Senior Lisa Boyce, the three-time reigning Ivy League champion in the 50 free, opened her final NCAA Championships weekend with a Top 25 finish in that event.
Boyce, who owns the Princeton record in the 50 free, improved on her Ivy League championship time by .14 of a second and finished 24th overall in 22.30. That time was .13 away from All-America status and a return to the evening finals session, but she will have two more opportunities this weekend.
"I definitely feel like this is the most comfortable I've been at this meet, and I think that showed in my swim today," Boyce said. "It wasn't quite perfect, but it was still by far my best first day here and a huge improvement from last year. So I'll take it, and I'm so looking forward to the next two days of having even more fun and swimming fast."
Boyce will swim the 100 fly Friday, where she is currently seeded 13th in the field. She will also get to compete with one of her teammates, as reigning Ivy 100 fly champion Nikki Larson will make her NCAAs debut. A native of nearby Edina, Minn., she is currently ranked 34th in that event.
"I can't wait for Nikki to get to experience her first swim at NCAAs," Boyce said. "I know she's getting super excited about it, and it'll be really fun for me to be able to swim the same race with her. Having the two of us in the same event will be a good reminder for both of us that we do this all the time in practices and regular meets, so there shouldn't really be any more pressure here just because it's NCAAs. Plus, I'll get to cheer her on from behind the blocks right before I swim."
Both will also swim Saturday; Boyce will try to repeat her 2013 All-America honors in the 100 free, while Larson will swim the 200 fly.
Boyce improved on her finish in the 50 free from last year, when she finished 41st in the NCAA Championships.