Princeton teams earn record 15 Ivy League titles in single year

When the Princeton women's open rowing first varsity eight boat put open water between itself and the rest of its competition at the Eastern Sprints on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., on Sunday, May 15, the result was about more than making up for last year's disappointment in the same race.

The victory marked the 15th Ivy League championship for Princeton in the 2010-11 academic year, one more than the previous record that Princeton shared with Harvard.

"As gratifying as achieving 15 Ivy League championships is," said Princeton Director of Athletics Gary Walters, "the educational experience that our student-athletes receive through the competitive and collaborative aspects of intercollegiate athletics is even more rewarding."

In women's open crew, the top Ivy League team at the first varsity eight races at the Eastern Sprints earns the league's championship. The Princeton crew, which is ranked first nationally, continued its undefeated season with a dominating performance in the grand final. The Tigers also avenged last year's second-place finish at the Eastern Sprints, where they had entered as the favorite as well.

The championship added to four Ivy titles for Princeton in the fall, seven in the winter and three in the spring. The Ivy League sponsors 33 official league sports, which means that five Princeton teams compete in non-Ivy League sports. Included in this group is women's lightweight rowing, whose own Eastern Sprints championship last weekend does not count as an Ivy title.

This year, Princeton won three league championships on the same day, May 8, in men's and women's outdoor track and field and in baseball, to tie the record of 14 before the women's open rowing championship.

Along the way to setting the new record, Princeton won the men's and women's cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field championships, marking only the 19th time in Division I history -- and first time in Ivy history -- that a school has done so. In addition, the Princeton men's and women's basketball teams won Ivy League titles and qualified for the NCAA tournament in the same year for the first time in school history.

Other Ivy-winning teams in 2010-11 were field hockey and men's soccer in the fall, and women's fencing, and men's and women's swimming and diving in the winter.

Princeton also had four teams finish second in the league in 2010-11. Three of those four -- women's soccer, men's squash and men's tennis -- came extremely close to winning their league titles.

The previous record of 14 Ivy titles in a single year was first achieved by Princeton in 1999-2000 and matched a year later in 2000-01. Harvard also won 14 Ivy titles in 2004-05.

Princeton has now reached double figures in the Ivy titles 20 times. Harvard has done so five times; no other league school has ever done so.

The first year of official Ivy competition was 1956-57, when Yale won seven titles that year. Harvard twice matched that record before earning eight Ivy titles in 1967-68. The record stayed at eight until Princeton won nine in 1976-77, three years after the league started awarding women's championships.

Princeton was the first school to double figures, as the Tigers won 11 titles in 1979-80, and two years later the record was pushed to 13. Nearly 20 years passed before Princeton added to the record by getting to 14.

This year's 15 Ivy title-winning teams are made up of nearly 400 student-athletes. To read more about this year's championship teams, visit the Princeton athletics website.