Stephanie Ferrell dives in during Harvard's win over Columbia (187-113) Nov. 16 (photo Kevin Burns).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard women's swimming and diving squad will make a stop in Miami on its way back from Puerto Rico to take on the Hurricanes Friday in its first meet of 2013. The Crimson spent Jan. 2-10 of its winter break in Puerto Rico, training and competing in a friendly dual with Drew University, before flying to Miami on its return to New England.
Last Time Out
Harvard split its squad in Georgia for the UGA Fall Invitational and Georgia Tech Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The Crimson broke seven school records, including freshman Kendall Crawford topping her own 100-back mark for the second time in as many meets. Sophomore Courtney Otto had Harvard's top finish of the weekend with a third-place showing in the 200-yard butterfly. After being seeded No. 1 (1:57.25), Otto swam a 1:56.24 in the final to finish behind a pair of Olympians from Cal who tied for first at 1:55.69. The West Seneca, N.Y., native's mark was just .01 off of Kate Mills' Harvard record set in 2009.
"It was a very successful trip to Georgia, with seven school records being set. More than all the fast times though, the group came together as a team," said Stephanie Wriede Morawski, The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving. "Being on the road and learning how to trust, support and believe in one another is very important for the end of the season. While individuals will reset personal goals, as a team, we have swum against the best and that makes this team tougher and more well prepared to handle the pressures in the Ivy League."
Related Link: Seven Harvard Records Eclipsed During Women's Swimming and Diving's Trip to Georgia
Scouting the Hurricanes
Miami joined Harvard at the Georgia Tech Invitational and placed third at the three-day event in its last outing. Sophomore Lucy Worrall paced the Hurricanes with first-place finishes in the 100 butterfly (53.70), an NCAA 'B' cut, and the 200 butterfly (2:00.06). In dual meet competition, Miami has losses to Florida Gulf Coast (130-113), Florida State (184-115), North Carolina State (181-113) and Duke (164-133). The Hurricane's lone dual meet win this season was over Houston (147-95) Oct. 13. Other than Worrall's 'B' cut at the Georgia Tech Invitational, Sofia Johansson also owns a 'B' qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.16).
In the Rankings
Harvard is ranked No. 1 in the most recent Collegeswimming.com mid-major rankings. The Crimson jumped all the way to the top, after not being ranked in the previous poll, with its success in Georgia. The list serves "to provide an objective point system to compare teams' relative strength in a traditional dual meet lineup."
The Crimson also appeared in the Nov. 12 to Dec. 9 edition of the Endless Pools Top 25 rankings, before dropping out in the most recent list. Harvard appeared at No. 24 in the earlier Top 25, which is determined by "performance points" rather than human voting, and is the only Ivy League team to appear in the rankings this season. The Crimson also received votes in the Dec. 5 CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Coaches' Poll.
With its win against Columbia, Harvard extended its string of consecutive victories over Ancient 8 opponents to ten. Harvard is 3-0 this season after posting an undefeated 7-0 mark last year en route to the Ivy League title. The team's last conference loss came against Princeton Jan. 28, 2011.
Three for Three
In the first three meets of her collegiate career, freshman Kendall Crawford has set the women's backstroke record. Crawford initially broke the record at Cornell's Teagle Hall with a time of 55.04. She then lowered the mark at home with a 54.99 to become the first woman in Harvard history to break the 55-second barrier in the event. At the UGA Fall Invite, the Greenville, S.C., native once again broke her own record by touching the wall in 54.54 seconds.
Video: Kendall Crawford Breaks Harvard 100 Backstroke Record (vs. Columbia)
Harvard has dominated the early season in dual meets, winning 23 of 32 events thus far. The team has had four student-athletes win their respective races in each dual: Sherry Liu (1,000 freestyle), Kendall Crawford (100 backstroke), Ana Anaya (200 butterfly) and Danielle Lee (200 backstroke). The 200-yard medley relay team has also taken first in both duals this season.
Join the Conversation
Follow @HarvardCrimson, the official Twitter handle of Harvard Athletics, for all the latest news and notes on your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams. To receive updates from the women's swimming and diving team, follow @HarvardSwim. Use the hashtag #GoCrimson to see what fans are saying about Crimson athletics.
Swimming Season Preview
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 Season Preview
Diving Season Preview
Keith Miller, who is in his 22nd season with the Crimson, talked about the divers on the 2012-13 roster in a recent interview.
Video: Seniors Lead Strong Group of Harvard Women Divers in 2012-13
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.
Otto Interview for Swimming World
Courtney Otto was the featured guest on Swimming World's "Morning Swim Show" Dec. 19. The interview, which was conducted by Jeff Commings, is shown on the front page of swimmingworldmagazine.com. Otto talks about last year's Olympic Trials as well as Harvard's and her own impressive performances at the recent UGA Fall Invite.
GoCrimson.com introduced a new video feature to its lineup for the 2012-13 season, "Top Plays of the Month," counting down the greatest moments from your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams from the previous calendar month. Use the hashtag #CrimsonTop10 to nominate your favorite plays for inclusion. Courtney Otto came in at No. 3 in December or posting the seventh-best 200 butterfly time in the nation at the UGA Fall Invite.
Harvard returns to the Northeast after taking on Miami and will face Brown and Penn in Providence, R.I. next weekend. The Crimson will also host Vermont (Jan. 20) and have the annual HYP meet (Feb. 1) before the Ivy Championships Feb. 28.