Swimmers Drown Opponents
Women Rally, Catch Brown
A record-breaking victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay pushed the Harvard women's swim team (the women violently insist that they not be called Radcliffe swimmers) past Brown, 66-65, in a Saturday morning thriller at the IAB.
Trailing by six points going into the final event, Crimson coach Stephanie Walsh decided to enter only her best relay team in the 400-yard finale because she "wanted to minimize the motion in the pool" and maximize "the cheering outside the pool."
Her gamble paid off as Harvard won the relay and took the seven points (the relay is scored 7-0; all other events are scored 5-3-1) to win the tension-packed contest, and move the team's season record to 2-1.
The Crimson relay team of Sharon Beckman, Elspeth Farmer, Jane Fayer, and Maura Costin set a new team record of 4:00.1, breaking the old record of 4:01.5 set in 1974.
Freshmen Fayer and Costin each won three individual events and were part of the winning relay team. In addition, Costin set two new team records in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly.
Costin broke her sister RoAnn's 1974 record of 2:03.6 in the freestyle with a time of 2:01.5. She shattered Jane McNamara's 1975 record of 2:42.2 by almost 26 seconds with a time of 2:16.3 in the butterfly.
The swimmers were under pressure to produce because two of their divers were unable to compete. Sophomore Kathy Lindenthal is currently on academic probation, and freshman Molly Munch also had to sit out the meet.
Suzanne Abkowitz, a freshman who has been diving for just eight days, performed surprisingly well and picked up third-place points in both the option and required diving events.
Crimson assistant coach Paula Newman, who took control of the team during the past two weeks while Walsh was recuperating from emergency surgery, said after the meet, "It was a real strong performance; the girls have worked hard to prepare and as a result they swam really well."