Harvard Women’s Swimming Defends Ivy League Title

Harvard's Valerie Yoshimura during the 200 yard butterfly during a swim meet between Columbia and Harvard Universities at Harvard College on Friday November 16, 2018. Photo by Joseph Prezioso

The Harvard Women’s Swimming and Diving team successfully defended its Ivy League title, earning 1,500 points to finish out in front of second-place Yale (1,390.50) and the rest of the league on Saturday at DeNunzio Pool.

In addition to capturing its second straight Ivy title, the championship was the Crimson’s fourth in the last six seasons, 14th overall and the seventh under The Costin Family Head Coach for Harvard Women’s Swimming and Diving Stephanie Wriede Morawski ’92.

As for the rest of the standings, outside of the top-two positions held by Harvard and Yale, Princeton finished in third place with 1,177 points and was followed by Brown (937.50), Penn (865.50), Dartmouth (709), Columbia (701.50) and Cornell (506). The Crimson led wire-to-wire, starting on Wednesday when it was tied with the Bulldogs, and then increased its lead each day after that.

First-year Samantha Shelton won for the third time in as many days, this time claiming the 200-yard backstroke. Hailing from Santa Margarita Catholic High in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Shelton set the program and Ivy League Championship record with an effort of 1:54.01, which was also an NCAA qualifying B-standard. Teammate Michelle Owens, meanwhile, finished third in the event with the seventh-fastest time in program history (1:58.02).

Junior Miki Dahlke set the Harvard record with a 100-yard freestyle time of 48.51. She was the runner-up in the event and led a Crimson contingent that went 2-3-4. In third place was Mei Lynn Colby, who finished in 49.21, and was followed by Kennidy Quist (49.56). Their efforts rank as the third- and fourth-best performances, respectively, in school history.

Joining the aforementioned Harvard swimmers in the school record book was Marcella Ruppert-Gomez. The first-year logged a time of 16:25.22 in the 1,650 free, which was the second-best effort in program history.

Harvard capped its night by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay, its first Ivy League victory in the event since 2008. The quartet’s 3:15.47 was a school, meet and pool record, and was just 0.50 seconds shy of an NCAA qualifying A-standard. Colby, Shelton, Quist and Dahlke were the featured swimmers.

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