Princeton women’s swimming and diving team traveled to New York City in their final Ivy League matchup on Friday. The Lions were celebrating Senior Day at Uris Pool, but the Tigers marked a celebration of their own as they wound up a season that saw them tie with Harvard with 6 wins and a draw in conference play.
Caitlin Chambers, Lisa Li, and Larkin Papa opened the score for the Tigers with a 1-2-3 finish on the 3-meter boards. Columbia bounced back with a 1-2 punch of their own as both their “A” and “B” medley relays came to the wall in front of Princeton’s. The winning quartet consisted of Salena Huang (27.09), Jennifer Shahar (28.34), Christina Ray (24.39), and Katie O’Rourke (23.47) for a final time of 1:43.29.
In the 1000 free, Princeton sophomores Rebecca Fleming (10:06.58) and Isabel Shipman (10:06.90) traded stroke for stroke for 40 laps and finished nearly together, three seconds ahead of Columbia’s Mallory McKeon.
Nikki Larson of Princeton won the 200 free in 1:50.74; teammate Mallory Remick was second with 1:51.47. Celia Frick of Columbia went a season-best 1:52.11 for third.
Columbia senior Huang swept the backstroke events to end her career on a high note in front of the home crowd. She clocked a 56.25 in the 100 and 2:01.14 in the 200, giving Columbia a nice boost in the score. Ray also won a pair for the Lions; she went 23.48 to win the 50 free and 50.74 to win the 100 free.
Divers Chambers and Li went 1-2 again, this time in 1-meter diving to put the Tigers back in the game. However, Columbia’s breaststrokers keep the Lions on top score-wise through the first 12 events. Shahar grabbed first place in the 100 breast with 1:03.60, just ahead of senior Mikaila Gaffey (1:04.52). Kristine Ng won the 200 breast in 2:18.47; teammate Frick was second in 2:20.88.
Down 118-108 going into the 500 free, the Tigers pulled off a 1-2-4 finish from Shipman (5:01.03), Elsa Welshofer (5:03.77), and Reese Iriondo (5:05.52) to pull a point ahead of the Lions.
Ray notched her third win of the afternoon with a 54.66 in the 100 fly to put Columbia up by 2. Princeton’s Katie Diller went her best time of the season to finish second in 55.26, just ahead of teammate Larson (55.65).
Ng put the Lions up by 7 points by winning the final individual event, the 200 IM, in 2:03.91. Princeton’s Beverly Nguyen (2:05.29) and Olivia Chan (2:06.12) kept the Tigers in the game with second- and third-place finishes, respectively.
Everything was riding on the final relay. Ahead 145-138, Columbia would win the dual meet with either an outright win or by finishing second and third. Princeton needed a first and a third, at a minimum. In the fastest 400 free relay ever swum at Uris Pool, the Tigers’ “A” relay clocked a 3:24.91 for the pool record and the win over Columbia (3:25.68). Princeton’s “B” team came in at 3:32.76 for third and the Orange and Black took the team score, 151-149.