The team that laughs last laughs best.
The Harvard women's swimming team proved that point this weekend, finshing in 25th place overall at the National Collegiate Swimming Championships at Indianapolis, Ind.
Last month, the Crimson fell just short of Brown at the Eastern Championships in Providence. But the Harvard women's swimming unit earned 16 points this weekend, while the Bruins failed to score.
The University of Texas copped the championship, defeating defending champion Stanford in the 40-team field.
"We had the best time this weekend." Harvard Coach Maura Costin Scalise said. "We just went for the experience, but I never thought that we would be able to earn points there."
The Crimson placed in three events--two relays and one individual--over the weekend. While never finishing in the top eight of any race, the consolation finalists earned the first NCAA points in Harvard women's swimming history.
Freshman Mia Costello--the first individual swimmer to go to nationals--picked up an honorable mention All-America award with her 13th-place showing in the 200 breaststroke. Costello's time of 2:20.07 bettered her school record and left her fifth in the consolation final.
"This was the best meet of the season," Costello said. "No one expected us to do anything, but we showed them, didn't we?"
The best Harvard finish came in the 400 medley relay, when the team of Sheila Findley, Costello, Mary Quinn and Linda Suhs grabbed 12th overall with a school record time of 3:49.06. In doing so, the Crimson beat such national powerhouses as UCLA and Southern Illinois.
In addition, Findley's split of 58.46 in the backstroke leg of the relay dropped her school record mark by over .5 of a second. The swim gave all four honorable mention All-America standing as well.
Ironically, the Crimson was just touched out of 11th place in the race by the University of Alabama--the school where Costin Scalise started her coaching career as an assistant.
On the first day, Harvard got on the scoreboard with a 16th-place showing in the 200 medley relay, as Findley, Costello, Quinn, and Suhs put together a team record time of 1:45.47.
In all, five Harvard records were broken--both relays, Findley's two opening backstroke legs and Costello's 200 breststroke. Diver Jenny Greene and both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams also competed for the Crimson, but fell just short of earning points.
Harvard's showing at the meet was the best of any Eastern team, although Boston University came close with 12 points.
"We beat Brown, which is always inspiring," Costin Scalise said. "Our showing this weekend just made us want to go back again, but next time with more people."
As a result of the strong showing at NCAAs, Harvard was able to defeat the archrival Bruins 2 of the 3 times they squared off this year. The Crimson won a dual meet against Brown last December.
The Crimson's goal for the 1987-'88 season is to capture the final jewel in that triple crown.
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