The Harvard women’s swimming and diving team took home two school records and a plethora of wins in both swimming and diving this weekend, as the team faced off against competitors across the nation.
The Crimson split the squad up to compete at the Texas Invitational, Hawkeye Invitational, and Georgia Fall Invitational over the weekend.
“[This weekend] has been a huge success in all locations,” Harvard coach Stephanie Wriede Morawski ’92 said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team.”
The Crimson’s most impressive performances this weekend occurred at the Texas Invitational in Austin, where sophomore Geordie Enoch and freshman Sonia Wang both set school records.
No Harvard swimmer had ever gone below two minutes in the 200 IM before this weekend, when two swimmers accomplished the feat. Wang was the first to do so on Friday, when she went 1:58.51 in her 200 IM prelims. Later that day, Wang’s time of 1:59.22 in the finals was good for fifth place—just ahead of Enoch, who landed a ninth-place finish with a personal best of 1:59.45.
“[Enoch and Wang] have been working very hard in practice, and it’s just nice to see that it all came together this weekend,” junior Danielle Lee said. “I don’t think they were shocked that it happened, but it was a nice little surprise.”
The next day, Enoch again set a personal best by breaking the Crimson record in the 200 breaststroke. Her time of 2:13.65 just bested Olympian Jackie Pangilinan’s best time of 2:13.98, set a decade ago in 2005.
“[Breaking the record] was exciting,” Enoch said. “I didn’t really have that many expectations going into the race since I think of myself as more of an IM-er than a breaststroker, but timing felt good and I just wanted to see what I could do. I actually didn’t know I’d broken the record until coach told me.”
In addition to Enoch and Wang’s times in the 200 IM, Harvard scored a multitude of other NCAA ‘B’ cut times. Lee, senior Kendall Crawford, and freshman Brittany Usinger all scored ‘B’ cut times in a variety of events, capping off a successful meet for the Crimson squad.
GEORGIA FALL INVITATIONAL
While the swimmers split up into two groups, the diving team headed off as a unit to Athens, Georgia, on Friday to participate in the Georgia Fall Invitational.
Their performance was highlighted by a strong showing from sophomore NCAA qualifier Jing Leung, who placed third in the three-meter diving competition with a score of 316.55 and first in the platform contest with a score of 268.55. In the platform, Leung started off slowly—ranking 12th out of 13 competitors after the first dive—but landed the highest score among all the women in each of her next five dives to secure the gold medal.
On Friday, sixteen Crimson swimmers headed to Iowa City to compete at the Hawkeye Invitational hosted by the University of Iowa. There, the Crimson again performed well, taking home a slew of top-eight finishes across multiple disciplines.
Harvard’s strongest showing occurred in the 200 free, where it managed to land three swimmers in the top eight. Junior Daniela Johnson’s time of 1:49.44 was good for second, ahead of Crimson freshman Claire Pinson and junior Victoria Chan, who finished seventh and eighth respectively.
Elsewhere, junior Marissa Cominelli put up competitive showings in the backstroke events, placing second in the 100 back and third in the 200 back. In the 100 back, her time of 54.69 was good for a NCAA ‘B’ cut tune.
Johnson, Pinson, and Chan, along with junior Margaret Chory, teamed up in the 800 free relay to end the meet on a good note by landing a third place finish with a time of 7:25.33.
“[This weekend] was a midway mark of where we are with our training, and I’m incredibly pleased,” Morawski said. “[The team] has put a lot of hard work and dedication into the sport all fall, and they were rewarded with some fast swimming.”
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