The men’s swimming and diving team finished second in the Ivy League Championships, held between Feb. 20 and Feb. 24. While the Tigers were competitive throughout the competition, they were unable to muster a comeback against Harvard, the eventual champions. However, the Tigers showed great potential as there were plenty of standout performances over the four days.
While the Crimson managed to sweep both relays, the Tigers managed to set some records of their own to start the Championships. The quartet of junior Murphy McQuet, freshman Charles Leibson, senior Zach Buerger, and junior Cole Buese set a new program record in the 800-free relay with a time of 6:21.84, which topped the previous record of 6:24.75, set in 2009. At the end of the day, Princeton stood third — just four points behind the Bulldogs and first-place Crimson.
The Princeton team moved past Yale on the second day after several strong performances showing the depth of the Princeton squad. The top individual swim came from Buerger who claimed second in the 200 IM with a time of 1:44.77. The result also earned Buerger second-team All-Ivy League honors. The Tigers would end the day with another All-Ivy League performance in the 200 free. The team of McQuet, Buese, senior Alexander Lewis, and senior Ben Schafer finished second to put Princeton second in the rankings.
Princeton continued its strong performance with 11 individual championship finals and a strong showing from the diving team as well. However, despite the Tigers’ rally, Harvard extended its lead with 1090 points. The Tigers sat in second place with 869 points, putting them comfortably above Yale who tallied 730.
The highlight of the final day of competition came from the 200 fly. Buerger put in the fastest split in the field with a time of 27.42 to narrowly claim first place. This was the first individual Ivy League title for the senior. The final time of 1:43.56 was the third fastest in Princeton history. Buese, who was runner-up, finished in 1:43.73 which now stands as the fourth fastest time. The race undoubtedly rallied an excited home crowd as the Tigers continued the day with a series of standout performances.
Freshman Colten Young also made a splash in his debut in the Ivy League 3-meter final. His score of 392.50 was the second most by a freshman and the seventh most of all-time. He performance earned him second behind Columbia’s Jonathan Suckow.
However, Harvard would hold onto their lead, reclaiming the Ivy League throne with a commanding 1630.5 points. Princeton finished second with 1285.5. Yale would hold off Columbia and Penn for the third spot with 1138 points.
While the Tigers could not claim the Ivy League title, the team made several strong appearances, showcasing both the experience of its veterans and the depths of the squad. If anything, the Orange and Black looks poised to return to next year’s Ivy League Championships ready to improve on this season’s results.