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STORRS, Conn. --Things could have turned out a lot worse. As butterflyer Norma Barton put it, with "half the team either sick, injured or out of shape," the Crimson aquawomen could have lost last night's meet here against the University of Connecticut Huskies.
Luckily, the Harvard squad overcame Kathy Davis's and Kathleen McCloskey's injuries, plus several team members' assorted ailments, and the whole team's exam period hangover to coast to an 83-57 victory over UConn.
Despite some pre-meet doubts, the score was never even close. In fact, after, the team of Janie Smith, Karen Chen Barton and Terri Frick copped a victory in the 200-yd. medley relay with a 1:56.42 to give the team a 7-0 lead, the Crimson never led by less than eight points, and at one point, the squad was ahead by 33.
Maureen Gildea followed the initial victory with her usual easy win in the 500 free, clocking a 5:10.4. McCloskey, whose sprained ankle left her unable to swim butterfly, usually her specialty, followed in second place with a 5:22.3.
With a 15-1 lead to work with, the Crimson never had to look back. After Frick's victory in the 200 IM increased the team's lead to 21-4, however, back-to-back Huskie wins in the 100-yd. freestyle and 50-yd. backstroke shrank the lead to 26-18.
UConn's Janice Poirier barely outswam Smith in the 100 free, requiring a judge's decision to break a virtual tie, as both swimmers clocked identical 55.91 times in the hand-timed meet.
The Crimson's Chen bolstered the team's sagging lead with a 33.4 second victory in the 50-yd. breaststroke, and Barton followed that triumph with a 59.8 win in the 100-yd. butterfly.
Pam Stone and Adriana Holy then performed their usual act in the one-meter diving event, finishing one-two as they have all year. Stone set her first of two Connecticut pool records, tallying 233.85 points.
Later in the meet, Stone set a pool record in the three-meter event with 255.15 points. Holy overcame one painful early dive to finish second in that event. The one-two finish in the three-meter competition pushed the aquawomen over the 70-point barrier and clinched the victory.
Between the two diving events, the Crimson pulled victories in the 50 free, 200 free and 50-yd. fly, with Smith winning the freestyle sprint with a 25.7, Gildea cruising to her second victory of the night in the 200, and Frick winning the second event of her eventual triple with a 27.8 in the 50 fly, an event in which Smith finished second.
Frick later won her third event of the night with a victory in the penultimate 100-yd. breaststroke, recording a 1:13.9.
With the victory clinched, coach Stephanie Walsh could afford to juggle her lineup for the final event, the 200-yd. freestyle relay. Her experiment proved unsuccessful, and a UConn team recorded seven points to end the meet.
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