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The Harvard women's swimming team posted one of the most impressive victories in its history Saturday, beating Princeton in New Jersey.
The Crimson set the tone early, won the opening relay and never looked back on the way to a 76-70 first ever triumph against the Tigers.
"It was incredible," an overjoyed Elaine Sang said yesterday. "It was a total team effort, and for many of us it was the biggest win of our lives."
The Crimson's poolside enthusiasm translated directly into exceptional performances from the entire Harvard squad--from top to button.
The meet's outstanding swimmer was freshman Karen Dehmel who won the 200-yd, butterfly, swam on the school record-setting 400-yd, medley relay, and won the penultimate event, the 400-yd, individual medley.
By winning the 400-IM, Dehmel ensured the Crimson of its history making first victory over the Tigers.
But Dehmel was not the only swimmer to rise to new heights. Sang put in a fine showing, winning the 100 and 200 yd backstrokes the 100-yd in school record time, as swimming in the 400-yd in dividual medley relay.
Diana Watts was also on that 400 IM relay team, and she came from behind on the anchor leg of that event to edge out her adversary and thus set the pattern for the rest of the meet.
Harvard's divers, notably Jennifer Goldberg and Shannon Byrd, excelled against the strongest competion they have faced all year, finishing first and second in both diving events and scoring invaluable points for the team.
Equally important elements in the women's victory were the sacrifices made by many of Harvard's swimmers, who selflessly decided to to forego their best events and swim in some of their weaker events so that the team's talent would be events distributed.
The redistribution of swimmers was made possible by the team's exceptional depth.
"We have a large team instead of just a few really outstanding swimmers," Rival said.
The team has not always been this cohesive or as successful as it is now, and many swimmers credit their victory over the Tiger and their newfound well-being to their first year coach. Maura Costin, who incidently was the coach of last year's Princeton squad which defeated the crimson.
Not Me. Thank You
But Costin refused to take credit for the victory.
"People just got in there and raced," she said adding that this aggressiveness is now the common attitude.
"She told us to race the people and win the races," freshman, Molty Clark said.
Which is exactly what the swimmers did.
The women's team record is now 3-1 in the Ivy League (7-3 overall) and neither the swimmers nor the coach think the squad will be seriously challenged in upcoming meets with Cornell and Penn
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