Men's Swimming Wraps Up Ivy Championship/All-America Season At NCAAs
A historic Princeton men's swimming and diving season, which included a dramatic Day 3 comeback to win the 2016 Ivy League championship, finished over the weekend at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta. Below is a full recap of the weekend, including an All-America performance by the 200 free relay.
DAY 1: The quartet of En-Wei Hu-Van Wright, Sandy Bole, Julian Mackrel and Alex Lewis made Princeton history in Atlanta Thursday during Day 2 of the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. After qualifying for the consolation final during the preliminary session, the Tigers jumped up three spots to finish 13th in a time of 1:18.02 and earn All-America Honorable Mention.
After finishing 16th in preliminaries — the last spot available to clinch an All-America honor — in a time of 1:18.25, the Tigers cut nearly a quarter second off that time to move up to 13th. Hu-Van Wright, the Ivy League runner-up in the 50 free, opened in a split of 19.71, and senior Sandy Bole followed in 19.26. Junior Julian Mackrel posted an impressive 19.14, more than a half-second better than his Ivies split, while sophomore Alex Lewis rounded it off in 19.67.
This is Princeton's first All-America relay since 2012, when Jon Christensen, Kaspar Raigla, Michael Strand and Harrison Wagner earned Honorable Mention in the 200 medley relay. The group is only the fourth All-America 200 free relay in the last 20 years, and the first since 2009 (Mike Carter, Colin Cordes, Jon Hartmann and Doug Lennox).
D'Alessandro posted a Top-30 finish in his first NCAA Championships individual event. The three-time reigning Ivy League champion in the 200 IM finished in 1:45.04, 28th-best in the field, while Okubo finished in 1:47.69, the 43rd-best time.
Hu-Van Wright took 35th in the 50 free in a time of 19.80.
DAY 2: One day after Princeton claimed its first All-America men's relay since 2012, the Princeton trio of Teo D'Alessandro, Corey Okubo and En-Wei Hu-Van Wright each competed in individual events during Friday's preliminary session at the NCAA Championships. Though each placed inside the Top 35, none was able to advance to the Friday night session.
Okubo was up first in the 400 IM. The 2015 Ivy champion and 2016 runner-up in the event finished 30th in the nation in a time of 3:49.05. D'Alessandro followed in the 200 free, and he produced a season-best time of 1:36.03 to take 35th.
The closest Princeton came to an individual All-America honor Friday came from Hu-Van Wright, who finished 23rd in the 100 back. The 2016 Ivy League champion in the event, Hu-Van Wright finished in 46.65.
DAY 3: Princeton completed its 2016 season with three swims, including an exciting 400 free relay that finished less than one second away from being the Tigers' second All-America relay of the weekend.
Teo D'Alessandro capped his terrific Princeton career by finished 32nd in the 100 free in a time of 43.48. D'Alessandro, one of the three tri-captains this season, wraps up a career that included three individual Ivy League championships and three Ivy team titles.
Okubo followed by finishing 37th in the 200 fly in a time of 1:45.60. Okubo was one of the key performers in Princeton's historic Saturday comeback to win the 2016 Ivy League title. He won the 200 back and followed with a runner-up finish in the 200 fly, securing critical team points in the comeback effort.
Princeton held Hu-Van Wright from the 100 free to keep him fresh for the 400 free relay, and it nearly helped the Tigers get back to the evening session. Unfortunately, he, Bole, Mackrel and Schafer finished in 2:53.18, less than .4 of a second outside of the Top 16 and another All-America honor.