2020 Women’s Ivy League Champs Guide: Freshmen Look to Propel Princeton to #1

2020 WOMEN’S IVY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Wednesday, February 19 – Saturday, February 22
  • Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center – Providence, RI (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Prelims: 11:00 AM/Finals: 6:00 PM
  • Defending Champion: Harvard (2x – results)
  • Live results
  • Championship Central

Though Harvard has won the last 2 Ivy League titles, the Princeton women look like they could run away with the title at the 2020 Ivy League Championships. They’ve been dominant this season, finishing well ahead of both Harvard and Yale, while setting school records, at this season’s H-Y-P showdown. Those are the teams we expect to see battling in the top 3. The reigning 400 IM champion, Regan Barney, is one of the returning stars for Princeton. The freshman class will be huge for the Tigers, as Ellie Marquardt, Christina Bradley, and Nikki Venema have already risen to the top of the league.

Harvard’s senior class, including the divers, accounted for a ton of their points last season, so they have some holes to fill. However, this year’s seniors bring back a big chunk of their scoring, led by reigning champion Miki Dahlke and Mei Lynn Colby. After winning 3 titles as a freshman, Samantha Shelton is another star for the team. They look to have a slight edge over the Yale women, who return stars Izzi Henig, Olivia Paoletti, and Kendall Brent. Yale has also added a title threat with transfer Caitlin Tycz.

SCHEDULE

Wednesday:

  • 200 medley relay
  • 800 free relay

Thursday:

  • 500 free
  • 200 IM
  • 50 free
  • 1-meter diving
  • 200 free relay

Friday:

  • 400 IM
  • 100 fly
  • 200 free
  • 100 breast
  • 100 back
  • 3-meter diving
  • 400 medley relay

Saturday:

  • 1650 free
  • 200 back
  • 100 free
  • 200 breast
  • 200 fly
  • 400 free relay

SHOWDOWNS

500 FREE: Harvard returns champion Miki Dahlke, but Princeton freshman Ellie Marquardt has already come within 3 tenths of her winning time from last season. Those two could put on a show, and it may take a sub-4:40 to win it. The 11-year-old Ivy League Record of 4:38.96 is on notice. Penn’s Catherine Buroker and Harvard’s Helena Moreno are returning medalists. Buroker is the reigning champion in the 1000 free and mile, but hasn’t been close to her bests yet this season. There are a handful of other swimmers in position to challenge for a medal, including Yale’s Ashley Loomis and Kendall Brent, Princeton’s Addison Smith, and Harvard’s Michelle Owens.

100 FLY: Dahlke is again the reigning champion and is just a hundredth behind the league leader, Princeton freshman Christina Bradley. After transferring from USC to Yale, Caitlin Tycz is a big threat here. Her lifetime best from 2019 Pac-12s is a few tenths faster than last season’s winning time. Teammate Izzi Henig is ranked 6th this season. The top time this season is a 53.19. The 2019 runner-up for Yale, Lili Margitai, will be in the mix, as will returning finalists Andrea Wei (Brown), Monika Burzynska (Penn), and Elaine Zhou (Princeton), who all have bests in the 53-range. Princeton’s Gianna Garcia and freshman Nikki Venema have broken 54 this season.

50 FREE: Reigning sprint champion Bella Hindley has now graduated, and we may see a brand new face on top as Princeton freshman Nikki Venema leads the league in the sprints. Venema set a lifetime best 22.38 at the H-Y-P meet a couple of weeks ago, but Henig is only a couple of tenths behind this season. Princeton’s Amelia Liu is ranked 3rd going into the meet with a 22-mid. Harvard’s Mei Lynn Colby, the 2019 runner-up, is also in the title conversation. Teammate Kennedy Quist has a shot at a medal and has broke 23 this season.

SWIMULATOR PROJECTIONS

Princeton 1515
Harvard 1143
Yale 1111
Brown 778.5
Columbia 680.5
Penn 586.5
Dartmouth 470
Cornell 443.5

SWIMSWAM PICKS

Princeton is the clear favorite to win the title, and that’s before even considering their 200 returning diving points. Things should be tight between Harvard and Yale swimming-wise, but the Crimson has an edge as they return over 100 diving points to Yale’s 16. Cornell and Dartmouth are projected to closely battle for 7th. We’re predicting Cornell will take the edge due to diving points.

Penn looks like they should land in the top 5, but right now they have no returning diving points. However, they have a handful of swimmers with the potential to exceed their swimulator projections by far. For example, reigning distance chamion Catherine Buroker is not projected to score and could come up with close to 100 points. Monica Burzynska was a finalist in both butterflies last season, but isn’t projected to score in the 200 fly.

  1. Princeton
  2. Harvard
  3. Yale
  4. Brown
  5. Columbia
  6. Penn
  7. Cornell
  8. Dartmouth

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4alum
2 years ago

I stand by my comment about depth 🙂 congrats to Harvard’s team for qualifying so many of their top swimmers for NCAAs, and congrats to Princeton for the all around depth, 16 A finalists, many PBs and the conference win!

SWIM FAN
2 years ago

Predicting Dartmouth rises in ranks as they always tend to swim better at conferences than in dual meets

billy
2 years ago

This above is a fine analysis, but deeply flawed, as it compares times from Princeton and Yale women who were rested, shaved, and suited at the HYP meet, versus a Harvard Ivy squad that was training hard right through the meet, unshaved and competing in practice suits. It will be a different day at Ivy Champs, as evidenced by Harvard’s twin victories in the opening relays, with the 800 free relay earning an NCAA “A” cut.

swimgirl23456
Reply to  billy
2 years ago

While they overshot the range in the scores, clearly Princeton was not fully rested, shaved, and tapered at HYP as you had originally implied. Princeton also swam through HYP, contrary to your belief, which that is clearly evident in the times that Princeton posted at Ivies. As said earlier, Harvard just didn’t have the depth that Princeton has. Overall, the battle between the two schools was a wild ride. Congrats to everyone but most of all those tigers!!

OneIvyFan2020
2 years ago

Can we settle down in the comments section everyone? We are ONE Ivy! Just because Harvard is probably going to win does not mean we should be fighting! Leave your hearts in the pool girls, and remember in this race we call life, family first!

Claire
2 years ago

Princeton is going to show up and show out and I can’t wait to watch

4alum
2 years ago

Love watching these championships because it takes some real DEPTH to win! Harvard is strong with a few superstars as usual, but I find Princeton’s top to bottom roster to overall be the strongest going into this weekend. There are 17 distinct Princeton women seeded in the top 8 of at least one event this weekend, vs. 8 for Harvard. Clearly things can change from the heat sheet, but going purely by these regular season numbers, Princeton should undeniably be the favorite. Will be an exciting meet to watch for sure!

billy
Reply to  4alum
2 years ago

please see my comments from above

RoarTigersRoar2014
2 years ago

Let’s not forget the Princeton women’s glorious victory 6 years ago!!!! Rooting for you girls!

Swimstats
2 years ago

Nothing said about Harvard’s freshman class? Put those numbers into the point projection and Harvard’s got the win!

swammer
Reply to  Swimstats
2 years ago

definitely some great ones (especially FP), but not sure they’re even the strongest freshman class in the league…

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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