Harvard Completes Championship Sweep With ECAC Title

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-One day after winning the Ivy League championship, the Harvard women's swimming and diving team made it a sweep of the its two league championship meets, finishing off a team title the ECAC Championships Sunday at Blodgett Pool.

Despite competing with a limited number of athletes, Harvard won six individual events and two relays and led at the end of each day of competition. The Crimson took a lead of just 1.5 points over second-place Rider into the final day but built the advantage to 23.5 points with its total of 494. Towson placed third with 390.5 points, just 5.5 ahead of Marist. Navy rounded out the top five with 341 points.

Sophomore Anne Taylor was named Diver of the Meet after winning both the one-meter and three-meter competitions. Classmate Holly Furman contributed to four event wins, taking the 200- and 500-yard freestyles and anchoring the winning 200 and 400 medley relay squads. Junior Natalia Festa and freshmen Alicia Lightbourne and Monica Burgos also had a hand in both relay wins, and both rookies took individual titles.

The Crimson was in contention from the outset, with the team of Festa, freshman Margaret Flatt, Burgos and Lightbourne finishing second to only Rider in the meet-opening 200 free relay with a mark of 1:36.27. Harvard soon picked up winning points as Taylor (239.50 points) and freshman Jessica Stanchfield (230.10) took the top two spots in the three-meter diving and Furman won the 500 free (4:52.31).

Harvard's third and final win of the opening day came in record-breaking fashion. The 400 medley squad of Festa, Lightbourne, Burgos and Furman set a meet record with their preliminary time of 3:48.92 and trimmed the mark to 3:48.06 to win the final by more than two seconds. It was the second final of the day for Lightbourne and Burgos, who placed fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 50 free.

The same quartet started Saturday with another win, in the 200 medley relay, finishing in 1:43.67. Burgos later finished second in the 100 butterfly in 55.92 seconds, Furman won the 200 free in 1:49.89 and Lightbourne claimed the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.56. The Crimson ended the day with another strong performance, as Lightbourne, senior captain Kelly Mooney, junior Maggie Wollner and Furman placed third in the 800 free relay with a time of 7:39.33.

Sophomore Katherine Pickard was Harvard's first finalist Sunday, taking third in the 200 backstroke in 2:02.63. Furman followed with another third-place showing, in the 100 free in 51.32 seconds, while Lightbourne placed fifth. Sophomore Kate Mills made the final of the 200 butterfly, placing seventh in 2:05.49.

Taylor and Stanchfield recorded another diving sweep in the one-meter, as Taylor took the title with 219.85 points, just one more than her freshman teammate. Harvard then ended the meet with one last strong performance, finishing second in the 400 free relay in 3:27.89. Pickard, Mooney, Burgos and Furman swam for the Crimson. Rider took the event title but could not catch the Crimson in overall points and spoil Harvard's perfect weekend.

The Harvard men's swimming and diving team also competed in the event, placing second behind Navy.