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The Harvard swimming teams coasted to easy victories over Cornell Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y. The Crimson women posted an 80-57 win, while the men completed the doubleheader sweep, outscoring the Big Red, 70-43.
The Harvard women (10-2 overall, 5-1 Ivy) entered the Cornell meet after losing a frustrating match--and the Ivy League title--to Princeton last week.
Venting pent-up frustrations was the first item on a Crimson agenda that read more like a eulogy for the helpless Big Red. After the first three events, Harvard had jumped out to more than a 20-point lead.
"We expected to have our way with Cornell," Co-Captain Jenny Meyer said. "We had a team with greater depth, and we were ready to go."
In addition to being mentally prepared, Crimson Coach Maura Costin-Scalise had started shortening her squad's daily yardages, giving the team a rest in preparation for the upcoming EWSL Championships in two weeks.
Freestyler Stacie Duncan took full advantage of the breathing room in practices and channeled her reserve energy into a pool record 4:33.7 in the 400-yard individual medley. The entire Harvard squad had a field day with the Big Red, and some races were converted to "exhibitions" in order to keep the Crimson lead from breaking the century mark.
"Nearly everyone was competing in events outside of their specialty, hoping to quality for the Easterns in as many events as possible. This made the meet closer than it would have been under other circumstances," breaststroker Elaine Weigand said.
The Harvard men (5-2, 5-2 EISL) have been steadily improving since routing previously undefeated Princeton last week.
And against the Big Red, Crimson Coach Joe Bernal also moved his swimmers around in an attempt to qualify them in several events. A weaker Cornell team was still unable to threaten Harvard's bid for a fifth win. Tom Peterson was a double winner in unfamiliar events, capturing both the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley.
"We are ready for the Eastern Championship [in three weeks]," butterflier Sumner Anderson said. "Princeton will be our stiffest competition, but the word is out that we are a contender. Most teams shave and taper at least once during December and January. By the time the Eastern Championships roll around, we have an advantage because our first taper is not until February."
Tied with Columbia and Princeton for the Ivy League lead with a 5-1 record, Harvard should not cloud its thoughts with visions of an ECAC trophy until its meets against Penn and Yale are chalk marks in the win column. The confidence and momentum that could carry the Crimson to the top will be won--or lost--in these two weeks.
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