quartet of Taylor Sneed, Haley Wickham, Dong, and Burns pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win over Harvard (Danielle Lee, Ferrell, Kendall Crawford, and Chan) for second place, 3:39.74 to 3:39.80.

Team Standings After Day One

Heading into Day Two, here are the standings:

  1. Harvard University 449
  2. Princeton University 435
  3. Yale University 410
  4. University of Pennsylvania 281
  5. Brown University 243
  6. Dartmouth College 160
  7. Columbia University 157
  8. Cornell University 141

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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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