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Freshman Sophie Henriksen competes in the 100-yard backstroke event against Rider, finishing with a time of 1:08.63 at Sheerr Pool on Jan. 27. Credit: Samantha Turner

The start of the Ivy League Championship for women’s swimming and diving is upon us. The four-day competition commences on Feb. 15 in Princeton, N.J., and will feature the best of the best from the Ancient Eight.

All teams will be hunting Yale, which has been a dominant force all season and has yet to lose a meet. The team has a dominant 7-0 conference record, 9-0 overall. Yale's success carries over from last year, which was another undefeated season across the board. In fact, the Elis' swimming team hasn't tarnished its polished regular season record since a loss to Princeton on February 2, 2020. More recently, the Bulldogs won the Ivy Dual Meet (HYP meet), topping Harvard and Princeton a few weeks ago.

Other solid teams include Harvard and Princeton, which boast overall records of 6-2 and 8-3, respectively. Neither squad was able to topple Yale earlier this season, but both teams still have the best chance of dethroning the favorites in the tournament. The Crimson currently hold the title of defending champions as they captured the 2022 Ivy Championship, beating second-place Yale and third-place Penn.

The Quakers have been inconsistent all year and sit near the bottom of conference standings with a disappointing 2-5 Ivy record. However, they are coming off a solid win against Rider, which they can use to build some momentum. The Red and Blue have a notable win against the Tigers from earlier in the season — another glimmer of hope. 

Senior Anna Kalandadze has been excellent all year and holds Top-50 NCAA times in the 500-meter freestyle, 1000-meter freestyle, and the 1650-meter freestyle. She will be the team leader, and Penn’s best chance at winning the longer freestyle events. The Quakers hold a Top-50 NCAA time for the 800-meter freestyle relay as well. 

Fellow senior Margot Kaczorowski will be another swimmer Penn will rely on to power its championship dreams. She adds experience to the Quaker roster, after having swam in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays at last year’s tournament.

With teams of varying depth in the mix, the Ivy Championships should put on an entertaining show for the Princeton crowd. Penn has potential to snag the top spot from the favored teams in a few events, but it would take monumental effort to pull off a win.