Harvard Swimmers Race at Penn; Divers at Princeton

Katherine Pickard contributed to five event wins in the Harvard Invitational and won twice last season against Penn (photo courtesy

The Storyline
The Harvard women’s swimming and diving team hits the water for the first time in more than a month and for the first time in the 2010 calendar year as its swimmers compete in a dual meet at Penn and the divers take part in the Princeton Diving Invitational.

The Particulars
Both the Penn and Harvard divers will compete in the Princeton Diving Invitational, and the results at that meet will count for the dual meet between the schools. The women’s three-meter competition will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and the one-meter will be at 2 p.m. Platform diving will be at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Order of Swimming Events
200 medley relay
1,000 freestyle
200 freestyle
100 backstroke
100 breaststroke
200 butterfly
50 freestyle
One-meter diving
100 freestyle
200 backstroke
200 breaststroke
500 freestyle
100 butterfly
Three-meter diving
200 individual medley
400 individual medley
400 free medley

Last Time Out
The Crimson’s most recent competitive action came Nov. 20-22 in its own Harvard Swimming and Diving Invitational. Harvard dominated the meet, finishing with 1,224 points, 361 more than second-place Rutgers. Columbia, Wagner and Sacred Heart also competed in the meet. The Crimson won 17 of the 20 weekend events and claimed a 182-107 dual-meet win against Columbia. The dual win gave Harvard a 3-0 record overall and in Ivy League competition.

Katy Hinkle contributed to six event wins on the weekend, swimming in four of Harvard’s five relay victories and taking the 50- and 100-yard freestyles on her own. Katherine Pickard swam on three winning relay squads and swept the 200 and 400 individual medleys. Mackenzie Luick had victories both breaststrokes and a pair of relays, while Alexandra Clarke and Kate Mills registered two individual wins and one relay win each.

High Standards

Harvard swimmers hit four individual NCAA provisional qualifying standards at the Harvard Invitational. Alexandra Clarke claimed “B” cuts in the 500 free (4:49.10) and 1,650 free (16:40.74). Catherine Zagroba’s runner-up time of 4:49.35 in the 500 was also good for a “B” cut, while Kate Mills made herself eligible for the NCAA Championships by winning the 200 butterfly in 1:59.16.

National Attention
The Crimson again received votes in the latest CSCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Team Poll, released Dec. 15. Harvard completed last season ranked 25th nationally.

Scouting the Quakers
In contrast to the visiting Crimson, Penn is competing for the second time in five days. The Quakers defeated Brown, 171-110, Tuesday in a neutral-site meet on the campus of Florida International in North Miami, Fla. Penn won 10 of 16 events to improve to 2-2 overall and in the Ivy League after opening the season with a win against Cornell before losing to Princeton and Columbia. Lauren Brandes had a hand in three wins againt Brown, taking the 50 free (24.60) and 100 free (53.83) contributing to a victory in the 400 free relay (3:37.81).

History Lesson
Harvard athletes won 13 of the 15 contested events as the Crimson (4-0, 4-0 Ivy League) downed Penn, 207-91, Jan. 10, 2009. Kate Mills and Katherine Pickard won two races apiece. Pickard was also part of the first-place 200-yard medley relay squad, along with Natalia Festa, who claimed the 100 butterfly as well. Christine Kaufmann had one win that counted, in the 500 freestyle, and another that did not. Swimming the 1,650 free as an exhibition, she finished in 16:36.85, lopping four seconds off her personal best.

Coming Attractions
Harvard does not compete again until hosting Brown Jan. 23. In the meantime, the Crimson swimmers will visit Barbados for a training trip, while the divers will head to Hawaii.