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Although The Game took place in mid-November, The Meet took place last night. Harvard women's swim team faced Ivy League nemesis Yale at Blodgett Pool.
From start to finish, there were some huge differences between the two events.
The women swimmers saw no tailgating outside before the race began. Also, a hundred spectators is not enough to fill Harvard Stadium.
Nevertheless, there was only one difference that really mattered in the end--the Crimson (4-0 Ivy, 5-1 overall) took to Blodgett Pool with a vengeance, routing the Elis 191-109.
Going into the meet, the Crimson had the Elis at the top of its mind.
"It is always nervewracking to face Princeton and Yale," senior co-captain Deborah Kory said. "We have to give it everything we have."
In last night's meet, the Crimson was far from short in the effort category.
When the final race was completed and the last swimmer touched the wall, the Crimson had won eleven of the sixteen events of the night. In five of these events, Crimson swimmers finished 1-2-3.
"It was a great meet for us," Harvard coach Maura Costin Scalise said. "Going into exam period can be stressful. We focused well and exceeded my expectations."
Even with exams just around the corner, the meet was by no means left at the wayside.
"This was the first big meet of the season," senior co-captain Kristan Gately said. "We spent a lot of time preparing mentally for tonight's meet. When the time did come, we were really ready."
The meet was virtually over at start. After the Crimson grabbed momentum in the first event of the evening with a 1-2 finish in the 200 I.M. relay, there was no looking back. Harvard left the Eli in its wake.
Kory, who won the Eastern championships last year in the 200 and 400 I.M.s, led the way for the Crimson. The co-captain took home first-place accolades in the 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 I.M. relay and 200 I.M.
Caroline Miller also figured highly in the win. The junior won the 200 fly, and took second-place in both the 100 fly and the 200 I.M.
Seniors Valerie Gilson and Gately dominated the 100 and 200 free, taking first and second place, respectively.
But upperclassmen were not the only contributors for the Crimson. The freshmen turned in an exceptional performance, winning four events against the Eli. Stephanie Lawrence, Keiko Iwahara, Mary Naber, Laura Jacobson took the 100 back, 50 free, 100 fly and the 3-meter diving competition, respectively.
Before last night's competition, Harvard, Yale and Princeton (each 3-0) were in a three-way lock for first place in the Ivy League.
With Ivy League wins over Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth and Yale, the Crimson are preparing for its final league duels against Princeton and Penn. The Eastern Championships are at the end of February.
And although the Crimson's primary focus is on the Eastern Championships, the swimmers would love to beat Princeton.
"Princeton is our toughest team to swim against," Kory said. "We are putting our main focus on Easterns. We always believe that we can win going in because anything can happen when you have a strong team."
With the momentum that it gained from The Meet, the Crimson has a chance to finish the season atop the Ivy League and Eastern Region.
"This meet proved that we can win the Eastern Championships," Miller said."
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