The Princeton women’s swimming and diving team has believed in its training plan from Day 1 this season, and several impressive performances this weekend showed that this team continues to move in the right direction towards the Ivy League Championships. The Tigers split their annual H-Y-P showdown, defeating a tough Yale squad but falling to Harvard.
While the Tigers would have loved to leave Kiphuth Pool in New Haven with a pair of victories, they also know that championships aren’t determined in dual meets. After all, it was only one year ago that Harvard also completed a sweep at the H-Y-P meet.
Less than one month later, Princeton hoisted the Ivy League championship trophy for the 11th time in 14 years.
The Crimson will be a formidable opponent — and likely the overall favorite — again this season, coming off its 189-111 win over Princeton this weekend. Princeton earned a split with a 171-129 win over Yale, but the Bulldogs showed plenty of fight and have multiple swimmers that will contend for big points at the Ivy Championships.
Being pushed isn’t anything new for this program, though. In fact, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The meet began Friday night with the 3-meter diving competition, where Tiger freshman Caitlin Chambers placed third, and less than three points off first, with a score of 279.95. Senior Rachel Zambrowicz, a former Ivy Championships Diver of the Meet, was also close to the top, but she finished fifth with 278.45 points.
The Princeton quartet of senior Lisa Boyce, junior Emily Yu, freshman Olivia Chan and sophomore Morgan Karetnick finished second in the 200 medley relay in 1:43.87, less than one second off Harvard’s winning time.
The distance competition began with the 1000, and freshman Rebecca Fleming took sixth in 10:10.44. Classmates Katie Diller (1:52.12) and Isabel Shipman (1:53.39) followed up with sixth- and eighth-place finishes in the 200 free.
Both Princeton sophomore Sada Stewart and Harvard’s Danielle Lee will be trying to end Boyce’s three-year reign as the 100 back champion at Ivies, and the two led the field in that event at H-Y-P. Lee won, while Stewart took second in 55.94. Junior Shirley Wang followed with a fifth-place finish in 57.26.
The 100 breast also provided an exciting finish, with Harvard’s Stephanie Ferrell holding off Princeton freshman Olivia Chan for the win. Chan took second in 1:04.92, while Yu was fourth in 1:05.22.
Sophomore Nikki Larson provided Princeton its first individual victory of the day, winning the 200 fly in 2:00.36. Classmate Beverly Nguyen added a fifth-place finish in 2:02.53, while both junior Courtney Ciardiello and Morgan Karetnick followed in the next two spots.
Boyce, the two-time reigning Ivy League champion in the 50 free, took second in the event in 23.14, while senior Laura Slater added a fifth-place time of 23.74.
Chambers opened Sunday’s portion of the competition with a third-place finish in the 1-meter diving event (261.55), while senior Randi Brown followed with a fifth-place score of 241.15.
Boyce, also the reigning champion in the 100 free, took that event in 50.51, while Larson and Slater were 4-5 in the event (51.63 and 51.64, respectively). Ciardiello followed with a runner-up finish in the 200 back in 2:02.24, while Stewart was fifth in 2:03.13.
Yu placed second in the 200 breast in 2:20.72, while Chan took fifth in 2:22.55. Fleming followed with a sixth-place time of 4:59.47 in the 500.
Larson continued her terrific season by giving Princeton a double winner for the weekend, as she took the 100 fly in 55.11. She was one of two sophomores with Top-5 finishes, as Karetnick ended fifth in 56.14.
Nguyen took second in the 200 IM in 2:05.64, while Stewart was fifth in 2:06.23. The meet concluded with the 400 free relay, and the team of Slater, Larson, Elizabeth McDonald and Boyce finished second in 3:25.84.
Princeton will complete its regular season next Friday afternoon when it hosts Columbia at 1 pm. The meet will serve as Senior Day for the Tigers, who will then take two weeks off to prepare for the 2014 Ivy League Championships in Providence (Feb. 20-22).