The atmosphere in DeNunzio Pool was electric from the start of the Ivy League Championships on Thursday to the last swim on Saturday. Head coach Susan Teeter was in her usual spot under the scoreboard, waving around a black and orange striped tiger towel for the swimmers in the water. It’s hard to see much else when you’re in the water, captain Nikki Larson said, and the towel stands out as an emblem of support from Teeter.
Though the Princeton women’s swimming and diving team didn’t manage to beat out Harvard for the Ivy League title, taking third at the end of the meet, Larson couldn’t have been prouder of the team. “I think this is the most fighting team I’ve ever been on,” said Larson, whose team brought home the Ivy title last year. “Each person can only control the things that happen in their race. And I don’t think I could be more proud of the team and the effort that they gave.”
Larson finished fifth in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Larson said she was happy that she focused on the morning sessions and heeded Teeter’s warning: If you don’t swim well in the morning, you don’t get a chance to swim well at night. Every Princeton swimmer’s goal is to get into the top eight to get themselves in scoring position in the evening, and Larson said they managed that goal incredibly.
“I think the reason [coach Teeter] is so successful is that she makes a huge effort to make sure all the girls know she cares about them as people. It’s easy to swim for someone who cares about you as a person,” Larson said, adding that Teeter takes special care to ask her swimmers about their lives outside of athletics. “It’s always been a holistic approach,” she said.