PROVIDENCE, R.I. – With an incredible second day in the pool during the 2014 Ivy League Championships, the Harvard women's swimming and diving team sits in first place ahead of its Ancient Eight foes. The Crimson's 952 points leaves Harvard just ahead of Princeton (924) and Yale (739) heading into the final day of competition on Saturday.
"Today was the ultimate showing of teamwork," said Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving Stephanie Wriede Morawski. "They fought together to get into finals in the morning, and then inspired each other to great performances tonight."
Danielle Lee had a marvelous day between the lanes, setting a new Harvard and Ivy League Championship record with her NCAA 'B' cut time in the 100 backstroke. The sophomore swam her way onto the top of the podium and into the record books with her 52.83 split, knocking nearly two seconds off her preliminary time in the process.
Sherry Liu started things off with a bang, capturing a tremendous pool record and a first place finish in the lengthy 1000 free. Liu knocked more than 15 seconds off her seed time, touching the wall in 9:43.53 to claim 32 points for the Crimson right off the bat.
"The 1000 swimmers showed their depth and set the tone for the meet," Morawski said.
After setting a program record in the 400 medley relay the night before, Harvard's quartet of Danielle Lee, Stephanie Ferrell, Daniela Johnson and Deirdre Clute grabbed a third-place finish – and a pool record – in one of the tighter races of the season. At 1:40.13, the Crimson foursome finished less than a second off of Princeton in first.
On the boards, Elina Leiviska and Brittany Wang secured their spot in the 3-meter dive with outstanding performances. Leiviska grabbed 285.15 points for a second-place finish in the prelims, followed closely by Brittany Wang's 277.95 third-place finish. Schuyler Moore advanced to the finals as well, taking sixth place in the 3-meter with her combined score of 269.15.
Having made it into the finals of the 400 IM, Kelsey Hojan-Clark took sixth place in the 400 IM (4:23.22), just ahead of teammate Faith Martin, who touched the wall in 4:24.23 to give Harvard a great showing in the mid-distance event.
Ferrell added more crucial points for the Crimson with her fourth place finish in the 100 breaststroke finals. Ferrell, who set the program record with her preliminary run of 1:01.90 in the morning, clocked in at 1:02.85, less than .40 off an NCAA 'B' cut time to earn 24 points for Harvard. Sara Li grabbed second in the consolation heat, touching the wall in 1:03.47 as well.
With an Ivy title in its sights, the Crimson will hit the water tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. looking to hold onto its lead over Princeton and Yale.