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Fresh off a 202-98 victory against Brown eight days prior, the Harvard women’s swimming and diving team travelled to Penn on Saturday morning and handled the Quakers (2-5, 1-5 Ivy League) with a similar ease. The Crimson took 14 of the 16 events and cruised to the win, 201-95.
Harvard (4-1, 4-1 Ivy League) took an early lead in the first event of the day at Sheerr Pool with a win in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore Danielle Lee gave the Crimson an early lead over the closest Penn competitor with a 26.10 backstroke split, and junior Stephanie Ferrell widened the gap with the fastest breaststroke split of the heat at 29.84. The quartet finished with a winning time of 1:44.59.
“[The 200 medley] is always a great event to have at the beginning because it’s a nice, quick relay that gets everyone going,” Ferrell said. “That event usually gets the ball rolling, so I think that really got everyone going…that first one always pumps people up.”
The Harvard B relay in the same event placed third, tacking on two more points for the Crimson. From there, the squad never looked back.
For the second straight meet, Lee took home four wins for the Crimson. After beginning the day as the first swimmer of the victorious 200 medley team, the sophomore finished first by over three seconds in the 200 freestyle just minutes after the her previous race.
“[Lee] was really incredible this meet,” Ferrell said. “She really stepped up, and it was inspiring for the team to watch. I myself was super inspired by what she did today.”
After swimming in the 100 breast, Lee continued her dominance in the water in the 200 back, as she broke the pool record by .24 seconds. Each of her four 50-yard split times was faster than the competition, and she finished with a time of 2:00.85.
“She just got up event after event; even in events she wasn’t scoring points in she swam exhibition, she just swam to race,” Ferrell said. “And that’s really what our team is about: being able to race under any condition and loving to win, and Danielle did a great job.”
But Lee wasn’t done. Completing the marathon day in the 200 IM, Lee earned Harvard another nine points when she tapped the wall 1.16 seconds ahead of freshman teammate Willa Wang.
By the meet’s end, Lee had helped score 38 points for the Crimson.
Captain Deirdre Clute paced the field in the 50 freestyle with her 23.99 time. A little bit later, the senior from Alamo, Calif. took second behind Lee in the 200 back in her final swim of the afternoon.
Though the vetarns took center stage in Philadelphia, the Crimson’s rookies fought for heat victories of their own. Freshman Ashlee Korsberg claimed the win in the 1000 frees, reaching the wall 23 seconds faster than the Quakers’ Madeleine Jardeleza.
Sophomore Kendall Crawford and freshman Marissa Cominelli took the top two spots in the 100 back for 13 more points for Harvard, with Crawford’s 56.60 time coming just short of the pool record of 56.21.
Moments later, Ferrell barely edged Haley Wickham of Penn by .19 seconds in the 100 breast with a time of 1:05.49. Ferrell then went on to win her second individual race of the day, this time in the 200 breast.
“The 100’s are quick; they’re sprinty, and I was trying to stay in control because in those sprints it’s easy to spin,” Ferrell said. “I really tried to work on that, and I thought we had really good results in the 100 breaststroke.”
All four members of Harvard’s winning 200 medley A relay group won another individual heat on Sunday, with freshman Victoria Chan rounding out the foursome with a win in the 500 free.
Crimson juniors Schuyler Moore and Cassie Corneau battled it out on the diving board, with Moore beating the latter for first in the 1 meter.
“It was a close meet, with good competition,” Corneau said. “Schuyler and I had similar dives in a similar fashion and got similar scores, so the scores were close [in both diving events], which kept it exciting.”
Corneau returned the favor in an exciting 3 meter, with the top three finishers finishing within 1.60 points of each other. Her 258.75 points were just enough to beat Moore. But more importantly, the one-two finishes in both events gave Harvard another 26 points.
“Going into the end of the season, we have great wins over Brown and Penn,” Corneau said. “We’re excited for the rest of the season as a team – we’re looking good.”
—Staff writer Caleb Lee can be reached at email@example.com.
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