5 Races to Watch at the Women’s Ivy League Championships

Photo Courtesy: Harvard Athletics

The 2017 Women’s Ivy League Championships will take place February 15-18 at Brown University.

Harvard won the meet last year with 1500.5 points, followed closely by Yale with 1422.5 points. The Bulldogs have had an undefeated regular season this year, including 7-0 in the Ivy League.

1. 200 Breast
In 2016, Brown’s Ally Donahue and Harvard’s Meagan Popp tied for first, stopping the clock well over a second ahead of the runner-up in 2:12.18. At last year’s meet, Donahue won the 100 breast, out touching Popp by 0.44. Both talented breaststrokers return and will be looking to claim the 200 breast title as their own, but will face tough competition. Sophomore Popp enters the meet this year with a 2:15.99—already achieving the NCAA B standard—and junior Donahue comes in with a 2:19.94.  Keep your eyes out for Harvard junior Geordie Enoch who could challenge Donahue and Popp. Enoch, who finished third in 2016, enters the meet as the top seed in 2:14.34.

2. 100 Free
Last year, Yale’s Bella Hindley took gold in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles as a freshman. She’ll look to redeem her titles as a sophomore, but will face tough competition, especially in the 100 free. Four women have already achieved an NCAA B cut in the event, led by Harvard freshman Miki Dahlke. Dahlke’s seed time of 49.05 is .03 faster than Hindley’s winning time last year, proving that this event will be one to watch. Hindley’s teammate Kina Zhou, who took second last year, is the number two seed, seeded two-tenths behind Dahlke. Brown’s Sarah Cronin, who will be racing in her home pool, is the third seed after finishing 11th in 2016.

3. 1000 Free
The 1000 free should be an exciting—and close—race in one of the only conferences that races this event at the championship level. Yale has the top four spots, led by junior Cailley Silbert who finished first in this event a year ago. Penn’s Madison Visco, currently seeded eleventh, dropped over twenty seconds from her seed time last year to finish second, four seconds behind Silbert. Four swimmers have already broken the 10-minute barrier this season, and look for many more to do so this weekend.

4. 100 Back
The graduation of two Harvard seniors Danielle Lee and Kendall Crawford, who took gold and silver, respectively, in this event last year, opens up for new talent to emerge. The top seed belongs to Yale junior Heidi VanderWel, who only competed in the Ivy League time trials in 2016. Princeton’s Lindsay Temple, the bronze medalist last year, will look to improve upon her sixteenth-seed. Harvard’s Kristina Li and Yale’s Jacquelyn Du are also top contenders. With five women already under the NCAA B standard, a close race is sure to take place.

5. Relays
Last year, Yale swept all five relays and enter the meet this year as the top seed in three of the five relays based on their efforts from the Ohio State Invitational. Hindley and Zhou have had the biggest impact on the Bulldogs’ relays, each swimming in four at last year’s Championships. Yale has the potential to sweep all five relays again this year: they lost none of their relay swimmers to graduation. Their biggest threat, however, could be Harvard in the 800 free relay; the Crimson finished only 0.34 seconds behind Yale last year and will return all of their swimmers on that relay.

Meet information can be found here.

2016 Ivy League Women’s Championships: Full – Results

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Hany Weka
7 years ago


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