Clarke, Mills Headed Back to NCAA Championships
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Junior Alexandra Clarke and sophomore Kate Mills of the Ivy League and ECAC champion Harvard women's swimming and diving team have been selected to compete in the 2009 NCAA Championships, to be held March 19-21 at Texas A&M.
Clarke has been chosen to compete in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles. Mills will also take part in the 500 free, as well as the 200 free and 200 butterfly. Clarke will be making her third straight NCAA appearance, while Mills will be swimming at the meet for the second consecutive year.
Both swimmers are competing in events in which they previously nearly earned All-America selection. Clarke placed 17th in the 1,650 at the 2007 NCAA Championships, missing All-America honors in the event by one spot. Mills finished 19th in the 200 fly last season. Both women are seeded 19th in those respective events this year.
The NCAA appearances will be the culmination of a strong season for the Crimson, ranked 25th nationally. Harvard wrapped up the team portion of its schedule in most impressive fashion, winning the Ivy League and ECAC titles on the same weekend, setting 10 school records in the process. The Crimson also posted a 6-1 dual record and placed third at the Georgia Invitational.
Clarke and Mills were among eight Harvard swimmers who earned consideration for NCAA selection by swimming NCAA "B" cuts during the season. The Crimson athletes in contention for NCAA bids were sophomores Katy Hinkle, Christine Kaufmann, Katherine Pickard and Ali Slack and freshmen Meghan Leddy and Catherine Zagroba.