Caroline Weaver set a new personal best in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:59.83 at the Georgia Invite (photo Kevin Burns).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After culminating an eight-day training trip to Puerto Rico with a stop in Miami for a victory over the Hurricanes Jan. 11, the Harvard women's swimming and diving team wastes little time getting back in the pool for competition. The Crimson will travel to Providence, R.I. for a double dual meet with Brown and Penn Saturday before returning to Cambridge to host Vermont at Blodgett Pool Sunday.
Last Time Out
Harvard ended its nine-day journey south with a 175-86 win over Atlantic Coast Conference foe Miami Jan. 11. The squad won three of the first four events, on its way to victory in 11 of the 14 races on the day. Harvard had three individuals post two wins with junior Sara Li, sophomore Courtney Otto and freshman Kendall Crawford each winning a pair of events. Freshman Sherry Liu also claimed a win and a second-place finish, while senior Caroline Weaver was the runner up to a fellow Crimson swimmer in two races.
Related Link: Trip South Ends With Victory Over Miami for Women's Swimming and Diving
Scouting the Bears (Team Page)
Brown is off to a 4-1 start in dual meets this season with wins over Boston University, UMass, Dartmouth and Providence. Most recently, the Bears clipped crosstown rival Providence, 129-91, Jan. 5 in the team's first meet since Dec. 2 by winning all 13 events contested. The Bears' top returner is last season's MVP Emma Lamothe. The junior scored at the Ivy Championship meet in the 100 freestyle (9th), 50 freestyle (5th), and 100 butterfly (12th) a year ago.
Series History – Brown
Harvard leads the all-time series against Brown, 26-9, including 10 straight victories. The Crimson has topped the Bears in every year since 2001 and has not let Brown within 40 points of winning a dual.
Scouting the Quakers (Team Page)
Penn enters this weekend's meet having squared off against all five other Ivy League programs and owns a 2-3 conference record. The Quakers topped Dartmouth, 167.5-131.5, Jan. 12, but fell to Yale, 176-121, in the double dual and final home meet for Penn. Senior Melissa Parratto was one of two double winners for the Quakers, as she took the 200 butterfly (2:06.30) and the 400 IM (4:33.58). Junior Shelby Fortin won the 200 free (1:50.52) and the 200 backstroke (2:02.34) to become the team's other multi-event winner. Fortin is a five-time All-Ivy honoree and claimed the individual conference title in the 200 free and 500 free at last year's Ivy Championship meet.
Series History – Penn
The Crimson has dominated the series against Penn, building a 24-3 lead since the teams first met in 1985. The Quakers took the first dual between the two programs, but Harvard has claimed 24 of the next 26 with its only losses coming in 2001 and 2002. Last season, the Crimson breezed past Penn, 249-49.
Scouting the Catamounts (Team Page)
Vermont is off to a 7-2 start in dual meets and also won the Central Connecticut State Invitational in its last outing Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Sophomore Ilsa Feierabend set four pool records at the CCSU Invitational to earn the America East Swimmer of the Week award. Feierabend swam a leg in the winning 200 freee and 400 medley relays, while also winning the individual 100 backs (57.63) and 200 back (2:02.81). She has nine individual wins and has contributed to five relay victories so far in 2012-13. Freshman Christa Weaver, the sister of Harvard senior Caroline Weaver, has also won two America East Swimmer of the Week honors.
Series History – Vermont
Sunday's matchup with Vermont will be the first between the two programs.
With its win against Columbia, Harvard extended its string of consecutive victories over Ancient 8 opponents to ten. Harvard is 3-0 against conference foes this season after posting an undefeated 7-0 mark last year en route to the Ivy League title. The team's last conference loss came against Princeton Jan. 28, 2011.
Three for Three
In the first three meets of her collegiate career, freshman Kendall Crawford set new Harvard women's backstroke records. Crawford initially broke the record at Cornell's Teagle Hall with a time of 55.04. She then lowered the mark at home with a 54.99 to become the first woman in Harvard history to break the 55-second barrier in the event. At the UGA Fall Invite, the Greenville, S.C., native once again broke her own record by touching the wall in 54.54 seconds.
Video: Kendall Crawford Breaks Harvard 100 Backstroke Record (vs. Columbia)
Harvard has dominated the early season in dual meets, winning 34 of 46 events thus far. The team has had three student-athletes win their respective races in each dual: Sherry Liu (1,000 freestyle), Kendall Crawford (100 backstroke) and Danielle Lee (200 backstroke).
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Swimming Season Preview
Stephanie Wriede Morawski, The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving, sat down with GoCrimson.com to preview the 2012-13 campaign.
Video: Women's Swimming and Diving Season Preview
Diving Season Preview
Keith Miller, who is in his 22nd season with the Crimson, talked about the divers on the 2012-13 roster in a recent interview.
Video: Seniors Lead Strong Group of Harvard Women Divers in 2012-13
Sights Set on Back-to-Back Titles
Harvard won its 10th Ivy League title last season by outscoring Princeton by 168 points at the Ivy League championship meet in February. The Crimson appears poised for another run at the top spot to complete back-to-back Ivy championships for the first time since 2006. Harvard also won last year's regular season crown with a perfect 7-0 record against the Ancient Eight.
Otto Interview for Swimming World
Courtney Otto was the featured guest on Swimming World's "Morning Swim Show" Dec. 19. The interview, which was conducted by Jeff Commings, is shown on the front page of swimmingworldmagazine.com. Otto talks about last year's Olympic Trials as well as Harvard's and her own impressive performances at the recent UGA Fall Invite.
GoCrimson.com introduced a new video feature to its lineup for the 2012-13 season, "Top Plays of the Month," counting down the greatest moments from your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams from the previous calendar month. Use the hashtag #CrimsonTop10 to nominate your favorite plays for inclusion. Courtney Otto came in at No. 3 in December or posting the seventh-best 200 butterfly time in the nation at the UGA Fall Invite.
Harvard is off until Feb. 1 when the squad visits Princeton, N.J., for the annual HYP meet against Yale and the host Tigers. The Crimson also has the Ivy Championships (Feb. 28), ECAC Championships (March 1), NCAA Diving Qualifier (March 14) and the NCAA Championships (March 21) remaining on the schedule.