Women’s Swimming Remains Unbeaten with Wins Over Penn and Brown

Sonia Wang defended her 400 IM title Friday, despite fighting an injury (Gil Talbot).
Sonia Wang defended her 400 IM title Friday, despite fighting an injury (Gil Talbot).

PHILADELPHIA – The Harvard women's swimming and diving team improved to 5-0 this season against the Ivy League, beating Penn and Brown Saturday in Philadelphia. The Crimson bested the host Quakers, 165-135, while downing the Bears, 194-106.

"We flew diretly into Philadelphia from our winter trip. After an intense week of training, we were excited to race," said Stephanie Wriede Morawski, The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving. "Penn and Brown provided excellent competition and pushed us, but our team displayed heart, determination and calmness under pressure. The coaching staff is very proud of them."

The meet began Friday evening with the Crimson dominating the diving portion of the meet. Harvard claimed the top-four spots in the three-meter event led by Hannah Allchurch's 301.40. Jing Leung followed behind by less than two points, and Katie Russ and Alisha Mah had the third and fourth-highest scores. Mah took top honors in the one-meter, posting a score of 287.70. Allchurch and Russ rounded out the top three, all in Harvard's favor.

The swimmers hit the water Saturday afternoon, with Harvard earning four individual victories and a relay win. Standout freshman Mikaela Dahlke registered Harvard's first win of the afternoon, capturing the 200 freestyle by .23 with her time of 1:50.12. Dahlke later went on to claim second in the 100 free by just .10, clocking in at 51.26.

The next event, the 100 backstroke, saw the Crimson take the top three finishes. Kristina Li led the trifecta with her time of 56.05. Mei Lynn Colby and Marissa Cominelli came in second and third, respectively.

Willa Wang tacked on another Crimson victory in the 500 free, edging out Penn's Virginia Burns by just under a second with her finishing mark of 4:55.99. Meagan Popp tagged the wall in third for Harvard. W. Wang also earned a fourth-place finish earlier in the meet in the 1000 free. Popp also earned another top-five finish in the 100 breaststroke, claiming fourth as Harvard top finisher in the event.

The Crimson's final individual win came in the 200 IM by Sonia Wang. Wang's 2:05.55 bested Carolyn Yang from Penn for first place. Harvard closed out the meet with a relay triumph in the 400 free. Victoria Chan, Jerrica Li, Daniela Johnson and Dahlke combined for a 3:25.43 to beat Brown's 'A' team wall by 1.15 seconds.

Earlier in the meet, Brittany Usinger turned in a runner-up showing in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:02.53, the top time in the event for a Harvard swimmer this season. Usinger also earned second in the 100 fly, with Colby garnering third.

Kristina Li and S. Wang were among the top contenders in the 200 back, but ultimately took second and third. Colby, Dahlke and Chan earned three of the top-five finishes in the 50 free. Colby was Harvard's top finisher in third with a 23.87.

Harvard will take the next few weeks off from official competition in preparation for the H-Y-P meet at Yale Feb. 3-4.