Women’s Swimming and Diving shatters records en route to Ivy League title| Feb 24, 2020
Providence, R.I. wasn’t ready for Princeton women’s swimming and diving this year, as the Tigers dominated the competition to win their 23rd Ivy League Championship — a league-best record. Princeton finished with 1,569 points during a competition that saw multiple Tigers break school, league, and pool records across a span of four days.
Harvard placed second with 1,462 points, while Yale came in third with 1,139.5 points.
Day one started strong for the Tigers, who grabbed second place in both the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. In the 200 medley, senior Elaine Zhou, senior Christie Chong, senior Gianna Garcia, and first-year Nicole Venema broke the Princeton record with a time of 1:37.86. In the 800 free, the all-first-year team of Addison Smith, Ellie Marquardt, Amelia Liu, and Venema also broke a school record with a time of 7:08.58. At the end of day one, Princeton sat second overall with 112 points, behind only Harvard with 128.
Day two built off the momentum of the first day. In the first event, Marquardt got off to a scorching start by setting school, conference, and pool records in the 500 freestyle, touching the wall with a time of 4:36.37. Princeton also took fourth (Junior Courtney Tseng, 4:45.74) and fifth (Smith, 4:46.00) in the event, with all three times earning NCAA B cut times.
The record breaking continued in the 200 Individual Medley, as senior Christie Chong took second place with a school record time of 1:57.89, good for the NCAA B cut. In the 50 free, Venema took first with a time of 22.41, while Liu was runner up at 22.48. Next was the 200 freestyle relay, which saw Venema, Liu, first-year Christina Bradley, and first-year Sarah Grinalds break another school record with a time of 1:29.76. Finally, in the 1-meter diving, junior Sine Scribbick finished second with 289.75 points, while senior Mimi Lin took third with a score of 275.90. With day two wrapped up, Princeton maintained second place with 508 points, nearly closing the gap on Harvard, with 510 points.
Day three saw the Tigers continue their rise. The 1,000 freestyle was a major success for the Tigers, as Marquardt broke a pool record with a time of 9:34.71, which was also the second-fastest time in school history. First-year Elizabeth Boeckman finished third in the event at 9:48.15, the third-fastest in school history. Venema continued her impressive run at the championships in the 200 freestyle, taking first place with a time of 1:45.31, a new school record. Her time was also good enough for an NCAA B cut, which will allow her to qualify for the NCAA Division I championship.
Princeton then took second (Smith, 4:14.28) and third (Junior Regan Barney, 4:14.53) in the 400 IM, with both swimmers earning NCAA B cuts. In the 100 Butterfly, the Tigers had three top-five finishers, with Bradley placing second (52.75, third-fastest time in school history), Zhou fourth (53.50), and Garcia fifth (53.79). Chong, in the 100-breaststroke, touched the wall at 1:00.98 for third place, good enough for an NCAA B cut time. In the 400-medley relay, Garcia, Chong, Bradley, and Grinalds placed second with a time of 3:37.80. By the end of day three, Princeton had overtaken Harvard 1,020 to 964, with Yale sitting a distant third with 745.5 points.
Princeton hung on day four to clinch the title. In the 1,650 freestyle, Marquardt continued her dominance, winning her third title of the championships with a time of 16:06.96, a pool record and second-fastest in school history and good enough for an NCAA B cut. Boeckman finished fourth with a time of 16:26.29, fourth in school history, also good enough for an NCAA B cut. In the 200 backstroke, first-year Emily Trieu took eighth with a time of 1:59.70.
In the 100 freestyle, Venema again impressed, touching the wall in first place at 48:55, good for the second-fastest time in school history. In the 200 breaststroke, senior Janet Zhao placed second with a time of 2:12.67 seconds, good for second in school history. In the 3-meter diving final, senior Katrin Lewis placed fifth with 306.00 points, while Lin took seventh with 295.80. In the B final of the same event, Scribbick took home first with 301.50 points. Finally, in the 400-freestyle relay, Venema, Marquardt, Liu, and Bradley finished second with a time of 3:17.11 seconds, sealing the victory for the Tigers.
The meet ended with Lin named the Career High-Point Diving Champion, while Marquardt and Venema were two of the three High-Point Swimmers of the meet with 96 points.
Overall, the Tigers broke six school records, three pool records, and a conference record during the championships — an unprecedented overall performance.