2023 Ivy League Women’s Fan Guide: Princeton Primed To Get Back On Top

2023 Ivy League Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

  • Wednesday, February 15 – Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Denunzio Pool, Princeton, NJ
  • Defending Champions:
    • Women: Harvard (1x)
  • Live Results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central

After Princeton roared to an upset victory at the 2020 Ivy League Women’s Championships, Harvard returned to the top of the heap last season after the entire conference didn’t compete in 2021.

The Crimson, who have now won three of the past four titles, presumably haven’t shown all of their cards yet this season in terms of a full taper, but nonetheless will be in tough to hang onto the championship with their 2022 leading scorer Felicia Pasadyn having graduated and headed to OSU.

Princeton, on the other hand, is looking strong as Nikki Venema remains a three-event threat three years removed from leading the squad to the 2020 title as a freshman and first-years Sabrina Johnston and Heidi Smithwick have had provided a big boost to the Tigers in their first campaign.



  • 200 medley relay
  • 800 free relay


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


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


  • 1650 free
  • 200 back
  • 100 free
  • 200 breast
  • 200 fly
  • 3-meter diving
  • 400 free relay


  1. Harvard, 1503.5
  2. Yale, 1258
  3. Penn, 1256
  4. Princeton, 1074
  5. Brown, 904
  6. Columbia, 706.5
  7. Dartmouth, 563
  8. Cornell, 508


Brown: Sam Scott (Jr – Free), Jenna Reznicek (So- Back/Fly), Sumner Chmielewski (Fr- Free/IM)

Reznicek comes in as the defending champion in the 100 back, and leads the conference once again this season (53.08) as she aims to go back-to-back. The sophomore standout also ranks eighth in the Ivy League in the 200 back and 12th in the 100 fly, giving her a reasonable shot to make three ‘A’ finals. Scott, third in the 50 free last season, hit a personal best time of 22.60 at the Bruno Invite to rank first in the conference, while Chmielewski has had a very impressive freshman season thus far and is the Ivy League’s #2 swimmer in the 400 IM (4:16.43) and 10th in the 500 free (4:51.09) so far in 2022-23.

Columbia: Karen Liu (Sr- IM/Free), Aziza Ganihanova (Jr- Free/Back), Olivia Jubin (Sr – Free)

Liu ranks second in the Ivy League this season in the 200 fly after recording a best time of 1:58.61 at the ECAC Winter Championships in December, and she also holds the #7 ranking in the 200 breast (2:15.48) and #8 ranking in the 100 fly (54.42). Ganihanova ranks second this season in the 500 free (4:47.73) and fourth in the 200 back (1:57.35), while Jubin sits in the top eight in both the 200 and 500 free.

Cornell: Emilie Boisrenoult (Jr- Free/Fly), Melissa Parker (Sr- Free), Priscilla Wongso (Jr- Free)

A French native, Boisrenoult racked up lifetime bests at the Zippy Invitational in December, highlighted by her effort in the 100 fly (53.87) which moves her into the top five in the conference this season and within six-tenths of the top spot. She’s also a good bet for top-16 finishes in the 50 and 100 free, while her teammates Wongso and Parker are among the 12 swimmers in the conference sub-23 in the 50 free this season.

Dartmouth: Julianne Jones (Fr- IM/Breast)

The Big Green’s top performer this season, Jones ranks 11th in the Ivy League in the 200 breast (2:16.60), 12th in the 200 IM (2:01.90) and 20th in the 400 IM (4:24.28). Dartmouth has lost the majority of their top scorers this season so they’ll be in tough to avoid the eighth spot in the standings, but Jones gives them a strong athlete to build off moving forward.

Harvard: Abby Carr (So- Fly/Back), Aleksandra Denisenko (So- Breast/IM), Anya Mostek (Freshman- Back/IM/Free), Samantha Shelton (Sr- Free/Back/IM)

Harvard has three defending swimming champions returning in the form of Denisenko, Carr and Shelton, led by Denisenko who won the 100 breast and 200 breast as a freshman last year. She currently ranks third in the 100 breast (1:01.73) and ninth in the 200 breast (2:15.79) this season, and like the rest of the team, projects to be much faster at the championships. Carr won the 200 fly last year and ranks third this season in 1:58.99, while she’s also second in the 100 fly at 53.48. Shelton, the reigning 200 IM champ, is a close second in the 200 back—an event she didn’t even race last year—this season, while fifth-year teammate Mostek sits atop the conference in the 200 IM (1:59.79) and also sits second in the 100 back (53.22).

Penn: Anna Kalandadze (Sr- Free), Catherine Buroker (Sr – Free)

Kalandadze was fourth in the 500, second in the 1000 and third in the 1650 free last season, but has stepped her game up and now holds the Ivy League’s top time in both the 500 (4:42.45) and 1650 free (16:07.95) by a wide margin this season (the 1000 free has been removed from the schedule). Buroker won the 1000 and 1650 last season and was the runner-up to the now-graduated Lia Thomas in the 500. She hasn’t been in the same realm as Kalandadze this season, but a good taper could see her get in the top three of both races.

Princeton: Nikki Venema (Sr- Sprint free/Fly), Eliza Brown (Fr- Breast/IM), Isabella Korbly (So- Back/Fly/IM), Meg Wheeler (Fr- Back/IM), Sabrina Johnston (Fr- Free/Back), Heidi Smithwick (Fr- Free/Fly)

Venema has finished no lower than third individually thus far in her Ivy League career, sweeping the 50, 100 and 200 free in 2020 and then winning the 100 fly last season while also taking second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free. After swimming some ‘off’ events at the Big Al Invite, Venema fired off conference-leading times in the 100 free (48.60), 200 free (1:46.35) and 100 fly (53.24) at the Tigers’ tri-meet with Navy and Notre Dame in January, putting her in position to vie for three individual wins once again. Princeton has also had freshmen Eliza Brown (200 breast) and Meg Wheeler (400 IM) emerge with the top time in the Ivy League in those respective events, while sophomore Isabella Kobly leads the conference in the 200 back. Two other first-years who should contribute in a big way are Sabrina Johnston, a 22.6/49.3 sprinter with a 53.4 100 back and 53.8 100 fly in her arsenal, and Heidi Smithwick, who should be key on relays with her 22.7 50 free best. Ellie Marquardt is a past Ivy champion as well, and though she hasn’t been at her best this season, should also provide some critical points.

Yale: Jessey Li (Fr- Breast/IM), Lindsey Wagner (Sr- Back), Alex Massey (Jr- Fly/IM), Ava Franks (So- Breast/IM)

Yale’s Massey earned a trio of top-four finishes last season and is a legitimate title threat in the 200 fly, holding the top time in the conference so far in 2022-23 after clocking a best time of 1:57.04 in January. She also ranks third in the 100 fly (53.59) and seventh in the 200 back (1:57.39). Wagner sits third in the 100 back, the same position she finished in last season, but has been over a second faster this year in 53.35. Li, a freshman, ranks first in the 100 breast (1:00.11) and also holds a high ranking in the 200 breast, where she’s sixth (2:15.39).


100 Backstroke – The 100 back wasn’t the closest race at last year’s Ivy League Championships. Brown’s Jenna Reznicek won handily in 52.94, while Princeton’s Isabella Korbly (53.88) was a distant second and Yale’s Lindsey Wagner (54.36) was back in third. Things have gotten much more competitive this season, with eight women having recorded a time faster than what Wagner went to place third in 2022. Reznicek leads the pack at 53.08, and she’s followed closely by Harvard’s Anya Mostek (53.22), Wagner (53.35), and the Princeton trio of Nikki Venema (53.72), Alexa Pappas (53.90) and Korbly (53.94). Reznicek is still the big favorite, having been as fast as 52.43 (last year’s prelims), but the race should be much more competitive this year.

100 Breaststroke – Last season we saw a freshman, Harvard’s Aleksandra Denisenko, emerge as the Ivy League champion in the 100 breaststroke. That could very well be the case again this year as Yale first-year Jessey Li has taken over the top spot in the conference with a bullet thus far, clocking 1:00.11 at the Ohio State Invitational. Lee could become the third female swimmer to break 1:00 at the Ivy League Championships if she can knock off just over a tenth in the event, joining Katie Meili and Jaycee Yegher, but the victory is far from a foregone conclusion. Her teammate, Ava Franks, was third last year and ranks second this season at 1:01.54, while Denisenko lurks in third and last year’s third-place finisher Mary Buckley, another Yale swimmer, is in the mix at 1:02.07.

200 IM – Harvard was a clear 1-2 in the 200 IM last season, but the landscape looks different this year as Felicia Pasadyn has moved to the Big Ten and Samantha Shelton hasn’t raced the event all season. That opens the door for a new wave of contenders, led by another Crimson swimmer, Anya Mostek, who leads the conference at 1:59.79 this season. There are seven women who have been 2:00-point this season, led by the Princeton trio of Eliza Brown, Margaux McDonald and Nikki Venema, and while Venema likely won’t race the event, the tightly-bunched field should make for an intriguing race.


  1. Princeton
  2. Harvard
  3. Yale

Returning the vast majority of their top scorers from last year to go along with a strong freshman class, Princeton is in position to overthrow Harvard and grab hold of the team title this year, though the Crimson won’t go down without a fight. Based on season-bests, the Tigers are projected to finish well ahead of Harvard, but things are sure to tighten up with swimmers peaking for this meet. Yale and Brown figure to be close in the battle for third and that difference likely comes down to relays. For what’s it worth, Yale did beat Princeton (155.5-144.5) and Harvard (210-90) head-to-head in January, so we shouldn’t be surprised if the Bulldogs are pushing for a spot in the top two.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Trust Me
1 year ago

Harvard will win by 10,000 points and then Samantha Shelton will announce her presidential candidacy

Go Bruno
1 year ago

Correction. Haven’t finished third since 2005

Go Bruno
1 year ago

Last time Brown finished top 4 was in 2005! Hopefully they live up to expectations this year.

Old and Slow.
1 year ago

The Ivy League has crazy diving rules. 3 divers count as 1 swimmer. Last year Harvard entered 15 swimmers and 9 divers. Princeton entered only 2 divers. (I believe one of their divers was out due to an injury.)
Last year’s diving scores: Harvard 364.5 Princeton 47 Yale 81
It won’t be quite so bad for Princeton and Yale this year but I’d bet that Harvard outscores Princeton by 150 points on the boards. It will be difficult to overcome that in swimming portion of the meet. Yale should also outscore Princeton on the boards.
Princeton swam lights-out to take the 2020 title. I think diving makes Harvard is the favorite. Yale and Princeton fight it… Read more »

Old and Slow.
Reply to  Old and Slow.
1 year ago

Forget all that. Wow. Princeton swimmers will easily overcome Harvard’s diving advantage. Best first day I ever remember seeing. Congratulations, Tigers.

1 year ago

Princeton has 0.0% chance of winning Ivys. And Brown has 0.0% chance of beating Yale.

Did someone make these predictions but putting names on a wall and throwing darts?

Reply to  Imagine
1 year ago

not Princeton winning Ivy’s 🥱

NCAA 200 fly C-finalist
1 year ago

Go Quakers!

1 year ago

go upenn!

Last edited 1 year ago by anonymous

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »