Rutgers Breaks Pool Record in ‘Cannon Trophy’ Win over In-State Foes Princeton

Rutgers vs. Princeton (Women)

  • November 15th, 2019
  • Piscataway, New Jersey
  • 25 yards (SCY)
  • Meet Results
  • Team Scores:
    • Rutgers W 163, Princeton W 137

The women’s swimming & diving teams from Rutgers and Princeton, the two best in the state of New Jersey separated by only about 15 miles, inaugurated a new series on Friday when they battled for the “Cannon Trophy.”

The Trophy is named in honor of the Rutgers-Princeton Cannon War. As the story goes, according to Rutgers:

The origin of the Rutgers-Princeton Cannon War dates to 1777, when two cannons from the British army were left on the campus of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) after the battle of Princeton during the Revolutionary War. The cannons remained near the campus until the larger of the two was put to use during the War of 1812 and moved to New Brunswick to protect the city A dispute over cannon ownership ensued at some point, and the cannon eventually wound up back in Princeton, where it was placed, in the ground, on Princeton’s campus on the site that is now called “Cannon Green.”

On the night of April 25, 1875 ten members of the Rutgers Class of 1877 set out to steal back “Big Cannon” from Princeton However, they were unable to move it, so instead they returned to New Brunswick with “Little Cannon”. Eventually, a joint committee settled the matter, and “Little Cannon” was returned to Princeton, however Rutgers students have been known to travel the 17 miles to the Princeton campus to paint the cannon red.

Rutgers came away with the victory and will hold the Cannon Trophy until the teams’ next matchup thanks to a 163-137 win over the Princeton Tigers. The highlight of the meet for Rutgers was a new Rutgers Aquatics Center Pool Record in the meet-closing 200 free relay. The group of Elinah PhillipGiulia GhidiniSofia Chichaikina, and Claire Lawlor combined for a 1:31.75 which chipped the old record of 1:31.95 was set by another Ivy League team, Columbia.


  • Phillip (Freshman) – 22.94
  • Ghindi (Freshman) – 22.91
  • Chichaikina (Freshman) – 22.55
  • Lawlor (Senior) – 23.35

What’s even bigger for Rutgers is that the relay was just .15 seconds short of the school record that has stood since 2006. That relay result looms large for Rutgers’ 3rd-year head coach Jon Maccoll, who took over a program in turmoil in December of 2017. That record-setting relay included 3 freshmen and a senior, and is now the only Rutgers Pool Record in a relay owned by the home team.

“All the credit goes toward the team,” Maccoll said. “Their level of preparation this week was exceptional. We trained really hard this week. I’m not sure what other Friday night meets are going on right now, but that 200 free relay time is second in the Big Ten and 12th in the country at the moment and they broke the pool record. That’s pretty special. There were other great swims too and it seems like every race there was something.”

Another young swimmer, sophomore Terka Grusova, led Rutgers with 2 individual wins. She won the 100 back in 53.95, the 200 back in 1:58.54, and was 2nd in the 200 IM in 2:01.40 behind Princeton freshman Ellie Marquardt (2:01.29). Grusova also split 53.86 while leading off Rutgers’ 400 medley relay, which won by almost 4 seconds with a relay made up entirely of freshmen and sophomores.

Last year, as just a freshman, Grusova broke the school record in the 100 back in 52.98.

Marquardt was responsible for 2 of Princeton’s 5 wins, taking the 200 IM and later winning the 500 free in 4:46.30. That time is easily a collegiate best for the freshman out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and she now owns the 2 best times in the Ivy League this season.

“Great effort from our Tigers,” said Princeton head coach Bret Lundgaard. “We faced a very competitive team in Rutgers and they helped us get better today. We had a nice mixture of contributors, from some seniors through our group of freshmen. I’m enjoying how the team is processing all the racing we’re doing. They’re learning and adjusting week to week and we’ll continue with that approach all year.”

Princeton also swept the diving, with Sophia Peifer winning on 1-meter and Mimi Lin winning on 3-meter.

Both teams are approaching their mid-season invites, with Rutgers hosting the Rutgers Invitational from December 4th-7th (followed by a 1-day long course time trial) as their next meet. Princeton, meanwhile, will race conference duals against Penn and Cornell on November 23rd before hosting the Big Al Open the same weekend as Rutgers hosts their meet.

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Courtesy Rutgers Athletics:


Courtesy Princeton Athletics:

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1 year ago

Truly a break out meet for Rutgers. They haven’t had a strong sprint freestyle contingency since the mid 2000s. Hopefully they can keep it rolling!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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