Buoyed by impressive performances by the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, Princeton edged out seven other teams to place first at the three-day Big Al Open meet, hosted in DeNunzio Pool. The men’s team scored 1100.5 points, beating out runner-up Pittsburgh at 818 points, while the women’s team also scored a narrow victory over Pittsburgh, 994 to 931 points. Princeton also defeated fellow Ivy League members Brown and Dartmouth in the invitational, which also served as Princeton’s regular season dual meet against these teams. Combined with previous wins over Penn and Cornell, the Tigers’ win this weekend moves both the men’s and women’s teams to 4-0 against Ivy League opponents.
The men’s team led the invitational wire-to-wire, nabbing a first-place position on the first day that it never relinquished during three days of competition. Four Tigers nabbed individual titles. Hu Van-Wright broke two school records in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle en route to first-place finishes in both events, while also placing first in the 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Corey Okubo won narrow victories over freshman teammate Cole Buese in the 200 backstroke and senior teammate Teo D’Alessandro in the 200 individual medley on the first day and churned to a dominant win in the 400 individual medley on day two. Sophomore Ben Schafer clinched a title in the 100 butterfly, while senior Bryon Sanborn out-touched fellow Tiger Jack Pohlmann to win the 100 breaststroke. Equally as impressive was Princeton’s commanding performance in all five relay events (200 medley, 400 medley, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free), which the men’s team swept.
The women’s team also had an impressive first day performance, with the 200 freestyle relay placing third and the 400 medley relay winning fifth. Freshman Isabel Reis won fourth in the 200 individual medley, while senior Elizabeth McDonald nabbed fifth in the 50-yard freestyle. Despite this, the women’s team trailed Pittsburgh and Villanova after the first day of competition. The women’s team proved its tenacity on the second and third days of competition. Bolstered by first place finishes by Morgan Karetnick in the 100-yard butterfly and Isabel Reis in the 200 butterfly, the women’s team seized the lead on the second day of competition. Princeton swimmers placed in almost every event, showing the team’s emphasis on versatility. Four Tigers were finalists in the 200 backstroke, with sophomore Lindsay Temple placing second by only .02 seconds. Likewise, four out of the top six finishers in the 200-yard breaststroke were Princeton swimmers, with freshman Lindsay Swartz claiming third place. Equally as significant for the Princeton win were strong runner-up performances in the 400 and 800-yard freestyle relays.
The Tigers’ impressive performances in the invitational and early-round Ivy League competition set a strong precedent for Princeton confidence and success later in the season. Princeton will next host Harvard and Yale for the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet.