Women's Swimming and Diving Seeks 10th Ivy League Title this Weekend at Blodgett

Women's Swimming and Diving Seeks 10th Ivy League Title this Weekend at Blodgett

The Crimson will be seeking to capture its 10th Ivy League Championship as host of the meet Feb. 23-25 (OAC).

Story Line
The Harvard women's swimming and diving team will host the 2012 Ivy League Championships Thursday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, Feb. 25 at Blodgett Pool. Prelims will be held each morning beginning at 11 a.m. with the championship finals beginning at 6 p.m.

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On the Web
Fans can watch the meet in its entirety live online through Single day passes are available for just $14.95 while a full meet pass is available for $24.95. Click here to sign up today.

What's At Stake
Harvard is looking to claim its 10th Ivy League Championship and third under Stephanie Wriede Morawski, the Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving. The Crimson finished as the runner-up to Princeton at each of the last two championship meets, after having last won it all in 2009.

Harvard and Princeton have combined to win each of the last 12 Ivy League Championships, and the Crimson will enter this year's meet as the reigning Ivy League dual meet title holders. Harvard posted an overall record of 7-2 this season with a perfect 7-0 mark in the Ancient Eight. The Crimson last won both the dual meet crown and championship meet in 2005.

Get On Our Level
Harvard boasts three individuals who currently hold NCAA top 50 times, led by Courtney Otto who appears on the list three times. Otto ranks 15th in the nation with a 200 fly time of 1:56.94, while her 400 IM time (4:15.14) is good for 34th and her 1,000 free time (9:57.72) is good for 41st. Kelsey Hojan-Clark ranks 24th in the 1,000 free (9:51.32) and 41st in the 1,650 free (16:34.54). Meghan Leddy, meanwhile, owns the highest ranking among the Crimson with her 200 back time of 1:54.92 placing her 11th in the NCAA.

The Crimson also boast two relays which appear on the NCAA's list of top 50 times. Faith Martin, Sarah Sumner, Hojan-Clark and Catherine Zagroba combined for a time of 7:20.07 in the 800 free relay at the HYP meet, ranking them 20th, while the 400 free relay team of Martin, Sara Li, Alicia Lightbourne and Sumner turned in a time of 3:23.52 at the HYP meet, good for 37th.

Harvard ranks first in the Ivy League in eight events entering the championship meet, including the 500 free (Hojan-Clark, 4:47.04), 1,000 free (Hojan-Clark, 9:51.32), 1,650 free (Hojan-Clark, 16:34.54), 200 back (Leddy, 1:54.92), 200 fly (Otto, 1:56.94), 400 IM (Otto, 4:15.14), 400 free relay (Martin, Li, Lightbourne and Sumner, 3:32.52) and 800 free relay (Martin, Sumner, Hojan-Clark and Zagroba, 7:20.07).

Seven current Crimson have combined for a total of 11 all-conference honors at previous Ivy League Championship meets, including Meghan Leddy who is a two-time champion in the 200 back. Leddy captured her first conference title in 2009 with a winning time of 1:57.51, and reclaimed the championship last year with a time of 1:56.66. Catherine Zagroba earned first team honors in 2009 as a member of the winning 800 free relay team, and at the 2011 meet Sara Li, Zagroba and Laura Evans teamed up with Kate Mills '11 to win the event again.

Zagroba also earned second team honors in the 800 free relay in 2010. Last year, Laura Evans took second in the 400 IM (4:18.46) to earn her first All-Ivy recognition while Brittany Powell finished as the runner-up on the three-meter diving board (264.15) for her first honor. Li earned two second team selections as a member of 200 free relay team and 400 free relay team, and was joined on the 200 free relay team by Jenna Gregoire.

HYP and Ivy League Dual Meet Champions
The Harvard women's swimming and diving team collected its first HYP title and Ivy League dual meet championship since 2006 on Feb. 5 by defeating Princeton, 190-110, and Yale, 235-65.

The wins improved Harvard to a perfect 7-0 against the Ancient Eight, marking the third unblemished conference record and third Ivy League dual crown for the Crimson under Stephanie Wriede Morawski, the Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving. Harvard's victory over Princeton also ended the Tigers' streak of 43 consecutive wins and its run as the five-time reigning dual meet champs.

"Our team has been very focused all year on this," Morawski commented following the meet. "Our goal is at the end of the season to try to win the Ivy League championship, and we knew coming into this Princeton was 42-0. We had nothing to lose. That's really what the focus was, be relaxed, be calm, you've got nothing to lose. Just get out there and have some fun racing."

Mid-Major Poll
The Crimson rose to the No. 1 spot in the most recent mid-major rankings after laying claim to the 2012 Ivy League dual meet title. Harvard had been ranked second in the previous poll after moving up two spots from the No. 4 position. The Crimson is seeking its first mid-major title since 2009 and fifth overall.

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Record Breakers
Meghan Leddy and Stephanie Ferrell have combined to set three new school records this season. Leddy entered the year as the Harvard record holder in both the 100 back and 200 back, and broke both of those marks with times of 55.16 and 1:54.92, respectively, at the Georgia Invitational on Dec. 2. Ferrell, meanwhile, broke the school record in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.64 at the Georgia Invitational, besting Jaclyn Pangilinan's '08 time of 1:03.25 which had stood since 2008.