Women’s Swimming and Diving Dominates Cornell and Dartmouth in Season Opener

Women’s Swimming and Diving Dominates Cornell and Dartmouth in Season Opener

Jerrica Li won the 100 free Saturday at Dartmouth (Gil Talbot).

HANOVER, N.H. – The Harvard women's swimming and diving team started the season off in dominant fashion Saturday, winning 13 of 16 events as it downed Cornell, 198-94, and Dartmouth, 203-89.

"We executed the technical details and fine-tuned racing skills against the Cornell and Dartmouth swimmers," said Steph Morawski '92, The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming & Diving. "Our divers also picked up where they left off last year and continue to be a force in the league. After a very challenging week of training, this meet proved to be a solid stepping stone towards our end-of-the-season goals."

Harvard raced out to a lead over both of its opponents in Karl Michael Pool, winning the first nine swimming events. The 200 medley relay squad of Kristina Li, Meagan Popp, Gabby Sims and Mei Lynn Colby was the first of three Crimson relay squads to touch the wall ahead of the competition, finishing in 1:46.47.

The first individual win went to senior Willa Wang, who took top honors in the 1000 free with a 10:13.05. Popp kept the wins coming in the 200 free with her finishing mark of 1:52.73. Teammate Victoria Chan took second in the event. A victory by K. Li followed in the 100 back, edging a challenger from Cornell with a final time of 56.62. Li would also go on to claim winning honors in the 200 back with a time of 2:02.93 later in the meet.

Junior Geordie Enoch kept the wins coming in 100 breast. Her time of 1:05.67 won by a slight 0.15 margin over Dartmouth's Sam Norton. Sophomore Brittany Usinger swam away from the field in the 200 butterfly, posting a winning time of 2:03.48, nearly four seconds faster than second place.

Freshman Mikaela Dahlke garnered first-place accolades in her first collegiate meet, winning with a time of 24.05 in the 50 free. The 100 free was an all-Harvard top three, led by rookie Jerrica Li's 51.86. Chan took second and Colby claimed third. Junior Regan Kology capped the swimming triumphs for the Crimson, recording the fastest time in the 500 free at 5:01.46.

Harvard's divers also claimed victories on both boards. Junior Jing Leung and sophomore Mikaela Thompson battled closely for the top spot in the one-meter with the elder Crimson winning narrowly, 300.80-300.45. The next closest finisher was 41 points behind them. Thompson would go on to register a win on the three-meter board, tallying a score of 298.55, with Leung taking third.

The fastest time of the 400 free relay came from the Harvard quartet of J. Li, Popp, Enoch and Dahlke, 3:29.22, but was posted during an exhibition heat.

Harvard will have a couple weeks off before the swimmers head to the Texas Invitational Nov. 30, while the divers travel to the Georgia Diving Invitational Dec. 2.