Crimson Dominates Quakers

Harvard’s victory over Penn keeps the team unbeaten overall and in Ivies

Mariah S. Evarts

Senior Joanna Lee competed as part of the 200-yard medley relay for the Crimson. Harvard took first in the event, as well as 13 others, to secure a 204.5-95.5 win over Penn this weekend.

While the Penn women were able to dominate the two sprint events, it was the Harvard women’s swimming and diving team that ruled the meet on Friday winning 14 of 16 events.

“They have great swimmers and we just went down there with hope to keep going with our streak,” sophomore Bridget O’Connor said. “We came prepared to swim fast and I think that is what we did and had success.”

The Crimson (7-0, 5-0 Ivy) crushed the Quakers (4-3, 1-3) by a score of 204.5-95.5. Harvard hasn’t lost a meet since the middle of the 2003-2004 season.

The two races that the Crimson did lose to Quaker swimmers were the two sprinting events, the 500-yard and 100-yard freestyle.

“We didn’t put our sprinters in the sprint events,” said co-captain Joanna Lee. “We weren’t expecting to take every single event. It was just great that we were able to win so many as it is.”

Nevertheless, both races ended up extremely close. Junior Noelle Bassi finished second in the 50-yard free with a time of 25:19, just .13 behind the first-place time. O’Connor wasn’t far behind in third place, with a time of 25:24.

In the 100 free, sophomore Lindsay Hart who took second place with a time of 54:69, only .64 seconds out of first.

“I think right now at the this point we are training so hard it’s just hard to swim fast sprints when you are exhausted,” O’Connor said. “I think it was tough. Everyone was really sore and exhausted.”

There were three other close races, but the close times came between Harvard classmates and not with Quaker swimmers.

In the 1,000-yard freestyle, Bassi finished first with a time of 10:09.59. Freshman Emiley Jellie finished just over 10 seconds behind and classmate Kristen Harper took third, eight seconds behind Jellie.

Hart led a one-two-three finish in the 100 backstroke, followed by senior Kim Ono and freshman Linnea Sundberg.

In the 100 butterfly, senior Erin Mulkey took first place with a time of 58:77, ahead of junior LeeAnn Chang.

Although Mulkey only registered the one individual win for the meet, she was also part of both winning relay teams. In the 200-yard medley relay, Mulkey raced the closing leg of the winning team of Hart, Lee, and O’Connor.

Mulkey was also the closing leg for her team in the 200 free relay, where her Crimson team won by a minute. Mulkey was preceded in the relay by junior Emily Wilson, senior Kim Linsenmann, and Lee.

Harvard’s other entry in the 200 free relay —which saw sophomore diver Samantha Papadakis made her swimming debut this season in closing leg of the relay—finished third.

“She was so excited,” O’Connor said. “Someone even had to clarify that it was the same person who was in the diving events and that it wasn’t a mistake. It is great that she can be so versatile.”

Papadakis still dove in the meet as well and won both her events by a landslide. She finished first in the one-meter, winning by almost 20 points, and won the three-meter by over 30 points. Junior Annika Giesbrecht also took third in the three- meter.

Senior Jane Evans was also able to bring home two first-place finishes in the meet. Evans won the 100-yard breaststroke, followed by sophomore Amanda Slaight in second. Her second win came in the 200 individual medley, as she led a one-two-three finish followed by Ono and junior Stacey Blondin.

Blondin finished second in two other events, behind Chang in the 200 butterfly and behind Jellie in the 500 free.

Co-captain Jessica Davidson and junior Emily Wilson also had a good meets, taking first or second to each other in two events. Wilson won the 200 free with Davidson finishing in second, and Davidson took first in the 200 backstroke while Wilson finished in second.

The last Crimson win came from Lee, who took first in the 200 breaststroke followed by Harper in second.

Harvard didn’t swim in the 17th event of the meet, the 400 individual medley, but instead swan it as an exhibition.

“Some people wanted to try it again and see if they could go faster,” O’Connor said. “It was a good competition for us and for [Penn].”

This win marks the Crimson’s 17th straight dual win. Harvard will resume its season after the break at home against Rutgers Jan. 6.

“We really use this time to train hard,” Lee said. “It’s a time for us to really work hard and build up our strength to get ready for the end of the year.”

—Staff writer Abigail M. Baird can be reached at