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The Harvard women's swimming team didn't win the battle, but you can bet that it still thinks it'll win the wars. The battle, you see, was this past Friday's dual meet against Yale at New Haven, in which Harvard (4-2-3-1 Ivies) tasted Ivy League defeat for the first time this year. The wars, however, will be the dual meet against Princeton February 3 at plodgett Pool and the Eastern Championships February 22.
The dual meet against Princeton will probably decide at least the co-Ivy champion, as the Crimson is now tied with Princeton, Yale, and Brown with one league loss. That deadlock will be broken when Harvard meets Princeton and Yale meets Brown that same day.
After that meet, Harvard will face Penn and Cornell in dual meets, but those teams are not of the Crimson's caliber, and, barring disaster, should not pose serious threats. Thus, if Harvard beats Princeton, it is virtually ensured of being at least the Ivy co-champion.
Against the Bulldogs, the Crimson was coming off eight days of intense training. While Harvard swam well, members of the team felt that their performances were not maximal because of their training schedule.
"Yale was one of our toughest competitors," co-captain Laura Koerckel said. "We were looking for them to challenge us. We got up for every race, and we swam solidly. They won this time, but we'll be ready to swim faster at Eastern Championships when we have a few days rest."
Three-quarters through the meet, Harvard was behind by only 20 points, but when the meet was over, the Crimson was down by almost 50. The Crimson also faced a Bull-dog squad of 40, versus only 16 swimmers and three divers for Harvard.
Sophomore Keiko Iwahara performed superbly, winning the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly. Freshman Christen Deveney also swam well, finishing second in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke. In the diving section, junior Kara Miller won the one and three meter competitions.
The Harvard teams also swam wonderfully in the opening medleys, as a team of Deveney, co-captain Sarah Durkin, sophomore Mary Nabor, and Iwahara won the 200-medley, with sophomore Stephanie Lawrence, junior Emily Buckley, senior Carrie Miller and sophomore Sandie Stringfellow coming in second.
While Harvard does not like to lose, the Crimson feels it will be stronger than ever in the latter--and more important--part of the season.
"We fell short of our go, against Yale," Durkin said, "But we're shooting for Princeton and the Easterns. The nature of our training changes in January and February, where we'll be able to better gear up for races."
And anyone who is close to Harvard women's swimming knows that to bet against this group would be foolish. If the team swims up to its potential, the sky is the limit.
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