The women’s swimming team defied expectations, posting 1,301 points in the Ivy League Championships. The team made a strong push under first-year head coach Bret Lundgaard, improving markedly from their 1,024 points from last season. Despite strong performances, the Tigers fell to both Harvard and Yale for another third-place finish. The Crimson took the top spot with 1,616 points.
The Tigers started the meet with two impressive record-breaking events in the 4x50 medley relay and 4x200 freestyle relay. The Princeton team of junior Izzy Reis, freshman Jenny Ma, senior Elsa Welshofer, and senior Maddie Veith set a program-record with a time of 1:39.29. The performance put Princeton in second behind Yale. However, the Tigers were not done rewriting the record book yet. The quartet of Reis, senior Claire McIlmail, junior Joanna Curry, and junior Monica McGrath blasted past the 10-year team record by four seconds with a time of 7:08.58. The Orange and Black closed the first day in third-place, only six points behind Harvard and Yale, who were tied for first.
Princeton would continue to keep the pressure on the Crimson and the Bulldogs as the three teams started to pull away from the rest of the competition. Harvard was the front runner with 545 points. Yale, the reigning Ivy-League Champions, was second with 503 points. The Tigers, still within striking distance, ended the second-day of competition with 472 points — nearly 200 points more than the next best team, Penn.
The Princeton swimming and diving team continued their strong showing on the third day. Freshman Regan Barney showed the impressive depths of the Princeton squad by winning the 400 IM Ivy League title. Despite a deficit midway through the event, Barney came back with a strong 100-free to close out the race. Her time of 4:13.48 was the third-fastest time in Princeton history and marked the first time the Tigers have won the event since 2010. A series of strong showings from the Tigers helped them keep pressure on Yale and Harvard.
The Orange and Black ended the last day of competition on a high note. In the final event, the 4x100 free relay, the Tigers knocked off both reigning-champions Yale and top-seeded Harvard to claim their first Ivy League title in the event since 2015. The quartet of Reis, Mcilmail, senior Alisabeth Marsteller, and Veith gave Princeton a special conclusion to the 2018 Ivy League Championships.
While the Tigers did not upset the two top contenders, Yale and Harvard, the team showed remarkable improvement from last season. Furthermore, the competition showed the depths and potential of the Princeton squad. The Tigers will surely be a team to watch in the coming years.