Harvard Celebrates Championship Season at Team Banquet

BOSTON -The Harvard women's swimming and diving team looked back on a season of unprecedented success at its annual awards banquet Saturday at the Harvard Club of Boston.

The Crimson celebrated a season that culminated in Ivy League and ECAC Championships. Harvard also posted a 6-1 dual record and third-place finish at the Georgia Invitational and sent two swimmers to the NCAA Championships. Alumnae Kyle Cutter '07, Christen Deveney '99, Meaghan Colling '08 and Sharon Beckman '80 were on hand to assist the coaching staff in presenting awards.

Junior Alexandra Clarke and sophomore Kate Mills, who anchored the Crimson's win at the Ivy League Championships and represented Harvard in the NCAA Championships, were the recipients of the Sharon Beckman Award, presented by Beckman herself. The award honors the swimmer whose outstanding performance, dedication, qualities of leadership and promotion of Harvard swimming emulate those of Beckman, a former Crimson co-captain.

Clarke and Mills each won an individual and relay championship at the Ivy meet, while Clarke also had two second-place individual finishes to lead a dominant performance by the Crimson distance corps. Mills, the Ivy 200-yard freestyle champion, had a team-best 23rd-place finish in the 200 butterfly at the NCAA Championships. Clarke placed 28th in the 500 free at the NCAA meet. The duo combined to play a part in eight school records this season.

The John Walker Award, given to Harvard's most outstanding diver, was presented by diving coach Keith Miller to Jenny Reese. The sophomore led a young group of Crimson divers this season, starting with a season-opening sweep of the diving events against Cornell and Dartmouth. Reese also won the three-meter diving against Penn, placed third in the one-meter at the HYP meet and took seventh in the one-meter at the Ivy League Championships.

Meghan Leddy was the recipient of the Outstanding Freshman Award, presented by Deveney. At the Ivy League Championships, Leddy won the 200 backstroke in school-record time and placed second in the 100 back. She also won the 200 back at the HYP meet and swept the backstrokes in her collegiate debut against Columbia.

Head coach Stephanie Wriede Morawski and assistant Rebecca Mitchell Agoglia presented the Coach's Award to sophomores Katy Hinkle and Katherine Pickard. The award goes to those member(s) of the team whose all around attitude and contributions stand out to the coaching staff. Hinkle and Pickard stood out by combining for seven All-Ivy honors and four school records. Both swam on the winning 800 free relay team at Ivies, while Pickard was on the first-place 200 free relay squad and Hinkle claimed the 100 backstroke.

Sophomore Christine Kaufmann was presented with the Dr. Mary Ellen Mangano Award by Colling. The award honors the team's "unsung heroine." Swimming in the shadow of Clarke, Kaufmann still made her mark at the Ivy League Championships. She placed second in the 1,000 free, third in the 1,650 and fourth in the 500 to contribute to the Crimson's distance dominance.

Senior co-captain Kelly Mooney, the leader of Harvard's ECAC title-winning squad, received the Nancy Sato Award, which goes to the senior whose action and attitude over the years reflect a strong commitment to the improvement of Harvard swimming and diving as demonstrated by Nancy Sato '75.

Linnea Sundberg, the team's other senior, was one of two recipients of the Alice McCabe Award, along with junior Katie Faulkner, as the Crimson's most improved athletes. Sundberg placed third in the 400 individual medley at Ivies, while Faulkner took third in the 1,000 free and fifth in the 1,650. Each also won an Ivy B final, Sundberg in the 200 IM and Faulkner in the 500 free. The award was presented by Cutter.

Sophomore diver Marissa Ash was the winner of the Spirit Award, honoring the team member whose contributions to the program in spirit, energy, and enthusiasm most emulate that of Coach Maura Costin Scalise '80. Ash was also a contributor on the boards, winning the one-meter against Brown and taking the three-meter B final at the Ivy meet.