Women’s Swimming and Diving Begins 2012-13 Slate in Ithaca, N.Y.

Clare Foster will be a one of three captains for the Crimson this season (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).

 The Harvard women's swimming and diving team will start its defense of last year's Ivy League title with its first meet of the year Nov. 10 in Ithaca, N.Y. The Crimson will take on conference foes Cornell and Dartmouth at 1:45 p.m.

Welcome Back
Harvard returns 26 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 7-2 overall, 7-0 in the Ivy League and won the Ivy Championships meet by 168 points. Highlighting the returners is sophomore Courtney Otto who won Ancient Eight titles in the 400 IM and 800 free relay last season and earned four All-Ivy selections. Otto, a Mid-Major All-America pick, was joined on the All-Ivy team by fellow returners Sara Li, Kelsey Hojan-Clark and Faith Martin. Li will serve as a captain of the Crimson along with classmates Clare Foster and Brittany Powell. Among divers, Alex Stanton is Harvard's top returner after placing fifth on the three-meter board at the Ivy Championships.

New Faces
The Crimson added 11 newcomers to the 2012-13 squad. "Our incoming class not only adds depth to our program but also fills a few key areas by adding a sprint backstroker and bolstering our distance group," Stephanie Wriede-Morawski, The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving, commented. "This is a very well rounded group of women who have continued to improve throughout summer. We're thrilled that they chose Harvard and excited to work with them this fall."

About Dartmouth
The Big Green (0-0) is coming off a 2011-12 season that saw Dartmouth compile a 7-5 record and 3-4 mark in the Ivy League. Dartmouth finished in fifth place at the conference meet, its highest finish in the last 10 years, with three top-five finishes. Meredith Sweeney was second in the 200-yard backstroke, Sasha Alcon grabbed third in the 100-yard freestyle and the Big Green's 400-yard freestyle relay team came in fifth. Sweeney and Alcon return for their junior and sophomore seasons, respectively.

Harvard has won 31 consecutive decisions against Dartmouth to own a 33-3 advantage in the all-time series. The Crimson topped the Big Green, 187.5-110.5, a year ago in the season opener with Cornell Nov. 12. The last time Dartmouth knocked off Harvard was in 1979.

About Cornell
Cornell (0-0) finished last year with a 2-6 overall record and was 1-6 against Ancient Eight opponents. The Big Red posted its third-highest score in school history at the Ivy League championships (630.5), but finished in eighth place at the meet. Melissa Mrozinski, who is back for her junior season, had Cornell's best individual finish with 13th place in the 1650 free.

After dropping its first dual with Cornell in 1983, Harvard has reeled off 27 straight victories over the Big Red. Last season, the Crimson produced a dominating 218-80 win over Cornell at Blodgett Pool to start the year Nov. 12.

What's Ahead?
Harvard's fall slate includes a home dual against Columbia Nov. 16 before visits to the Georgia Invitational and the ECAC Fall Championships Nov. 30. The Crimson picks up its schedule again Jan. 11 at Miami (Fla.) and follows with the remainder of its Ivy League schedule and a dual at Blodgett Pool with Vermont Jan. 20. The Crimson travels to the Ivy Championships in Princeton, N.J., Feb. 28-March 2 and hosts the ECAC Championships March 1-3.