SEASON RECAP: Postseason Letdown Follows Regular-Season Success

Tigers ruin Crimson hopes of second straight Ivy championship

S. JESSE Zwick

Sophomore Samantha Papadakis, also a Crimson editor, received the John Walker Award as Harvard’s most outstanding diver. One of the league’s top athletes, she was the NCAA Zone A champion in one-meter diving.

After a perfect season last year, the Harvard women’s swimming and diving team is leaving Boston this year a little less jovial.

After beating out long-time rival Princeton last year to win the Ivy championship, the Crimson was ready to bring home another trophy, but was thwarted once again by the strength of the Tiger squad. Harvard lost to Princeton, 1,580 points to 1,445.

“I’m really proud of us for fighting,” sophomore Lindsay Hart said. “It was incredibly difficult to be down and to come back and swim again. I’m so proud of our team for staying strong.”

Despite the end-of-season loss, the Crimson registered a 10-0 dual meet record and beat Princeton in the dual meet prior to Ivies.

The Crimson’s first meet was Nov. 11th, a 179.5–115.5 win over Brown. Harvard took first place in the first twelve races and, with a significant lead, chose to swim the other races as exhibitions. The meet was the first collegiate swim for breakout long distance freshman Emiley Jellie, who won the 1000-meter.

The Crimson faced off against Dartmouth and Cornell the following day. The matchups proved to be two more easy wins, as Harvard beat the Big Green 181-119 and the Big Red 189-111. Jellie once again won the 1000-yard freestyle on the first day of competition, with classmate Kristen Harper winning the event on day two.

A week later, the Crimson trampled Columbia, 159-84. Jellie once again continued her domination of long-distance events by winning the 1650-yard freestyle by over twenty seconds.

“We just went in ready to go,” junior co-captain Jessica Davidson said. “We wanted to try our hardest and not look back.”

Ready for more of a challenge, Harvard faced Kansas in a dual meet with Northeastern.

The Huskies were hardly a threat during the meet, as the Crimson beat them 244-74. The Jayhawks proved to be much stronger, but not strong enough. Harvard won, with a comfortable margin of 198-121.

Sophomore Samantha Papadakis, also a Crimson editor, helped her team out by winning both the one- and three-meter diving events.

The Crimson then returned to easier Ivy League competition, facing off against Penn and winning 204.5–95.5, the team’s biggest margin of the season. Harvard won 14 out of 16 events and Papadakis was once again able to sweep both diving events.

Before Princeton and Yale, the Crimson warmed up with some serious competition. Harvard swam against Rutgers, the No. 24 team in the country to Harvard’s No. 25. Every individual point counted as the Crimson won the meet by one point, 150-149.

—Staff writer Abigail M. Baird can be reached at