W. Swimming Falls to Yale, Princeton
The No. 25 Tigers (7-0, 6-0 Ivy) coasted past the Crimson, 190-127, as Harvard fell to Yale, 175-144. Princeton defeated Yale (10-1, 5-1 Ivy), 144-125.
The Crimson’s two days of competition were highlighted by several team members’ outstanding individual performances and outstanding swims by the senior class.
Senior distance veteran Rebekah Lorenz opened up the competition on Saturday evening by posting Harvard’s top performance in the 1000-yard freestyle. Lorenz’s 10:15.29 was good enough for a third place finish in the race with Princeton and a fourth place against Yale. That time is the seventh fastest performance in team history. Lorenz’s 5:03.32 in the 500 was good enough for fourth place finishes against both the Tigers and the Bulldogs.
“Our seniors didn’t want to go out quietly, since a lot of us are probably retiring after this meet,” Lorenz said. “We really stepped up and swam with a lot of heart and led the team well.”
“The seniors really had a great last meet, and Rebekah Lorenz’s performance in the 1000 was especially inspiring for the whole team,” co-captain Catie Lee said.
Senior co-captain Janna McDougall’s H-Y-P swims were equally impressive. McDougall was second overall in the 50 freestyle, 23.78, third overall in the 100 freestyle, 52.12, and anchored both the second place 200-medley relay and the winning 400-freestyle relay. McDougall followed Molly Ward, Kate Nadeau, and Anna Fraser in the 400-free relay, finishing in 3:28.01.
“I wish I had won the 50 and the 100, but my times were really fast for this time of year,” McDougall said. “I was a lot faster this year than at this meet last year. Also, I am really happy with how individuals on our team swam, especially Molly Ward and EricaDeBenedetto.”
Together, Ward and DeBenedetto led the Crimson’s youth explosion that propelled the team within striking distance of Yale.
Sophomore Erica DeBenedetto dominated the 100-yard breaststroke, taking the victory in 1:04.84. DeBenedetto’s swim is the fourth fastest performance in team history, and moves the sophomore just ahead of Coach Steph Wriede-Morwaski ‘91 on the all-time depth chart in that event.
Ward captured the 100-yard freestyle in a personal best time of 51.45. After this weekend, Ward is now one of the Crimson’s top 10 in history in the 50, 100, and 200-yard freestyles.
On the boards, the story was quite similar. Freshman Coral Day-Davis was the top Harvard diver on the one-meter, finishing fifth overall. On the three-meter, her classmate Anne Osmun was the top Harvard performer, finishing fourth overall.
Sophomore flyer Kate Nadeau, perhaps the Crimson’s most consistent team member, captured the 200-yard butterfly in a pool record of 2:03.74.
Records and wins aside, Nadeau and her teammates have their sights set on the weeks to come.
“I think that as a team we have a really good chance of beating Yale and Brown at Ivies,” Nadeau said. “I would really like to break 2:00 in the fly, go the NCAA automatic cut, and win the 200 fly at that meet.”
The Ivy Championships, which Harvard will host from Feb. 21-23, will be the only time this season that the top teams in the league get to square off on equal footing, with each team’s athletes fully rested, tapered and shaved down.
“We had some really fast swims and we’re really proud of how we performed this weekend,” Lorenz said. “We’re really excited to get the chance to take down Yale and a few other teams at the Ivy championships.”