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Tradition-Rich Women's Swim/Dive Opens 2013-13 With Energy, Experience

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 11/14/2013
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Princeton, winners of 11 of the last 14 Ivy League titles, will open its 2013-14 season Friday at 6...
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PRINCETON OPEN LIVE RESULTS

In her three decades at the helm of the Princeton women’s swimming and diving program, head coach Susan Teeter could point to an incredible array of numbers that highlight the program’s success during her career.

From the 16 Ivy League titles, including 11 of the last 14, to the 203 team wins and the .806 winning percentage, the numbers support the fact that Teeter has helped build an impressive force in collegiate swimming.

But Teeter is most proud of the tradition that has been created, and it is that tradition that keeps her inspired. She can enjoy those who helped build it in updated photos and information that she has helped adorn the walls of DeNunzio Pool.

And she can see those who continue to build it in the water.

That tradition is a source of pride for the 2013-14 Princeton Tigers, who open their season this weekend when they host the Princeton Open (Nov. 15-16, Ivy League Digital Network). The reigning Ivy League champions know that the challenge of retaining the title will be a daunting one, but they owe it to both themselves and those who came before to put everything they have into the chase.

We’re still more than three months away from seeing everything this team can become, but Teeter has been pleased with the work so far, and she knows there is potential for something special.

Here is a look at the 2013-14 Princeton Tigers.

FREE

Co-captain Lisa Boyce enters her senior season as one of the greatest swimmers in Princeton history, though the coaching staff believes the best is still to come. The Princeton record-holder and the two-time reigning Ivy League champion in both the 50 (22.07) and 100 free (48.37), Boyce broke through a wall at the NCAA Championships last year by earning All-America honors in the 100.

She is the ultimate gamer at the Ivy Championships, winning seven of nine individual finals in her career, including all six over the last two years. As captain, she can serve as the ideal role model for a young, hungry roster that would like to see their own seasons extend beyond the Ivy League Championships.

And she has plenty of help this year. As freshmen, both Liz McDonald (22.86) and Morgan Karetnick (23.21) posted times that rank among the Top 5 in program history in the 50, and McDonald added a Top 5 time in the 100 (49.98). Classmate Mallory Remick was a B finalist in the 100 free, and all three should only get stronger this season.

The coaching staff could also see a strong freshman trio make an impact, possibly in both individual and relay events. Both Katie Diller and Kathleen Mulligan earned All-America honors in high school, while Delaney Johnson was a state champion in both the 50 and 100 free.

Those three will help replace the loss of graduated senior Carter Stephens, a member of the 200 free relay, but Princeton will be looking to see who can step up and fill the void left by classmate Jillian Altenburger, a Top 4 Ivy finisher in both the 200 and 500 last season.

One of Princeton’s most reliable distance swimmers over the last three years has been senior co-captain Maureen McCotter, who has all-time Top 6 times for Princeton in both the 1000 (9:57.25) and the mile (16:38.98). McCotter’s early showing in the 500 last season ignited Princeton’s upset of Harvard at the 2013 Ivy championships, and Teeter has been impressed with her early work this season.

One potential replacement in the middle and distance events is junior Reese Iriondo, who missed the second half of last season due to illness and injuries. A fiery performer in the water, Iriondo has looked forward to getting back into competition with her teammates.

Freshmen Rebecca Fleming and Isabel Shipman will bring much-needed depth to the distance corps. Fleming is a three-time Senior Nationals qualifier, while Shipman was a two-time qualifier for the Open Water Nationals 5K. Despite McCotter’s strong performance at Ivies, Princeton lost ground in the distance events, and the trio of Iriondo, Fleming and Shipman could help turn that around immediately.

BACK

The stands at DeNunzio Pool erupted during the 100 back final at the Ivy Championships last year, as Boyce won her third straight Ivy League final against a host of brilliant freshmen. Boyce, the Princeton record holder in the event (52.93), will look for her fourth straight championship this winter.

And her biggest obstacle could be sharing the Orange and Black. In her first season at Princeton, Sada Stewart posted the second-best Princeton times ever in both the 100 (53.53) and the 200 back (1:55.99). She placed second to Boyce in the 100 final, and she took second in the 200 final despite posting a meet-record time. Stewart, who also took third in the 200 IM, is one of the top young swimmers in the league, and her work ethic makes the staff optimistic about even greater performances.

Junior Shirley Wang took third in the 200 back at Ivies, and she reached the A final in the 100. Her 200 time of 1:57.49 is third-best in program history, and her 100 time of 55.18 is sixth-best. Classmate Courtney Ciardiello is also a threat in the 200 back, while freshman Mulligan is also a potential Ivy scorer in the event.

BREAST

While Altenburger’s loss in the mid-distance free is a sizable one, the same can be said for Sarah Furgatch in the breast events. The Fulbright Scholarship recipient capped her career with an emotional Top 3 finish in the 200 breast at Ivies, and the staff needs to find a replacement for both the individual events and the medley relays.

Sophomore Emily Yu was a B finalist in both the 100 and 200, and she is the only current Princeton swimmer with Top 10 times in both events.

A pair of freshmen, however, could play a major role in these events. Olivia Chan, an All-America at New Hyde Park, won seven New York state public high school championships and holds a 100 breast (LC) time that is under Olympic Trials standard. Melissa Fulenwider was a Senior Nationals qualifier as well, and both could help put more Orange and Black in the ‘A’ finals of both the 100 and 200 breast.

FLY

Sophomore Nicole Larson was a big part of the heralded freshman class last season, and her competitive fire was plenty apparent during the Ivy League championship weekend. She reached all three A finals, and placed second to now-graduated Alex Forrester in the 100 fly final with a Princeton-record time of 53.21.

Larson is also a big threat in the 200 fly, and she gives handles the fly leg in both medley relays. Larson came achingly close to reaching the NCAA Championships last year, and that will be part of her mission this season.

Two classmates who will also be factors in the fly events are Karetnick and Beverly Nguyen. Karetnick took third in the 100 and posted a Top 5 Princeton time (53.96), while Nguyen took fourth in the 200 and holds the fourth-fastest Princeton time of 1:59.35.

Both Chan and Diller could also factor into the fly events, as could Ciardiello.

INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY

During her time as the Princeton Female Athlete of the Decade, Alicia Aemisegger ’10 rewrote the Tiger record book, including both IM records. But outside of Aemisegger’s numbers (including a 400 time that remains 12 seconds faster than anybody in program history), two Tiger freshmen posted the fastest IM times for the Orange and Black last year.

Stewart placed third in the 200 IM final last year in 1:59.42, while Nguyen took third in the 400 final in 4:14.43. Nguyen also has the program’s sixth-fastest 200 time (2:00.45), and she was a Top-4 finisher in that event as well.

Larson and senior Rebecca Lewinson could be factors during Ivy championship weekend, while freshmen Chan, Mulligan and Victoria Lepesant, a former Junior National qualifier, will add plenty of depth in this stroke.

DIVING

Teeter knows that Ivy League Championships have swung on diving, and she trusts veteran coach Greg Gunn to have his group ready for the championship weekend. This particular season could be extremely interesting, as the Tigers have both veterans and a talented group of four freshmen who could give the team both quantity and quality.

The trio of seniors is led by Rachel Zambrowicz, a former Ivy League Championships Diver of the Meet, and Randi Brown, an A finalist last season. Classmate Emily Kaplan won the B final on the 3-meter board last year as well. As a freshman, Helen Zitkovsky reached the A final on the 1-meter board, while classmate Alice Eltvedt gained experience during the year.

The freshman quartet of Yasmeen Almog, Caitlin Chambers, Deborah Daly and Lisa Li each bring in impressive credentials, and their development this season could lead to interesting decisions by the time Ivies come around.

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