A magical season for the Princeton men’s swimming and diving team, which reclaimed the Ivy League title during a dominant three-day performance at the Ivy League Championships in DeNunzio Pool, ended Thursday at the NCAA Championships.
Princeton had to default its two individual qualifiers at the NCAA Championships, including senior Harrison Wagner, a two-time individual Ivy League champion. The 2015 Ivy champion in the 50 free, Wagner spent time in the hospital Wednesday night due to illness and simply wasn’t able to compete in Iowa City.
“Harrison came down with a fever and was fighting an illness for the better part of the week,” assistant coach Mitch Dalton said. “We were staying optimistic his health would pick up; however, after a trip to the hospital last night, it became clear that was not likely.”
Freshman Corey Okubo also qualified for the meet after breaking the Ivy League record in the 400 IM, but he was forced to default due to a miscommunication about the start time for his 200 IM preliminary Thursday morning. Without any individual qualifiers remaining in the competition, Princeton will be unable to compete in any relays for the remainder of the weekend.
“We have a saying on our team that organization is the key to success,” Dalton said. “With that being said, as a coach I take responsibility for this miscommunication. While the past 48 hours have been extremely tough for our team, I am blown away by their maturity, positivity and camaraderie they have displayed in such difficult moments. We win as a team, we struggle as a team and we will get through this as a team.
“While there is no doubt this is a disappointing set of events, I am proud of our men for the way in which they have handled this. I know they will be eager to get back in the water and channel this toward some good spring training and summer long course season.”
Press release courtesy: Princeton Tigers