The Biggest Stories from around the Ancient Eight

Published by Jacob D. H. Feldman on April 20, 2012 at 11:04PM

With spring seasons winding down and championship races heating up, it’s been a busy week in Ivy League sports. To help you keep up with everything that’s going on around the Ancient Eight, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest stories from each school.

BROWN: Pool Features ‘Fast’ Technology

The Ivy League has a new addition, and boy is it flashy. The Katherine Moran Coleman Center will play home to the Bears water polo, swimming, and diving teams and opened to the public on Monday. Brown swimming head coach Peter Brown said the state-of-the-art facility will help put the program on the map.

“If people know you have a fast pool, they want to swim in it,” he said. “It gives you a nice reputation. If you go across the country, you know where the fast pools are. You can have a beautiful pool, but if you have a fast one, it makes it extra special.”


COLUMBIA: Four Columbia Fencers Will Represent the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics

The Lions suffered a tough loss in the fencing Ivy League Championships, but four current and former members of the team will have a chance to redeem the Ivy disappointment by succeeding in the Olympics. It was recently announced that “Nzingha Prescod and Nicole Ross were selected to be a part of the women’s foil team, while Jeff Spear and James Williams will represent the Light Blue in the men’s foil.”

Williams graduated in 2007 and gained Olympic experience while taking silver in Beijing in 2008.


CORNELL: C.U. Hosts Nationals at Oxley

Both Cornell polo teams are hosting the National Polo Tournament at Oxley Equestrian

Center this week and weekend. Four top women’s teams and six premiere men’s squads will battle through Sunday for the title. The Big Red men are attempting to improve upon a second-place finish at nationals last season, and sophomore Nik Feldman thinks his team is hitting its stride at just the right time.

“We’re really playing the best polo we’ve played all year,” Feldman said. “I don’t think we could be any better prepared at this point.”


DARTMOUTH: Rugby Soundly Defeats Ivy Foes

After a slow start, the Dartmouth rugby team demolished Harvard and Princeton over the weekend to cement their spot at the top of the Ivy League. The Big Green will now be the sole representative of the Ancient Eight in the 16-team national tournament. Dartmouth will play its first two games in Hanover, but co-captain Derek Fish understands that anything can happen in the first rounds of a single-elimination tournament.

“It’s one-and-done from here out, and we’re playing all conference champion teams,” he said. “We can’t look at what they’ve done, but we need to just play our game of territory and ball control.”


PENN: No Excuse to Miss Penn Relay

The Penn Relays, which will take place Apr 26-28, will be free to students with a “PennCard”. About 985 U.S. high schools, 33 Jamaican schools, and 29 from elsewhere around the globe will be represented at Franklin Field. In 2010, Usain Bolt electrified a record crowd at the Relays. A number of other star Olympians have made their appearances here through the years, as well.


PRINCETON: Many Support Current System Over Ivy Tournament Proposal

At the present time, the Ivy League is the only conference that chooses its representative in the NCAA basketball tournament based solely on regular season success. But that may change. Coaches are reportedly pushing to institute a four-team playoff, but several Princeton players and coaches have come out against that idea.

“I’ve been in first place, I’ve been in seventh place, I’ve been in third place, so I’ve been in all areas, and I couldn’t be more black-and-white in my thinking that I don’t think any single-bid conference should have a tournament,” said women’s basketball coach Courtney Banghart. “We need to make sure that our best teams are going to the [NCAA] tournament.”


YALE: Bulldogs Outlast Bears in 4-OT

Last Friday, the Yale men’s lacrosse team extended its winning streak to four…but it took a while. After three scoreless overtime sessions, junior Deron Dempster finally broke the tie as the Bulldogs won, 11-10. The marathon win secured a spot for Yale in the Ivy League Tournament. It wasn’t the longest game in Yale history, though, and isn’t even the longest contest of the year. Earlier this season, the Elis lost to Princeton after five overtimes.