The Crimson claimed the 2014 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championship in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center on Saturday. (Photo: Ivy League)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Harvard claimed the 2014 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championship on Saturday after a tremendous effort in the three-day postseason event. The Crimson swam away from the rest of the Ancient Eight with 1409 points, defeating Princeton by 25 – the slimmest margin of victory for a winning squad since 2004. The title is Harvard's 11th overall and third in five years.
"This was such a fantastic team effort," said Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving, Stephanie Wriede Morawski. "That was a huge morning for them, and they came out fighting in the mile tonight. It took an extraordinary team effort from everyone to overcome the odds, but they did it. I give kudos to our captains (Danielle Schulkin and Deirdre Clute) and senior leadership all season. They held the bar high and everyone rose to it."
The Crimson jumped into the pool on Day 3 with a hefty advantage over Princeton, knowing strong swims in the home stretch would clinch the title. With the mile up first, Kelsey Hojan-Clark kept the momentum rolling for Harvard. She posted an NCAA 'B' cut time of 16:25.50 to take third place and 27 points. Sherry Liu (16:36.43) and Ashlee Korsberg (16:37.58) followed closely behind, touching the wall in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Willa Wang (16:49.25) and Marlee Ehrlich (16:55.79) helped the Crimson's cause with great efforts of their own to finish in the top-12 of the lengthy race.
Danielle Lee continued her torrid pace for Harvard in the next event with yet another pool record and an NCAA 'B' cut time. The sophomore clocked in at 1:55.70 to claim the top-spot in the 200 backstroke, giving her another sweep on the year. Clute took second in the consolation heat, touching the wall in 2:00.13 for 17 points to help distance Harvard from Princeton.
Continuing their success on the boards, the Harvard divers collected much-needed points to boost the Crimson where it counted. Brittany Wang added 11 points to her preliminary dive on the 3-meter board to take a crucial third place finish for the Crimson. Elina Leiviska improved on her earlier performance as well, stepping up for a fourth-place finish worth 26 points to Harvard, while Schuyler Moore captured sixth for Harvard with her 269.15.
Senior Alex Stanton capped off her Harvard career with a first-place performance in the consolation round, totaling 265.55 for the Crimson. Cassandra Corneau placed 12th overall (fourth in the consolation) with her 247.95.
Victoria Chan kept things rolling along for Harvard in the 100 freestyle race. She posted another NCAA 'B' cut time for the Crimson, clocking in at 49.99 to take fourth place. Senior Sara Li captured a seventh place finish in the finals, swimming the event in 50.38 for the Crimson. Daniela Johnson gave Harvard another boost, taking the top spot in the 100 free consolation heat, touching the wall in ninth place overall in 50.59.
In the 200 breaststroke, as the meet was starting to wind down, Stephanie Ferrell catapulted the Crimson even higher in the ranks with her second place finish in the event. With the high finish, the Crimson officially clinched the championship, regardless of what the ensuing 400 relay would produce. Ferrell swam the 200 in 2:15.01, yet another NCAA 'B' cut time for Harvard on the weekend, claiming 28 points and another podium showing. Faith Martin also performed well, taking 10th overall and second in the consolation with her 2:18.55, better than a one second improvement from her prelims.
The Crimson end the Ivy League Championships with 1409 points, ahead of Princeton (1384) in second, followed by Yale (1163.5), Columbia (945), Penn (882), Brown (792.5), Cornell (662) and Dartmouth (535).