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Women's Swimming and Diving Prepares for Texas, MIT Invitationals

Harvard splits the squad to compete in both the Texas Invitational and the MIT Invitational this weekend. (Photo: Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After a successful Ivy League tri-meet in Hanover two weeks ago, the Harvard women's swimming and diving team hits the water again this weekend as the squad will split for both the Texas Invitational (Thursday-Saturday) and the MIT Invitational (Friday-Saturday).

The Crimson (2-1, 2-1 Ivy League) is coming off two dominating wins in the pool against Dartmouth and Cornell, handing its Ancient Eight foes 201-99 and 196-104 losses, respectively, while setting four pool records in the process. Seven individual Crimson earned event wins, which added with victories in both relays, gave Harvard a total of 11 wins on the afternoon.

Related Link: Crimson Set Four Pool Records as Women's Swimming and Diving Sweeps Tri-Meet

This season, a few Crimson have shone, including the usual suspects like Sara Li and Courtney Otto, but newcomer Victoria Chan has made her mark between the lanes as well, capturing five total victories to open the fall season. On the boards, another freshman, Elina Leiviskä, has been making a splash as well. In her debut year, the Finnish diver has placed first in every event so far this season for Harvard.

Doubling Up
Five Crimson have swept thier respective events this season, on top of four Harvard sweeps in relay events. Leiviska has yet to place worst than first this season, claiming all four of her events so far. Against Columbia, Ashlee Korsberg held down the fort in the 500- and 1650-freestyle races. 

Victoria Chan has swept once, and earned three wins in relay events. Danielle Lee has continued to impress, taking home the 200- and 500-freestyle events in both meets, along with her role in the winning relay units. Stephanie Ferrell proved her mettle in the 100- and 200-breaststroke in the Ivy tri-meet, taking home both events to help the Crimson take control.

What to Expect This Weekend
The slate in Austin features a bevy of talented and nationally prominent teams for Harvard to face, including No. 6 Southern California, host and No. 9 Texas, No. 13 Arizona, No. 19 UCLA, No. 24 Penn State, BYU, Wisconsin, UC Santa Barbara and Oklahoma Baptist.

The last – and only – time Harvard appeared in Austin was during the 2011-12 Texas Invitational, after which five members of the Crimson diving team combined to place 12th in the tough, divers-only field.

That season, the Crimson swimmers made an appearance, a seventh-place finish, in the MIT Invitational. This season, the roles are more or less reversed, as the divers and a small portion of swimmers will head to the MIT Invitational while the bulk of the swimmers will take part in the Texas Invitational for the first time ever.