Crimson Hosts Harvard Swimming and Diving Invitational This Weekend

Johnson was one of nine different Harvard athletes to win at Cornell (photo courtesy David Silverman).

Event Schedule (PDF)

The Storyline
The Harvard women’s swimming and diving team opens its home schedule and competes in its first championship-style meet of the season as it hosts the Harvard Swimming and Diving Invitational Friday through Sunday at Blodgett Pool.

The Particulars
The women’s swim teams visiting Blodgett for the weekend are Rutgers, Columbia, Sacred Heart and Wagner. The diving competition will feature both men’s and women’s divisions, with Rutgers, Columbia, Boston College, Boston University, Central Connecticut State, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northeastern and Yale competing.

The meet gets underway with the first preliminary session Friday at 11 a.m. Friday’s finals will be held at 6 p.m. The same schedule will be in place Saturday, with diving also going on all day. Sunday’s preliminary heats will begin at 9:30 a.m. Diving will continue throughout the day, and early heats of the 1,650-yard freestyle will begin around 1 p.m. The last finals session will get underway Sunday at 4:30 p.m. A full schedule is linked above as a PDF document.

Last Time Out
Junior Christine Kaufmann won the 200 and 500 freestyles and freshman Brittany Powell swept the diving events to lead the Crimson to a season-opening sweep of host Cornell and Dartmouth Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y. Harvard topped the Big Red, 166-129, and the Big Green, 203-92, and won 11 of the 14 events in which it competed. Four other freshmen joined Powell as winners in their collegiate debut meet: Clare Foster (200 breaststroke), Camille Hendrix (100 free), Ellie Johnson (50 free) and Mackenzie Luick (100 breast).

National Attention
The Crimson, which finished last season ranked 25th nationally, is again receiving attention from the national poll voters. Harvard received votes in the first Swimming Coaches Association of America Division I Swimming and Diving Team Poll of the season.

Scouting the Swimming Opposition
Rutgers, which also received a vote in the national poll, is off to a 3-0 start to the season, having posted wins against Big East Conference rivals Connecticut, West Virginia and Villanova. The Scarlet Knights are one of four teams from the northeast United States receiving national votes, along with Harvard, Pittsburgh and Princeton.

Columbia fell in its season opener against Yale, 199-101 and is coming off a fifth-place finish in last season’s Ivy League Championships. Wagner has already competed in six dual meets. The Seahawks own a 4-2 record and have won three straight meets, against St. Francis (N.Y.), Sacred Heart and NJIT. Sacred Heart is seeking to gain momentum after picking up one win in its first five dual matchups.

Coming Attractions
This is Harvard’s final competition of the calendar year. Following final exams in December, the Crimson will compete in the Princeton Diving Invitational and a dual meet at Penn Jan. 8-9. The Crimson swimmers will then visit Barbados for a training trip, while the divers will head to Hawaii.