In a nailbiter of a meet, where the final 100-point margin of victory didn’t tell nearly the full story of a back-and-forth final day of competition, the Princeton Tigers took the Ivy League title back after Harvard won it last year. This would turn out to be Princeton’s 21st (or 17th) championship, depending on your measure. The Ivy’s did some strange things in the 80’s and 90’s (didn’t we all) resulting in some fuzzy championship definitions, but however you split it, nobody has won this league as often as Princeton.
In fact, with this victory, they have now taken 21 out of 42 “total championships” by the official record book: exactly half.
Live results available here.
Women’s 1650 Free Final
Yale freshman Eva Fabian, already well-known in the open water world, is now making her mark on the pool with a second win in a distance event at the Ivy League Championships. After taking the 1000 on Friday (though not a fully-entered 1000, since that’s not an NCAA Championship event), she has now added a 16:09.81 in the 1650.
That .81 is quite significant; with 6 swimmers having already gone 16:09’s, it’s the difference between being ranked 14th in the country and 20th in the country. As she sits, that puts her 17th, and with two significant unknown conference results remaining (Pac 12, Big 12) plus some last chance meets, she looks like she’s on the right side of the line for NCAA qualifying.
Second place went to Penn’s Shelby Fortin in 16:15.47. She was the winner of the 500, and that showed as she was able to hang with Fabian early in this race before the younger swimmer’s endurance took over very late. Considering that Fortin has only swum this race now 5 times, and was no better than 16:32 coming into this meet, that’s still a big performance for her.
Another Yale freshman, Casey Lincoln, was 3rd in 16:27.57. That’s significant because she held that spot away from Harvard’s Marlee Ehrlich and her 16:32 (23 second drop), costing Harvard a point in the team battle. The Crimson still “won” the event, and cut Princeton’s margin in half to just 17.5 points.
Women’s 200 Back Final
There was a lot of possible point swing to be had in this women’s 200 backstroke, and Harvard did about all of they could to make sure it swung in their favor. Freshman Kendall Crawford took the victory in 1:55.84 – breaking a two-year old Meet Record held by Meredith Monroe in the process.
By taking that win, despite fading on her last 50 yards, she held off the hard-charging Princeton freshman Sada Stewart, who also went under the old Meet Record with a 1:55.99. Her teammate Shirley Wang did well to fend-off Harvard’s Danielle Lee for 3rd, though, 1:57.49-1:57.64.
With 4 total scorers, Havard actually overtook the lead in this race 1079-1064.5; Princeton far outnumbers them in the 100 freestyle, though, so they are likely to take it back in the next race.
Women’s 100 Free Final
Just as most of the breaks went Harvard’s way in the 200 back, they went Princeton’s way in this 100 free. That started at the top, with junior Lisa Boyce defending her 100 free League title in 48.74, bettering Sara Li (49.20) almost entirely on the back-half of this race.
Cornell freshman Jenna Immormino was the only other swimmer under 50 seconds in what ended up being a bit of a muted final, as she took 3rd in 49.77.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth McDonald from Princeton held her 6th spot for more big points, and the only other Crimson scorer slid to 16th in the B-Final for just a single point. With that, Princeton not only negated the previous Harvard lead, but pushed their margin back to 33.5 – where it started the day.
Women’s 200 Breast Final
Katie Meili still isn’t a world-beater in the 200 breaststroke, but she sure is improving. She cut a full second off of her lifetime best to go a 2:09.41, breaking the Pool Record and just barely missing the League Record in this 200 breaststroke. Brown’s Briana Borgolini took 2nd in 2:13.97.
Meili blew away the competition here, but Harvard took advantage of a relatively weak field with two in the A-final and two in the B-Final to pull this team battle back to a dead-heat: Princeton winning only by a half-point margin thanks to a tie earlier in the meet. Again, though, as Harvard got right back into the race, they knew another challenge was looming.
Women’s 200 Fly Final
The Harvard women had one of their biggest bullets left in this event; that’s sophomore Courtney Otto, who was 9th at the Olympic Trials in this race. They knew coming in, though, that she wasn’t at a full taper, and Princeton got a big assist as Alex Forrester from Yale won the race in 1:55.35.
That time was just off of Forrester’s Ivy League Record from this morning, while Otto finished 2nd in 1:57.80.
Princeton, buoyed by the site of a title, got two very impressive freshmen performances in this race. Nikki Larson was 3rd in a best time of 1:59.09 and Beverly Nguyen was 4th in 1:59.58. What’s more, a third freshman, Morgan Karetnick, won the B-Final in 1:59.89 – more than a two-second improvement from prelims. Even with Otto’s lofty position, four Princeton scorers ballooned the lead to nearly 60, and with diving looming all-but sealed the victory for the Tigers.
Women’s 3-Meter Diving
In a veteran-laden diving final, in stark contrast to the rest of the meet, Dartmouth junior Katy Feng won with a score of 306.25. The entire A-final was made up of juniors and seniors. Harvard actually outscored Princeton among A-final divers, but a smartly-balanced roster by the Tigers left them with 4 more divers in the B-Final than the Crimson, stretching their lead to nearly 100 points. At this point, they were mathematically a lock to be the champions.
Women’s 400 Free Relay
The team title was locked up, but there was still one last relay to be settled. Yale used interesting strategy with their three-senior-strong relay to put Alex Forrrester on the third leg against Princeton’s three-freshman-strong. Forrester split 48.26 which put them about four-tenths of a second into the lead.
That’s a new Meet Record, knocking a second-and-a-half off of the Princeton record from 2011. Princeton, meanwhile, was also easily clear of the old record with a 3:19.04. Boyce, the individual 100 free champion, led them off in 3:19.04.
Final Team Standings
1. Princeton University 1474.5
2. Harvard University 1374
3. Columbia University 1132
4. Yale University 1049
5. Dartmouth College 856
6. University of Pennsylvania 715
7. Brown University 678.5
8. Cornell University 576