It was an exciting first day at the 2016 Ivy League Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships as Harvard jumped out as the early leader with 444.5 points with Yale (428 points) and Princeton (400.5 points) close behind.
After being awarded the League’s dual meet trophy for going 7-0 in the regular season, Yale earned the event’s first gold medals with a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay in a school record time of 1:30.65. The foursome of junior Kina Zhou, sophomore Maddy Zimmerman and freshmen Bella Hindley and Cassidy Richards earned the Bulldogs’ first 200 free relay title since 2010.
Hindley was impressive in her rookie debut with a second victory in the meet’s marque event — the 50-yard freestyle. Hindley wowed the crowd with a time of 22.58 to give Yale’s its first 50 free champion since Alex Forrester in 2010.
Zimmerman and Zhou teamed with freshman Jacquelyn Du and sophomore Paulina Kaminski to comprise the Bulldogs’ winning 400 medley relay that defended the school’s title in the event in a time of 3:37.30.
The night produced a couple of 1-2 finishes as Penn grabbed the top two spots in the 500-yard freestyle with sophomore Virginia Burns first with a time of 4:43.72 and freshman Madison Visco with a time of 4:44.62. In the 200-yard individual medley final, it was a Harvard freshman duo touching the pads first with Meagan Popp first with a time of 1.57.94 and Sonia Wang second with a time of 1:58.23. Popp’s victory was the Crimson’s first in the 200 IM since 1995.
Another Crimson freshman shined on the opening night as Mikaela Thompson provided the first meet record of the 2016 championships with a score of 314.20 to take gold in 1-meter diving. Her score topped the previous record of 312.05 by Princeton’s Katie Giarra in 2009.
Ivy League contributed this report.