At the closing ceremonies of last week’s swimming and diving Ivy League championship (Feb. 23-25 at Blodgett Pool), the Harvard women took to the podium to collect their trophy. Thing is, it wasn’t exactly the prize they had set out to win. That prize – the 2006 Ivy League Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship – went to Princeton, who bettered the defending champion hosts by 135 points after three days of aquatics.
More than a tiny consolation, however – the Crimson strokers did receive the dual-meet trophy by virtue of their unbeaten 2005-06 Ivy campaign (10-0 overall; 7-0 Ivy). But what must be a matter of some frustration for the up-until-very-recently unbeaten Harvard team – owners of 20 straight dual-meet victories spanning two seasons and a national ranking teetering within the Top 20 – is that heading into Blodgett they appeared poised to successfully defend the Ivy title they had swiped from the Tigers a season ago. What’s more, the Crimson had previously dispensed with their black and orange rivals in early February to the tune of 203-116.
Yet, in this most recent showdown, the Cambridge crew found themselves in the role of runner-up, trailing Princeton by no fewer than 100 points at the end of each evening’s finals. By the afternoon of Feb. 25, the Tigers had mustered up 1,580 points to Harvard’s 1,445 – quite good enough to secure their sixth league title in seven seasons. Columbia, meanwhile, finished in third with 968.5 points, besting Penn by 21 points. Finishing fifth through eighth were Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell.
Individually, Harvard’s Noelle Bassi ’07 was named swimmer of the meet after capturing the 200-yard butterfly in 1:58.81 – a meet and Ivy League record. Bassi also captured the 400-yard individual medley and placed second in the 500-yard freestyle. On the springboard, Alison Pipitone ’08 was named co-diver of the meet, tallying 32 points in the three-meter event. But like many of the other events throughout the three-day meet, Princeton had an answer. In this case, four Tiger divers placed in the top 10 for 96 points.
For complete results and news for the upcoming NCAA championships, visit http://www.gocrimson.com.