With Ivy League Championships less than a month away, the Princeton swimming and diving teams began the final stretch of their season, traveling to New Haven for the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton weekend. The men began the weekend on Saturday, placing second in the meet with a 213-140 loss to Harvard and a 194-159 win over Yale. The women took their turn in the rivalry on Sunday, coming in second with a 189-111 loss to Harvard and a 171-129 win over Yale.
Front and center for the Tiger men’s hopes during the annual classic were juniors Michael Strand and Connor Maher, reigning Ivy League champions in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, respectively. The 100 back proved to be the Tigers’ most successful event, as the Tigers claimed the top three spots. However, Strand finished second in the event with a time of 48.51. He was beaten by teammate and sophomore En-Wei Hu-Van Wright, who won the event with a time of 48.21, giving the Tigers their only first place finish in the 19-event meet; Maher finished third in the sprint event with a time of 48.53.
“The 100 back has been a very strong event for us in the past and being able to finish 1-2-3 in such an early event was huge momentum swing,” Maher said. “The race strategies are very different [swimming the 100 and the 200]. The 200 you definitely have to strategize more about how hard you are going to go, but the 100 is much more of a dead sprint from the beginning.”
Despite strong swims throughout the meet, the Tigers were unable to capture any additional first place finishes. Maher led off the 200-yard freestyle relay team that ultimately finished in second place with a time of 1.19.86, less than a second off of the winning time from Harvard’s top finisher. He was followed by junior Harrison Wagner, freshman Julian Mackrel, and sophomore Jeremy Wong.
“It’s definitely frustrating to lose that relay, but I think that we were all happy with the way we swam,” Maher said. “The Harvard 200 free relay is very strong and for it to be that close this late in the season bodes well for the Ivy League championships.”
Wong added a third place finish in the 100 free with a time of 44.62, while Maher added a third place finish in the 200 back with a time of 1:44.10. The Tigers claimed the fourth and fifth spots in the 200 back as well, with Wright finishing in 1:44.86 and junior Connor Jager posting a 1:45.13. Jager also earned third overall in the 200 free with a time of 1:37.48.
Despite splitting the annual H-Y-P weekend, the Tigers are not discouraged in their quest for an Ivy League title.
“It’s disappointing to lose this meet, but Ivy Championships are definitely our main focus of the season,” Maher said. “We had some great swims this weekend, but this weekend was more preparation than the final goal. Last year Harvard beat us during the regular season but then we beat them in the championship, so anything can happen.”
The Tigers return to DeNunzio Pool for one last time this season to host Columbia on Friday night at 6 p.m., which will serve as their last meet before they face Harvard and Yale once more, this time in pursuit of an Ivy title.
Men’s basketball (12-5 overall, 0-3 Ivy) fell to Dartmouth 78-69 in overtime Saturday night, a day after another close loss at rival Harvard. The Tigers had 17 turnovers on the night. Senior forward Will Barrett lead the team with a career high 28 points and scoring on a three-point play to force overtime, but the Tigers were not able to capitalize on the momentum.
Women’s basketball (11-6 overall, 2-1 Ivy) rebounded from a loss to Harvard and defeated Dartmouth 76-53 Saturday in their second game back after a 20-day break. Sophomores Michelle Miller and Alex Wheatley lead the offense with 16 and 11 points respectively, while fellow sophomore Amanda Bernstein lead the team and matched her career high with eight rebounds.
Wrestling (5-2 overall, 0-1 Ivy) split Saturday’s matches with a 34-10 victory over EIWA rival Franklin & Marshall and a 36-7 loss to No. 6 Cornell. Senior Ryan Callahan and freshman Ray O’Donnell swept their matches and were the only two to score for Princeton against Cornell.
Men’s hockey (4-17 overall, 3-11 ECAC) lost to Dartmouth 5-3 on Saturday. Senior goalkeeper Sean Bonar matched his career high with 43 saves on the night.