Princeton Pulls Away for Third Women's Swimming & Diving Title in Four Years
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The outcome was of the 2013 Ivy League Women's Swimming & Diving Championships very much in doubt going into the final evening of events.
Princeton held a lead through most of the meet held at its own DeNunzio Pool, but defending champion Harvard was right at its heels. The title came down to the last five events and the Tigers did not disappoint their home crowd. Princeton finished with 1,474.5 points to claim third Ivy title in four years, while Harvard tallied 1,374 to finish second. It marked the closest margin of victory since 2010, when the Tigers held off the Crimson, 1,465-1,438.
Columbia placed third with 1,132 points, matching its best finish in program history, previously accomplished in 2011, 2008 and 2006, while scoring the most points in program history. The Lions' previous high was 1,057, set last year.
Rounding out the standings, Yale took fourth with 1,049 points, followed by Dartmouth (856), Penn (715), Brown (678.5) and Cornell (576).
Two events into the final day of competition, Harvard held a slim lead over the host Tigers, 1,079-1,064.5. The Crimson comeback was fueled fifth and seventh-place finishes in the 1,650 free by freshmen Marlee Ehrlich and Sherry Liu, respectively, and a 1-4-8 finish in the 200-back, including freshman Kendall Crawford's meet-record winning time of 1:55.84.
From there, however, Princeton took control of the meet and went on to win its third championship in the past four years, and League-leading 21st overall. Junior Lisa Boyce won her second-straight 50 free title with a League record time of 22.07, while freshman Elizabeth McDonald tied for fourth and senior Carter Stephens placed eighth. Tiger senior Sarah Furgatch earned her team 27 points thanks to a third-place finish in the 200 breast and freshmen Nikki Larson and Beverly Nguyen and senior Carter Stephens went 3-4-8 in the 200 fly.
Princeton earned 110 points in the three-meter diving thanks to a 6-8-9-10-11-16 finish. The Tigers' 400 free relay team of Boyce, freshman Sada Stewart, McDonald and Larson finished with a time of 3:19.04, which would have been an Ivy League record were it not for Yale's squad of Cynthia Tsay, Callie Fosburgh, Alex Forrester and Joan Weaver, which won the event with a time of 3:18.44
It marked the second title of the day for Forrester, who won her second 200 fly title and first since 2010, recording a time of 1:55.35. Yale has won the 200 fly five-straight years, the longest such streak since Penn State won five in a row from 1987-91. Forrester was not the only Bulldog to reach the top of the podium, as freshman Eva Fabian won the 1,650 free title with a time of 16:09.81. It marked the second title of the championships for Fabian, who won the 1,000-free on Friday.
Columbia senior Katie Meili won yet another title on Saturday -- her fourth of the event -- winning the 200 breast with a time of 2:09.41, just shy of the League record time of 2:09.37. For her efforts, she was voted Swimmer of the Meet by the League's eight coaches. It marks the second-straight season the award has gone to Meili, who also earned Career High Point Swimmer honors.
After finishing fifth in the one-meter diving event on Thursday, Dartmouth junior Katy Feng earned High Point Diver of the Meet thanks to a win in the three-meter diving, recording 306.25 points. She is the first Big Green to ever win the event.
The final award of the day went to Yale senior Paige Meneses, who placed second in the three-meter and third in the one-meter en route to receiving the Ron Keenhold Career High Point Diver honors.
Swimmer of the Meet: Katie Meili, Columbia (Sr. - Colleyville, Texas)*
Career High Point Swimmer: Katie Meili, Columbia (Sr. - Colleyville, Texas)
High Point Diver of the Meet: Katy Feng, Dartmouth (Jr. - Westford, Mass.)
Ron Keenhold Career High Point Diver: Paige Meneses, Yale (Sr. - St. Louis, Mo.)
* - as voted by the League's eight head coaches
1. Princeton, 1,474.5
2. Harvard, 1,374
3. Columbia, 1,132
4. Yale, 1,049
5. Dartmouth, 856
6. Penn, 715
7. Brown, 678.5
8. Cornell, 576