IVY LEAGUE CHAMPS! Women's Swimming and Diving Captures Program's 10th Title
The Crimson won the program's 10th Ivy League Championship with 1,478.5 points (photo courtesy the Ivy League).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's swimming and diving team captured the 10th Ivy League Championship in program history Saturday in front of the home crowd at Blodgett Pool.
The Crimson totaled 1,478.5 points, 168 points ahead of two-time defending champion Princeton which finished second with 1,310.5. Yale finished in third place (1,075.5) while Columbia (1057), Dartmouth (846.5), Penn (767), Brown (688.5) and Cornell (630.5) rounded things out. Harvard has now won three Ivy titles under Stephanie Wriede Morawski, the Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving.
Harvard won a total of five events over the weekend, including two during Saturday's final session. Freshman Kelsey Hojan-Clark won the 1,000 free on Friday and the 1,650 free on Saturday, becoming the fourth student-athlete in Ivy League history to win both events in the same year. She is just the fourth Crimson to take home the 1,000 free crown, while her victory in the 1,650 free was the ninth in program history.
Senior Meghan Leddy earned her third conference championship in the 200 back Saturday, making her just the fourth Ivy Leaguer to win the event three times. Harvard earned its 11th 400 IM title Friday with Courtney Otto taking the crown. Harvard's lone relay victory came in the 800 free relay as the team of Catherine Zagroba, Sara Li, Otto and Faith Martin won the event for the sixth time in program history.
Leslie Rea, who placed second in the three meter and third in the one meter diving events, was recognized as the Ivy League's Career High Point Diver following the meet.
Columbia got things rolling on day one with a win in the 200 free relay as each of the top four teams finished within a half second of each other. The Lions posted an NCAA 'B' standard time of 1:32.58 to take the victory, with Princeton clocking in at 1:32.79 for second. Yale finished in third with a time of 1:32.81 as Harvard's team of Li, Sarah Sumner, Martin and Jenna Gregoire placed fourth in 1:33.05.
It was another exciting finish in the 500 free as sophomore Shelby Fortin of Penn edged out freshmen Otto and Hojan-Clark from Harvard. The three matched each other stroke for stroke through 450 yards, but Fortin was able to pull away in the final 50 and stopped the clock in 4:44.91. Otto posted a time of 4:45.68 and Hojan-Clark finished in 4:46.57, all three of which meet the NCAA 'B' standard. Zagroba, meanwhile, took fifth in the event in 4:50.60.
Columbia earned its second win when Katie Meili set a new Ivy League Championships meet record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:57.38. The junior's performance topped the previous record of 1:57.63 which was set in 1999 by a former Lion, Cristina Teuscher. Laura Evans swam to a third-place finish in the event in 2:01.92, just shy of the NCAA 'B' standard of 2:01.79, and Leddy placed fifth in 2:02.51.
The 50 free went to Princeton's Lisa Boyce whose winning time of 22.45 broke the previous Blodgett Pool record of 22.51 set by Jill Sterkel in 1981. Li was the only Crimson to reach the championship finals in the event as she placed fourth in 23.60.
The Tigers' also took home the one-meter diving title with Christina Kirkwood's total of 288.90 points. Yale's Rachel Rosenberg placed second on the one meter with 280.45 points and Rea took third with 271.85. Schuyler Moore posted 267.00 points to place sixth for the Crimson.
Day one wrapped up with a Columbia win in the 400 medley relay as each of the top three teams notched NCAA 'B' standard times. The Lions touched the wall in 3:40.87 and Yale finished second in 3:41.25. Harvard's team of Leddy, Mackenzie Luick, Danielle Schulkin and Martin combined for a time of 3:41.27 to place third.
Harvard's total of 432.5 points put the Crimson atop the team standings after the first day of competition, just three points ahead of Princeton with 429.5.
The Crimson briefly lost that lead as day two opened up with Yale, Princeton, Brown and Harvard finishing first through fourth with NCAA 'B' standard times in the 200 medley relay. Both the Bulldogs and Tigers eclipsed the previous pool record of 1:41.63 which belonged to Yale and was set in 2010 with times of 1:41.05 and 1:41.18, respectively. The Bears and Harvard's team of Caroline Weaver, Luick, Schulkin and Sumner posted times of 1:41.99 and 1:42.37, respectively.
Hojan-Clark won Harvard's first championship of the meet with a time of 9:48.95 in the 1,000 free, which stands as the sixth-fastest time in meet history. Hojan-Clark won the race by more than four seconds, as Columbia's Cha Cha Bugatti placed second in 9:53.42. She became the fourth Harvard student-athlete to ever capture the 1,000 free, and the first since 2010.
Despite Hojan-Clark's victory, Princeton increased its lead over Harvard as Maureen McCotter and Lauren Shanley placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Harvard blew past the Tigers in the 400 IM, however, as four Crimson placed in the top six including the event's winner, Otto. The freshman swam an NCAA 'B' standard time of 4:10.22, the sixth best time in meet history, while classmate Martin took second in 4:20.66. Hilary Roberts finished fifth (4:21.91) and Evans took sixth (4:22.13), rounding out Harvard's dominance in the race.
Otto's win was Harvard's second in a row in the event, after Kate Mills '11 won it last year with a time of 4:15.57. Otto is now the 11th 400 IM champion in program history.
The Crimson's lead never dipped below 29 points for the remainder of the night, as Harvard placed at least one individual in the top five of each remaining event. Schulkin was the lone Crimson to race in the 100 fly championship finals, and placed fourth in 54.90. Yale went 1-2 in the race, with Alex Forrester's winning time of 52.53 surpassing her own meet, Ivy League and pool record.
The 200 free went to Penn's Fortin (1:47.27), with Zagroba (1:49.31), Li (1:49.71) and Sumner (1:50.19) placing fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Meili earned her second individual title for the Lions with an NCAA 'A' standard time of 59.64 in the 100 breast, and was followed by Luick in fourth with a time of 1:03.27 and Stephanie Ferrell in seventh with a time of 1:03.64.
Princeton's Boyce posted an Ivy League record of 53.54 in the 100 back, surpassing her own mark set last year. Leddy swam to a third-place finish in 55.41 with Deirdre Clute finishing close behind in fourth with a time of 55.79.
Zagroba, Li, Otto and Martin closed the day out in a big way as they combined for an NCAA 'B' standard time of 7:15.92 in the 800 free relay. The four finished nearly four seconds ahead of the second-place Yale Bulldogs who posted a time of 7:19.55. Harvard's win in the event was the sixth in program history, and the second in as many years. It also improved Harvard's lead over Princeton to 92 points, giving the Crimson some breathing room entering the final day.
Hojan-Clark led off Saturday's final session with a win in the 1,650 free, foreshadowing the success that was to come for the Crimson. The freshman turned in an NCAA 'B' standard time of 16:29.90, putting her nearly three seconds ahead of Fortin who placed second in 16:32.88 to secure the ninth 1,650 free title in Harvard history. Zagroba, meanwhile, took seventh in the event with a time of 16:53.31.
Leddy gave Harvard its second straight win with an NCAA 'B' standard time of 1:57.26 in the 200 back, the eighth fastest time in meet history. The senior, who also won the event in 2009 and 2011, is only the fourth Ivy Leaguer to win the event three times.
Evans and Clute also made the championship final in the 200 back and placed third and fourth, respectively, as Harvard's lead swelled to 94 points. Evans clocked in at 1:59.47 while Clute finished in 1:59.54, just behind Dartmouth's Meredith Sweeney who placed second in 1:59.42.
Boyce from Princeton registered a win in the 100 free, posting a time of 49.13, with Sumner taking sixth in 51.11. Columbia's Meili continued her dominate performance at the meet as her 200 breast time of 2:10.40 put her more than three seconds ahead of the pack, including Martin who swam to a third-place finish with an NCAA 'B' standard time of 2:14.66. Luick placed fifth in 2:17.20.
The 200 fly belonged to Hayes Hyde from Yale with a time of 1:57.65, but the event was overrun with Crimson as Harvard placed four in the top six. Otto and Schulkin registered NCAA 'B' standards of 1:58.74 and 2:00.40, respectively, to take second and third, while Roberts placed fourth in 2:00.88 and Ana Anaya sixth in 2:01.70. The quartet all but sealed the deal with Harvard's lead increasing to 173 points.
Rea, Moore and Alex Stanton officially closed the books on the meet by placing second, fourth and fifth on the three-meter diving board. Rea totaled 298.35 points to earn the distinction as the Ivy League's Career High Point Diver, while Moore and Stanton posted totals of 274.10 and 268.20, respectively. Yale's Rosenberg, meanwhile, set a new Ivy League record with a total of 340.00 points, surpassing the conference's previous mark of 335.95 set in 2007 by Princeton's Katie Giarra.
The meet came to a close with the 400 free relay which was won by Yale in a time of 3:20.21. Each of the top four finishers eclipsed the NCAA 'B' standard in the event, with Harvard's team of Martin, Li, Sumner and Gregoire posting a time of 3:21.99 for third.