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February 25, 2012

Harvard Wins 2012 Ivy League Women's Swimming & Diving Championship

Final Day Three Results (HTML) | Final Day Three Results (PDF) | Photo Gallery

Watch: 200 Back Final | 100 Freestyle Final | 200 Breaststroke Final | 200 Fly Final |Columbia junior Katie Meili | Yale senior Rachel Rosenberg | Yale senior Hayes Hyde | Harvard senior Leslie Rea | Harvard head coach Stephanie Wriede Morawski

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- After another exciting night of swimming, Harvard finished atop the standings to take home the 2012 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championship on Saturday at the Crimson's Blodgett Pool. Harvard completed the wire-to-wire win for its first championship since 2009 and its first home win since 1992.

Columbia junior Katie Meili and Princeton sophomore Lisa Boyce won individual races to close the weekend with three Ivy League titles apiece, and Meili went on to be named the 2012 Ivy League Swimmer of the Meet as voted on by the League's eight head coaches.

In the team standings, Princeton finished in second with 1,310.5 points, followed by Yale (1,075.5), Columbia (1,057), Dartmouth (846.5), Penn (767), Brown (688.5) and Cornell (630.5). It marked the Big Green's best finish since also finishing fifth in 1981.   

The first event of the evening was the fastest heat of the 1,650-free. Penn sophomore Shelby Fortin had no seedtime so she swam in the first heat and posted a 16:32.88, setting the bar for Saturday night's final heat. In the final, Harvard freshman Kelsey Hojan Clark turned in a 16:29.90 to finish first overall. It was her second win in as many nights as she also placed first in the 1,000-free. Fortin took second, while Columbia freshman Cha Cha Bugatti placed third (16:38.22).

Harvard senior Meghan Leddy came into the 200-back as the top qualifier from prelims with a 1:57.42. She went on to win her a third Ivy League title in the event (2009 & 2011) with a finals swim of 1:57.26, becoming just the fourth three-time winner in Championship Meet history. Dartmouth sophomore Meredith Sweeney placed second in 1:59.42. Harvard's Laura Evans finished third (1:59.47) to help the Crimson, whose lead had been cut from 92 to 61 points following the 1,650-free, establish a 94-point cushion it would not relinquish.

Next in the 100-free, Yale junior Alex Forrester (49.58) and Princeton sophomore Lisa Boyce (49.59) came in as the top-two qualifiers, setting up an intriguing final as each gunned for their first Ivy title in the event. In that final, Forrester had a slight lead at the halfway point, but Boyce chased her down to become the first swimmer at the 2012 Championship with three individual wins, having also captured titles in the 50-free and the 100-back. Boyce won in 49.13 and Forrester took second in 49.69. Dartmouth freshman Sasha Alcon (50.78) edged out Brown senior Kristen Caldarella (50.81) for third.

Then in the 200-breast, Meili won her third title of 2012 with a time of 2:10.40. She bested Yale senior Athena Liao (2:13.62), Harvard freshman Faith Martin (2:14.66) and Cornell freshman Meredith Drummond (2:15.01) – who all swam NCAA 'B' cuts.

Harvard freshman Courtney Otto and Yale senior Hayes Hyde swam neck-and-neck in the 200-fly. Otto led at the 100 (55.98), with Hyde just behind (56.21). Hyde went on to close the gap by the 175 turn and won in 1:57.65, followed by Otto (1:58.74) and Crimson sophomore Danielle Schulkin (2:00.40). The win helped propel Hyde to the Career High Point Swimmer award and she closed her career with three Ivy League titles in the 200-fly – the fourth swimmer in meet history to do so.

Then on the three-meter boards, Yale senior Rachel Rosenberg set a meet and Ivy League record with 340.00 points en route to claiming her second Ivy title in the event (2010). She also earned the Ron Keenhold Career High Point Diver award. Harvard senior Leslie Rea finished second on the three-meter boards (298.35), followed by Princeton sophomore Randi Brown (279.55). Rea went on to be named the 2012 Diver of the meet.

In the final event of the 2012 Ivy League Championships, the Yale 400 free relay team of Forrester, junior Cynthia Tsay, Hyde and junior Joan Weaver just missed a meet record when they won in an NCAA 'B' cut time of 3:20.21 (the record is 3:20.17).

Swimmer of the Meet: Katie Meili (Columbia)*
Career High Point Swimmer
: Hayes Hyde (Yale)
High Point Diver of the Meet
: Rachel Rosenberg (Yale)
Ron Keenhold Career High Point Diver: Leslie Rea (Harvard)
* - as voted by the League's eight head coaches

 

Final Team Standings
1. Harvard -- 1,478.5
2. Princeton -- 1,310.5
3. Yale -- 1,075.5
4. Columbia -- 1,057
5. Dartmouth -- 846.5
6. Penn -- 767
7. Brown -- 688.5
8. Cornell -- 630.5