Harvard women's swimming and diving will host its first dual of the year at Blodgett Pool Friday afternoon (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's swimming and diving team will host its only dual of 2012-13 on this side of the calendar year when Columbia visits Cambridge Friday. The Lions and Crimson are slated for a 3 p.m. meet at Blodgett Pool.
The Crimson (2-0, 2-0 Ivy League) opened the season with a pair of wins for the 13th straight season last weekend. Harvard took down Ivy opponents Dartmouth, 196-99, and Cornell, 186-109, in Ithaca, N.Y. Eight pool records were broken by Crimson swimmers, and Harvard won 11 of the 16 events to cruise to the two victories.
Kendall Crawford broke Meghan Leddy's Harvard record in the 100 backstroke with a 55.04 mark in her first collegiate meet. Crawford's mark was one of eight times that broke Teagle Hall Pool records at Cornell Nov. 10. Courtney Otto and Sara Li also set new Teagle Hall bests in the 200 free (1:51.70) and 100 free (50.98), respectively, and both contributed to Harvard's 400-meter freestyle record-setting relay (3:28.96) with Connie Hsu and Deirdre Clute. Other record-breaking performers included Sherry Liu (1,000 free), Kelsey Hojan-Clark (500 free), Danielle Lee (200 back) and Ana Anaya (200 butterfly).
Harvard narrowly missed another pool record, by .03 seconds, with its 200 medley relay victory. Crawford, Mackenzie Luick, Anaya and Lee (1:45.25) edged teammates Caroline Weaver, Li, Otto and Faith Martin (1:47.43) for a one-two Harvard finish.
Related Article: Eight Pool Records Fall as Women's Swimming and Diving Starts 2-0
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Stephanie Wriede Morawski, The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving, sat down with GoCrimson.com to preview the 2012-13 campaign.
Video: Women's Swimming and Diving Looks for Back-to-Back Ivy Titles
Sights Set on Back-to-Back Titles
Harvard won its 10th Ivy League title last season by outscoring Princeton by 168 points at the Ivy League championship meet in February. The Crimson appears poised for another run at the top spot to complete back-to-back Ivy championships for the first time since 2006. Harvard also won last year's regular season crown with a perfect 7-0 record against the Ancient Eight.
The Lions (0-1, 0-1 Ivy League) opened 2012-13 with a narrow loss at Yale, 158-142, last Saturday. Katie Meili led Columbia with three wins on the day, beating the field in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.36), the 200-yard breaststroke (2:18.04) and the 200-yard IM (2:04.87). Meili helped the Lions to 31 points on the day as she was also a part of the 200-yard medley relay team that placed second (1:44.76).
The Crimson has never lost to Columbia in 27 all-time meetings between the two programs. Harvard escaped New York with a 157-143 win over the Lions last season, the closest margin of victory since the first meeting with Columbia in 1985. Columbia was Harvard's closest competition in the Ivy League standings a year ago, defeating the other six Ivy schools to go 6-1 in the Ancient Eight and finish in second place.
The Crimson will send swimmers and divers to the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga., and the ECAC Fall Championships in Long Island, N.Y. the weekend of Nov. 30. The two events complete the 2012 portion of the season, as Harvard will have over a month off of competition before taking on Miami (Fla.) Jan. 11.