The Harvard women’s swimming and diving team (5-1, 4-1 Ivy) puts its four months of official workouts on the line this weekend at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton double dual meet. The Tigers and the Bulldogs will be the Crimson’s fiercest and most difficult competition so far this year, and the results from this weekend will set the stage for the Ivy Championships at Harvard later this month.
Senior co-captains Janna McDougall and Catie Lee feel the team is ready for the challenge.
“This is always a great meet and we’re just looking to swim our best times and build momentum off each swim,” Lee said. “We see Princeton as our main rival and we’re psyched to go into this meet as the underdog and see what we can do.”
This weekend’s challenge will be considerable, as Harvard attempts to avenge defeats from last year’s HYP.
The No. 25 Tigers (5-0, 4-0 Ivy) have not lost a dual meet in over two years and have never dropped a contest at HYP since its inception for women in 1999.
Princeton is led by a crop of talented seniors. Distance ace Val Kukla, Ivy champion Kate Conroy, and World University Games qualifier Danielle Stramandi will direct the Tigers’ attack.
Yale (9-0, 4-0 Ivy) will rely on a handful of competitors who have already performed well this season. Captain Emily Fain, individual medley specialist Susan Cooke, distance powerhouse Heidi Kraus, and sprinter Paige Harazin will defend the claustraphobia-inducing Kiphuth Pool against an eager Harvard team.
“The meet at Yale always draws many fans for our team, and the tight space can really make it an intense atmosphere,” McDougall said.
Harvard will turn to breaststrokers Jelena Kristic and Racheal O’Beirne for outstanding performances in both breaststrokes and the relays.
“We need people like sprinters Anna Fraser and Molly Ward to really step up this weekend,” Lee said. “We know they can do it.”
The Crimson will also rely on former team record holder and butterflyer sophomore Kate Nadeau. Nadeau has ranked as one of the top flyers in the league this season, and her personal best in the 200-yard distance is almost a full two seconds faster than Yale’s pool record.
Princeton’s greatest strength in recent years has been its divers. Sophomore Renee Paradise will lead first-years Coral Day-Davis and Anne Osmun as Harvard diving tries to establish itself as the triumvirate to beat at the league champions.
“We’re not going to underestimate Yale or Princeton,” McDougall said. “Their coaches always know how to get their teams to perform.”
Harvard starts competition at 7 p.m. following the men’s meets.