For nearly a decade, three-time U.S. Olympian Janet Evans conquered the waters against the elite in freestyle swimming.
Now, a similarly-named but altogether different Evans dominates the waters at Blodgett Pool for the Harvard women’s swimming and diving team—freshman Jane Evans.
Despite swimming alongside numerous school record holders, Evans has immediately made her presence felt in the lanes, propelling Harvard to three early-season victories—including one against Brown, whom the Crimson had not defeated in dual competition since 1999.
Evans has had no difficulty adjusting to the heightened competition and has left opponents in her wake. In just two weeks of competition, the versatile freshman has produced six victories in five different events.
“Jane is a crucial component for our team,” said co-captain Jane Humphries following Friday’s victory over Brown.
In her most impressive performance thus far—during the Nov. 16 Cornell-Dartmouth tri-meet—Evans showed off her endurance by dominating the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing nearly three seconds ahead the runner-up and five seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
And in a tough early-season test against Brown—one that should be indicative of the Crimson’s performance this season—Evans thrived across the board, winning the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley.
Evans showed no signs of fatigue in her third event of the day, winning the IM in a time of 2:07.77, nearly two seconds faster than the rest of the field.
“It’s really good that I have a lot of races,” Evans said. “Depending on how my teammates do, I can fill in as needed.”
And though Evans has done a tremendous job so far, she has yet to meet her own expectations.
“I’m not doing too well compared to my times from high school,” Evans said.
If three victories per meet isn’t enough for her, then both Evans, already a standout, and Harvard have four years of limitless potential lying ahead.