Ferrell was Harvard's top performer at the HYP meet, winning the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and 200 IM (photo Kevin Burns).
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Harvard women's swimming and diving team used large leads built on Friday and four victories on Saturday to cruise past Princeton, 199-99, and Yale, 209-89, en route to its 14th straight conference dual win and back-to-back Ivy League dual meet crowns. Stephanie Ferrell was the Crimson's leader on Saturday, picking up two individual wins, and Harvard also finished in at least the top three spots in two events.
Sara Li started the day by breaking her own Harvard record in the 100 freestyle. The junior won the event in 49.32, ahead of Yale's Alex Forrester in second at 50.26. Earlier this season, Forrester had posted the league's top time in the 100 free (49.12) but Li owned today's matchup.
The Crimson took the next two events in style with at least 1-2-3 finishes in each. Kendall Crawford headed a quartet of Crimson in the 200 backstroke, one of the strongest races for Harvard this season. Crawford got to the wall in 1:55.16 with Danielle Lee, Caroline Weaver and Deirdre Clute right behind her. Lee came in at 1:56.91, Weaver went for a career-best 1:59.65 and Clute rounded out the top four in 2:00.64.
Ferrell, Mackenzie Luick and Clare Foster claimed the top three positions in the 200 breaststroke as Harvard continued its dominance over Princeton and Yale in the next race. Ferrell was .03 off of her season-best pace of 2:15.34 set at the Georgia Invite to win the swim (2:15.37), while Luick came in at 2:16.42 and Foster stopped the clock in 2:18.10.
Sherry Liu (4:50.26) and Margaret Ramsey (4:50.78) trailed Princeton's Jillian Altenburger (4:49.57) in the 500 free, Ana Anaya (54.27) was second in the 100 fly and Emily Bonfig (258.00) barely missed first place in the one-meter diving event before Ferrell could get her second victory of the day. The sophomore set a new personal record in the 200 IM (2:03.59) to top off Harvard's second straight perfect dual season against Ivy opponents.
Ferrell ended up with three first-place showings during the meet and Crawford won two races overall.
The Crimson enjoyed 7-0 Ivy League seasons in consecutive years for the first time since 2004-06 and were unblemished in the Ancient Eight for the eighth time in program history.
Harvard will rest on its dual meet title until the weekend of Feb. 28 when the Crimson takes part in the Ivy Championships and ECAC Championships, simultaneously. Princeton hosts the Ivy meet Feb. 28-March 2 and the ECAC competition will be at Blodgett Pool March 1-3.
Five Harvard program records fell at Princeton's Denuzio Pool Friday night, as the Crimson jumped to a lead over Yale and the host Tigers at day one of the annual HYP meet. Harvard holds a 107-43 advantage over Princeton and has dominated Yale, 115-35, in the meet that could give the Crimson its second straight Ivy League dual meet title.
Harvard claimed the top spot in six of the eight events contested, including 1-2 finishes in four races. Danielle Lee led the Crimson with one individual win (200 free) and one relay victory (200 medley relay) and Kendall Crawford set two school records (100 backstroke, 100 butterfly).
The Crimson set the tone for the first day of HYP in its initial race with a school record in the 200 medley relay. Lee, Mackenzie Luick, Ana Anaya and Sara Li combined to touch the wall in 1:40.36, clipping another group of Harvard swimmers in second place. Caroline Weaver, Stephanie Ferrell, Crawford and Ellie Johnson finished in 1:42.16, giving the Crimson an early lead.
Two freshmen - Marlee Ehrlich and Sherry Liu - were the first two to the wall in the 1,000 yard freestyle with 9:48.33 and 9:49.91 times, respectively, in a win that prompted Harvard to take the first five individual races. Lee (1:47.68) carried the momentum by edging Princeton's Jillian Altenburger (1:47.71) by 0.03 in the 200 freestyle and Crawford followed with the first of her pair of program marks. Crawford swam the 100 back in 53.59, besting her own Harvard record of 54.00, to take medalist honors by nearly a full second.
Harvard sophomores won the next two events, the 100 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly, and were followed in each race by a fellow Crimson. Ferrell rewrote her own Harvard record in the 100 breaststroke and topped Luick in the process, 1:02.56 to 1:02.81, and Courtney Otto won the 200 butterfly by over two seconds with a 1:58.11. Anaya was in second of the 200 fly at 2:00.53.
Li and diver Brittany Powell gave the Crimson second-place showings in the last two events that counted towards the team score. Li went for an impressive time of 22.52 in the 50 free, breaking Katy Hinkle's program-best 22.74 set in 2011, but behind Yale's Lisa Boyce (22.44). Powell (267.90) and Amanda Largent (251.70) were second and third off of the three-meter diving boards. The Bulldog's Paige Meneses' 272.55 score was the benchmark for the day.
The Crimson finished the day just as it had started, with another school-best performance. Crawford swam the 100 butterfly in 53.79, ahead of Anaya's 53.98 from earlier this season, but the event was done as an exhibition and thus did not count towards the team score.