After 43 straight victories dating back to the start of the 2006-07 season, the Princeton women's swimming and diving team will finally get a chance to test its resilience. Princeton capped its long streak with a 231-69 victory over Yale, but Harvard swept the annual H-Y-P meet with a 190-110 victory over Princeton.
Harvard, which hosted the meet at Blodgett Pool, had been the highest-ranked Ivy League team heading into the meet. That won't change before the Ivy League Championships head to Blodgett Pool in two weeks (Feb. 23-25). Despite the loss, Princeton head coach Susan Teeter, whose team has won the last two and 10 of the last 12 Ivy titles, felt strongly about her team's performances over the two sessions.
"I am very proud of the way we competed this weekend," Teeter said. "We never stopped fighting. I congratulate Harvard for its terrific performance these last two days. They have cemented their status as Ivy favorites. We know the immense pressure that goes along with hosting an Ivy championship meet as the overwhelming favorite, so we're excited to go into this year's meet as one of the seven hunters."
The loss is Princeton's first since Nov. 11, 2006, when Michigan defeated Princeton 134-101 in Ann Arbor.
"Winning 43 straight meets is a credit to all of the women who have competed for Princeton over the last six years," Teeter said. "This league has gotten stronger every year, and I'm proud of the success our program has had during this recent run. We look forward to finally getting some rest and preparing to swim fast, and taking on a talented Columbia squad Friday while we honor our great Class of 2012."
Youth dominated the 1000 free, which was won by Harvard freshman Kelsey Hojan Clark (9:51.32). Princeton freshman Reese Iriondo took third in 10:02.92, while sophomore Laura Loughran placed fourth in 10:08.94.
Iriondo followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the 200 free (1:50.50), while classmate Claire Loht took fifth in 1:50.91.
Princeton went 1-2 in the 100 back, with Boyce, the reigning Ivy League champion, winning the event in 53.80. Senior co-captain Meredith Monroe finished second in 55.33, while freshman Shirley Wang took fourth in 56.55.
Yu took third in the 100 breast in 1:03.80, while Stephens finished fourth in the 200 fly in 2:00.55.
Boyce grabbed her second win of Saturday's session by taking the 50 free in 22.92. Sophomore Laura Slater went 23.68 to take third, while Monroe gave the Tigers three in the top five with a fifth-place time of 24.04.
Princeton sophomore Rachel Zambrowicz, the reigning Ivy League Championships Diver of the Meet, finished fourth in the one-meter competition with 256.30 points, while senior teammate Christina Kirkwood took fifth with 256.20 points.
The 400 IM was swam as an exhibition event to end Friday's competition, and Tiger sophomore Rebecca Lewinson finished third in 4:26.45.
Boyce opened the Sunday portion of competition by winning the 100 free in 49.74. Stephens (51.11) and senior Aislinn Smalling (51.52) took third and fourth, respectively, in the event.
Monroe and Harvard senior Meghan Leddy figure to be two favorites for the 200 back title, and they put forth an exciting preview of the possible final. Leddy held off a charging Monroe to win by .07 of a second; Monroe took second in 1:57.67, while freshman Shirley Wang took fourth in 2:00.18.
Yu took third in the 200 breast in 2:16.89, while junior Sarah Furgatch finished fifth in 2:17.88. Iriondo followed by finishing third in the 500 in 4:55.37, while Loughran took fifth in 4:58.02.
Sophomore diver Randi Brown finished third in the three-meter competition with 258.60 points, while freshman Sarah Liang took third in the 200 IM in 2:04.15. Gruendel, one of the seniors who will be honored Friday at Denunzio Pool, finished fourth in the 200 IM in 2:04.63.
The meet concluded with the 400 free relay, and the Tiger team of Smalling, Loughran, Iriondo and Loht placed third in a time of 3:27.97.
Princeton will take on Columbia Friday at 2 p.m. for its final meet of the regular season. The meet will be streamed live on GoPrincetonTigers.TV.