Ivy League Championships

PRINCETON, New Jersey, February 26. PRINCETON claimed the 2011 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championship on Saturday night at the DeNunzio Pool. Harvard put on a late charge but the Tigers eventually pulled away for their second straight Ivy League title.

Team performances aside, the 2011 championship will also be remembered for a pair of swimmers each capturing three wins apiece. Princeton senior Megan Waters capped her Ivy Championship career by setting two individual Ivy League records and by recording wins in the 50 free, the 100 fly and the 100 free. At the other end of the spectrum, Shelby Fortin opened her Ivy Championship career with wins in the 500 free, the 200 free and the 1,000 free. Waters' performance earned her Swimmer of the Meet status, which was awarded following the meet based on a vote by the League's eight head swimming coaches.

The Tigers finished with 1,562 points to claim their 10th title in the last 12 seasons, while Harvard finished second with 1,436 points. The Crimson have finished first or second at nine consecutive League Championship meets. Columbia placed third with 894 points, edging out fourth place Penn by six points. It marked Columbia best finish since a third-place showing in 2008, while the Quakers finished fourth for the third consecutive season. Yale finished fifth (860), followed by Dartmouth (794.5), Cornell (730) and Brown (651.5).

First off the blocks in Saturday's evening championship finals was the fastest heat of the 1,000 free. With 100 yards to go, Penn's Fortin built a significant lead and cruised to the win by over 10 seconds, marking her third individual championship win in as many nights. She finished the 1,000 free in 9:45.17, the fifth-fastest time in meet history and she became the first Quaker to win the 1,000 while also becoming the first Quaker to win three championship races at an Ivy League Championship meet. Princeton's Maureen McCotter finished second (9:57.73), while Harvard's Christine Kaufmann was third (10:00.57).

The Crimson then turned in a first place and a fifth place showing in the 200 back to close the gap atop the team standings to just over 50 points. Meghan Leddy, a junior, won with a time of 1:56.66. Yale sophomore Molly Albrecht was second (1:56.72), followed by Princeton's Meredith Monroe (1:56.98). In Saturday's preliminaries, Monroe set a meet record, finishing in 1:56.08, which broke her own mark originally set at last season's championship.

The Tigers countered with a one-two finish from Waters and freshman Lisa Boyce in the 100 free. Waters bested her own pool, meet and Ivy records from the morning preliminary swim by winning the championship final in 48.86. She broke a record that had stood since 1990 when Jennifer Boyd won in a time of 49.68. It was also the second consecutive year that Waters won the 100 free.

In the 200 breast, Princeton freshman Andrea Kropp earned the win in 2:12.69, followed by Yale junior Athena Liao (2:12.64) and Brown freshman Briana Borgolini (2:14.41).

In the 200 fly, Yale junior Hayes Hyde turned in a championship final winning performance (1:57.74), while Harvard senior Kate Mills finished second (1:58.05) and Princeton sophomore Carter Stephens third (1:59.75). For Mills, the 2011 Ivy League Championship capped a brilliant four-year run that saw her take home two championships, including Friday might's 400 IM. A consistent force in her four Ivy Championship meets, Mills was named the Career High Point Swimmer during the awards ceremony that followed Saturday's races.

One meter diving was then contested. Princeton freshman Rachel Zambrowicz won with a finals score of 269.70, while Harvard senior Jenny Reese finished second (268.85) and Yale junior Rachel Rosenberg third (268.70). With 59 points, Zambrowicz went on to be named the Diver of the Meet, while her teammate Carolyn Littlefield was named the Ron Keenhold Career High Point Diver with 179 career points.

The meet then closed in fitting fashion as Princeton's Waters and Harvard's Mills swam the final leg of the 400 free relay – one last race between two of the League's finest performers. In the end, a final record fell when the Princeton relay team of Boyce, Monroe, Jillian Altenburger and Waters finished in 3:20.17 to set the meet, Ivy and pool records. Harvard's team of senior Katy Hinkle, senior Ali Slack, freshman Sara Li and Mills pushed the Tiger team to the limit and finished in 3:20.32, which would have set the meet, Ivy and pool records if not for Princeton's showing.

All told, multiple meet, League and pool records fell in one of the fastest Ivy League Championships in history. Fifty-three individual NCAA B-cut times were swum, nine NCAA B-cut relay times were recorded and six diving scores qualified for NCAA A-cut status.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at Newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com. However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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