Last year the Crimson (3-0, 3-0 Ivy) had an undefeated season and an Ivy championship. This year, it has started strong, winning its first two meets against Brown (1-1, 1-1) on Friday and beating Cornell (0-2, 0-2) and Dartmouth (1-1, 1-1 on Saturday.
HARVARD 181, CORNELL 119
HARVARD 189, DARTMOUTH 111
Harvard finished the weekend with a dual meet against the Big Red and the Big Green. It trampled both teams by large margins, beating Cornell 181-119 and Dartmouth 189-111.
Even though the Crimson was not swimming its top lineup in the meet, it was still able to crush the competition. Harvard won its first two events of the meet—the 200-yard medley relay and 1,000-yard freestyle.
“It’s an exciting meet, especially since Dartmouth and Cornell are close in competition,” junior captain Jessica Davidson said. “It’s an opportunity for us to do some fun events and break out of the norm and sometimes people surprise themselves.”
Sophomores Lindsay Hart and Meaghan Colling and juniors LeeAnn Chan and Emily Wilson made up the winning relay team and were followed close by the team of seniors Kim Ono and Erin Mulkey, sophomore Amanda Slaight, and freshman Kelly Mooney, who took home second place.
It was another two freshmen who got two of the top spots in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with Kristen Harper taking first place and Paola Duquet coming in third.
“They are great,” Davidson said. “Harper and Duquet came out and won the 1,000 and it was a nice surprise.”
The Crimson then went on to win seven of the remaining 14 events.
Senior Jane Evans helped her team with first-place points in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley—where she was followed by Mooney, who grabbed the third-place spot.
Ono was able to rack up her second top-three finish when she won the 200-yard backstroke, with Wilson finishing in third.
Ono was not the only one who recorded multiple top-three finishes. Chang and senior Noelle Bassi also registered two top individual performances.
Chang led a one-two finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, with senior captain Joanna Lee taking second place, and was the only top-three finisher in the 200-yard butterfly with her second-place time.
Bassi did well in the 100-yard butterfly with a second-place finish, and claimed the third-place points in the 100-yard backstroke behind Davidson, who finished second.
The last top finish in the swimming events came from freshman Emiley Jellie, who won the 500-yard freestyle.
Other top finishers for Harvard included Hart, who took third in the 200-yard freestyle; Colling, who placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle; freshman Carol Green, who came in sixth in the 100-yard freestyle; and Davidson, Hart, sophomore Catherine Skoda, and freshman Christi Morrissey, who grabbed second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
But it wasn’t just the swimmers who dominated, as the Crimson divers claimed first and second in both events. Sophomore Samantha Papadakis won the one-meter dive, followed by classmate Alison Pipitone, who took second. The roles were later reversed, as the three-meter dive was won by Pipitone, with Papadakis taking second.
HARVARD 179.5, BROWN 115.5
Earlier in the weekend Harvard took on the Bears in their first meet of the season and won—179.5 to 115.5.
“I thought it was fun to swim Brown first,” Hart said. “It’s a more intense meet and we did a great job.”
The Crimson won all the events it swam and 12 out of the 14 in which it competed.
Harvard started the meet well with a solid win in the 200-yard medley relay, with its team of Hart, Colling, Chang, and Mulkey. They were followed by their teammates: Ono, Lee, Bassi, and Slaight who claimed third.
The Crimson also dominated in the next event, the 1,000-yard freestyle, as Jellie took first place followed by junior Stacey Blondin.
Jellie wasn’t the only freshman to have an impact. Duquet had a top-three finish in two events, finishing second to Wilson in both the 200- and 50- yard freestyle events.
“[The freshmen] are training really hard and have a really good attitude,” Davidson said. “I think they will add so much strength to our program.”
Freshman Linnea Sundberg also did well in her Crimson debut, taking third in the 200-yard backstroke.
That rounded out a one-two-three finish behind Hart and Skoda, who finished in first- and second-place, respectively.
Hart and Skoda led another one-two-three finish in the 100-yard backstroke, followed this time by Ono in third. In addition, Colling, Bassi, Evans, Slaight, and Mulkey all had multiple top finishes during the meet.
“We do seem very strong in a lot of areas this year,” Davidson said. “I think we are very well-rounded this year.”
Colling led a one-two finish in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. She was followed by Chang, who placed second in the 100, and Evans, who placed second in the 200.
Evans also finished third in the 200-yard butterfly behind Bassi, who took the top spot. Bassi took the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly.
Mulkey had multiple strong finishes, as she won both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. She was trailed in the 50 by Slaight, who finished third.
The divers did well but were unable to earn the top finishes that the swimmers secured. Papadakis and Pipitone finished second- and third-place respectively in both the one- and three-meter dive events, falling short to Brown’s Jessica Larson both times.
Because Harvard had won all but two events of the meet, the Crimson decided to swim the last two as exhibitions to give itself more of a break and end the meet with a more relaxed attitude.
“Looking towards the end of the season we have some good competition coming up,” Davidson said. “I think how we performed this weekend is a good indication for the rest of the season.”
—Staff writer Abigail M. Baird can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.