Unbeaten Harvard Takes Down Ivy Foe

In a meet in which three of its members each brought home two individual race wins, the Harvard women’s swimming and diving team continued its Ivy League dominance and handily took care of Brown (0-3, 0-2 Ivy), 193-107, Saturday afternoon at Blodgett Pool.

For the Crimson (5-0, 5-0), it was freshman Kelsey Hojan-Clark and senior Meghan Leddy in the pool, and senior Leslie Rea on the diving board, who led the team to the third win of the season where it outscored its opponents by 80 points or more.

“I think it went really well,” Rea said. “A lot of us just got back early yesterday morning, around 4 AM, from our training trip. So, especially considering that, I think it definitely went well. I’m happy with how people did and excited that we won again.”

Junior Caroline Weaver reiterated Rea’s statement, emphasizing the physical toll that the training trip placed on the swimmers and divers.

“What our trip entails is just a huge volume of swimming," Weaver explained. "We were doing doubles every day for eight days straight. I think every body is pretty beaten down. For example, our distance groups on the training trip swam 75,000 yards in a week—which is equivalent to about 46 miles. So I definitely think everybody is pretty tired.”

The meet kicked off with Harvard taking first, second, and third in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Hojan-Clark led all swimmers with a time of 17:04.58, followed by seniors Catherine Zargroba and Kristi Korsberg, who came in at 17:11.68 and 17:32.16, respectively.

This one, two, three finish would occur three times throughout the course of the meet for Harvard. The next of which, the 200-yard backstroke, was also bested by Hojan-Clark. The freshman’s time of 2:06.45 was followed by sophomore Deidre Clute’s 2:06.97 and classmate Danielle Schulkin’s 2:07.77.

In the 500-yard freestyle, Leddy clocked in with an event-best time of 5:02.37. Rookie Ana Anaya trailed the senior by nine seconds and finished in second-place at 5:11.45. Leddy didn’t stop there—she also came in first in the 200-yard butterfly.

Later in the meet, sophomore Sara Li took home the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:08.32. The victory was a close one, as freshman Stephanie Ferrell came in at 2:08.39—only seven hundredths of a second behind.

Senior Alicia Lightbourne led the competition with a time of 24.58 in the 50-yard freestyle. But just like Li’s 200 IM did not come without a challenge, Lightbourne also only barely beat out the next fastest swimmer. This time it was teammate junior Laura Evans who finished the fly only 0.1 seconds behind Lightbourne, at 24.68.

Next, junior Weaver gave the Crimson yet another victory, finishing the 100-yard butterfly in 57.56.

“What’s fun in this meet is that Brown is not our closest competition, so our coach gives us the opportunity to swim events that we don’t ordinarily get to swim during the season,” Weaver said. “For instance, I’m a backstroker, but I swam in the 100 breast and the 100 fly. The fly was actually a great race for me; I won it in a 57, which isn’t blistering fast, but it’s always fun to swim in events that you don’t usually get to swim in.”

In several of the last events of the day, the Harvard freshmen were the ones who pushed their team higher on the scoreboard. Rookie Faith Martin beat out teammates and opponents alike for first place in the 100-yard backstroke. She finished in 57.79, over two seconds before any other swimmer.

Sarah Sumner swam next for the freshmen and completed the 100-yard freestyle in 52.65. She was succeeded by fellow first-year, Courtney Otto, who won the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:20.98.

In the diving portion of the meet, senior Rea swept the events, totaling a score of 281.17 in the one-meter dive, and 333.38 in the three-meter dive.