The weekend began with Saturday Night Fever for Crimson swimmers, but by Sunday the beat had slowed and yesterday the glitter was tarnished.
The Harvard women fell to fourth place as the Ivy Swimming and Diving Championships came to an end. Yale held off Princeton by five points, 847-842, and Dartmouth edged past Harvard and into third place, 752-722. Penn, which withdrew yesterday because of sickness, finished with 261 points.
It was not so much that Harvard did the slow shuffle during this weekend's marathon; the other teams just picked up the tempo in events where the Crimson was weak--the breaststroke and the butterfly--and slowly dampened its spirits.
"I couldn't have asked the kids to do any better," Coach Stephanie Walsh said after it was over. "They swam out of their league. It was the 1650 swimmers that set it off Saturday night."
Things started well in last night's finals as Harvard took its third relay in the meet, the 200-yd, freestyle, making it a clean sweep of the freestyle relays for the all-star team of Liz Kelly, Sherry Lubbers, Laurie Downey and Jane Fayer. Fayer touched out her Princeton freestyle adversary by .44 second for the Crimson victory (1:42.35).
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Two events after swimming a 25-second, 50-yd. split in the relay, Downey came back to take her second individual first in the 100-yd. backstroke; finishing in 1:02.02. Kelly then followed with a third in the 200-yd. freestyle.
But the tide was turning. The races were closer and Dartmouth started catching up with strong performances in the 100-yd. breaststroke and the 100-yd. butterfly. Diana Borden finished sixth in the breaststroke and Harvard was shut out of the top eight in the butterfly.
Walsh called the butterfly the turning point for the Crimson. The 50-yd. freestyle followed and this time Fayer was beaten to the wall by just .04 seconds.
This was a true heartbreaker. Fayer swam the fastest qualifying time, and indeed the fastest time of the day (0:25.79), but in the final, Dartmouth's Nancy Gildan came up with an excellent turn and won it by, well, a fingernail (0:25.84).
The diving team held ground as Peri Ozkum picked up a third and Molly Munch placed fifth in the three-meter diving event.
The 100-yd. individual medley followed and Laurie Downey represented Harvard's final chance. She fell behind on the butterfly leg of the medley but came on in the backstroke and took the lead in the breaststroke. But as Crimson luck had it, Princeton's Nancy Sykes won by .15 seconds in 1:02.37.
Meanwhile Yale's Helen Hyde picked up her fourth individual first, in the 100-yd. breaststroke, to help Yale keep its lead over Princeton. The Tigers received a star performance from Mary Sykes, who had three firsts in the 200-yd freestyle, the 50-yd. butterfly, and the 100-yd. I.M., also giving her four individual firsts for the meet.