crimson turns tide; wins ivy championship


Courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

The No. 25 Harvard women’s swimming and diving team claimed its ninth league championship with another strong performance Saturday, continuing to use its balanced attack to set three more school records and finish 249.5 points ahead of the field at the 2009 Ivy League Championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center.

Freshman Meghan Leddy earned her first Ivy League title in the 200-yard backstroke, setting school and meet records in the process, while junior Alexandra Clarke’s school record led another dominant distance performance for the Crimson with her record-breaking 1,650 freestyle swim. The sophomore quartet of Katy Hinkle, Katherine Pickard, Ali Slack and Kate Mills capped the meet with a record-breaking runner-up performance in the 400 free relay. Mills also set a school record in the 200 butterfly prelims.

Harvard finished the meet with six event championships, 10 school records and 11 NCAA Championships provisional qualifying times. The Crimson totaled 1,583.5 points, while three-time defending champion Princeton placed second with 1,334 and Yale also broke into four digits with 1,038 points. Harvard had finished second each of the last three years since claiming its last league title in 2005.


individual superlatives

Although the Harvard Crimson took the team title, it was a trio of Princeton athletes that walked away with the individual awards at the 2009 Ivy Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

With two victories in the diving competition, senior Katie Giarra won the Diver of the Meet award.


In a vote by the head coaches, junior Alicia Aemisegger earned the nod for the Swimmer of the Meet award.


The final award of the night, the inaugural Career Points Champion award, was bestowed on senior Justina DiFazio. Over her Ivy career, DiFazio earned 534 total points, helping lead the Tigers to three team Ivy championships.


Congratulations to all.


princeton ends on high-note; crushes 400 free relay mark


They were swimming this one for pride. But no matter.

The final results were decided much earlier in the meet but that did not stop Princeton from gobbling the final event of the championships — the 400 Free Relay.

Jill Altenburger, Justina DiFazio, Megan Waters and Alicia Aemisegger sped through the water in a manner that hadn’t been seen since 2001 when Brown electrified the crowd with the blistering 3:21.57.

The Tigers used incredibly fast splits from the third and fourth legs to cut into an early Harvard lead and to pull away for the record. Megan Waters’ duel with Ali Slack was the turning point before Alicia Aemisegger anchored the unit with mind blowing 48.71 final 100 yards.

Aemisegger’s split was faster than the meet record [Jennifer Boyd, Brown — 49.68] in the 100y Free by nearly a full second.

But the euphoric ending did not change the overall outcome of the meet. It had long be a foregone conclusion that…


giarra doubles up in diving; takes 3m

Princeton’s Katie Giarra continued her streak of consistency en route to the 3m Diving title at the 2009 Ivy Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Already crowned the 1m queen, Giarra took control of the 3m competition with crafty dives that scored for high marks.

In an event that saw four Princeton Tigers in the championship finals, Giarra held of her teammates, along with defending champion Shannon Hosey to take the crown. Her exploits also earned her the distinction of Diver of the Meet.

The final margin of victory was 332.35 for Giarra to Hosey’s 305.15.


hyde runs show in 200 fly final after mills sets record


Yale Hayes Hyde enjoyed her first taste of individual success at the Ivy Women’s championship after qualifying second in the 200y Butterfly with a time of 1:58.20. She then navigated the waters to emerge in a race that consisted of the defending champion in the event and the meet record holder during the nightcap.

The freshman swam a slightly slower 1:59.15 in the final round, but that time was solid enough to hold back challenges from Harvard’s Sophie Morgan and Princeton’s Monika Friedman, the defending champion.

Curiously, it was Kate Mills that faltered in the final after putting together a meet record in the preliminary round.

One can only speculate, but something happened to the Crimson star during the second 50y portion of the race. After getting out and back in 26.76, the sophomore swam a 34.72 second 50y split, indicating that something was seriously wrong. Mills finished valiantly with 33.28 and 32.74 splits the rest of the way, but an 11-second drop-off in pace is not a normal occurrence. She finished 8th.

But it was Hyde’s shining moment. A championship as a freshman is no small feat.

Congratulations Hayes!


kim reigns supreme in 200 breaststroke; record falls


Well, she definitely had it in her.

Using the 200 breaststroke as the encore to her meet record triumph in the 100 breaststroke, Yale’s Susan Kim quickly rewrote the record and issued a challenge to rest of the field that she was the one to beat.

This happened in the preliminaries.

Kim had carved through Nassau County waters to the tune of 2:13.14, lowering the meet record held by Columbia’s Cristina Teuscher in the process.

Her closest competitor? Nearly two full seconds behind.

So when it came time for the nightcap, there was a bit of a buzz in the stands. Those fans that had clamored for heat sheets most of the day saw it right there in black and white — “Meet Record, 2:13:14, 02-28-2009, Susan D Kim, Yale”.

No pressure or anything like that, I’m sure.

Having already broken the record, she did not have to prove anything. Just win, smile and go home. Her work seemingly already done. But Kim rose to the magnitude of the moment. She gave the crowd what they wanted. Another meet record — this time 2:12.86, and 1.13 faster than Mariele Dunn, who finished second.

[Editor’s Note: It was very reminiscent of Kyoko Iwasaki’s race from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, especially when Iwasaki (then 14 years of age) kicked it into high gear for that last 50m. Kim lead the race from the onset — unlike Iwasaki — but shared Iwasaki’s high rate of transition from the pull to the recovery.

Here is a video of that Iwasaki race. A fun little trip down memory lane.]


galey takes 100 free in final individual race


Columbia senior Hannah Galey will readily admit that she had a lackluster swim in the 50 Free.

Second place a year ago, Galey hiccuped in the preliminaries and was left out of the championship final during the Thursday program. Dartmouth’s Hillary Preston, you may remember, went on to finish that race in one of the great upsets in Ivy Swimming & Diving Championships history.

But in the 100 Free, Galey was out to settle the score. A year ago she was also the runner-up in the 100 Free, .2 behind Princeton’s Brett Shiflett. Qualifying first for the finals, Galey churned out a 50.19 time.

During the nightcap, she would have the Lane 4 assignment, and the vantage point to see all of her competition. With redemption on her mind, the Columbia senior dove off the blocks and found herself at 24.08 for the 50y mark. She was under the clip necessary to break a meet record that had been on the books since 1990 (Jennifer Boyd, Brown — 49.68), but it would take the 50 of her life to pull it off.

Clocking in at 49.78, Galey was just off the pace to break that record, but shaved off .24 seconds from her 2008 final in the event. Incidentally, the 49.78 would have also won a year ago as Shiflett finished in 49.82.

The road to redemption: complete.


harvard’s leddy leads way in 200 back


Harvard’s surge to the lead in the 2009 Ivy League Swimming & Diving Championships has been in large part to the strong contingent of veteran swimmers on Stephanie Wriede Morawski’s squad.

But on Saturday night, it was a freshman that took center stage.

Capitalizing on the injury absence of defending champion Sara Coenen, Harvard’s Meghan Leddy earned the 200y Backstroke title for 2009 by swimming with the poise of a seasoned veteran, despite obvious youth.

Trailing by only .01 to Columbia’s Lauren Fraley after the first split, Meghan dug down and executed an incredible turn, which propelled the upstart into the lead. She then continued to extend her lead on Fraley with seemingly every stroke.

But the race wasn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. Leddy had to hold off a furious charge by Penn’s Ainsley Cookingham. The junior, who has developed a reputation of a great closer, looked to reel the freshman in with a 29.89 final leg, but the difference was too great while the distance was too small.

And Leddy was just too quick. The freshman finished at 1:59.65 and took down her first individual Ivy championship.


aemisegger dominates in 1650 again; lowers meet record


Another year, another 1650 meet record for Alicia Aemisegger.

Last year, she “Aemiseggered” the record… crushing the old mark of 16:16.94 to lower the standard to a sub-16 minute mark — touching the wall at 15:58.57.

Well, to expect the Princeton junior to drop another 18 seconds off the record is to sit there and expect the final rose ceremony on ABC’s The Bachelor to equate to a long and happy marriage.

Probably not going to happen.

But Aemisegger is extraordinary in the 1650. She has that rare combination of stamina and speed that is vital for such a grueling race. Not to mention that she has already proven it can be done by besting the 1997 mark from Cristina Teuscher and also crushing DeNunzio Pool’s pool record by Lezlie Mix (1994 — 16:13.06) in the process.

So there was no 15:40.57 on this day. Instead, Alicia put forth a new meet record of 15:57.34.

To put that in perspective, her closest competitor, Harvard’s Alexandra Clarke, touched the wall at 16:10.92 while the third-place finisher clocked in at 16:29.09 (32 seconds slower than Aemisegger).



oh the places you’ve been… and still need to get to…


Update to my little fan appreciation thing… still missing some states — but we’re getting there. You have one day/night left to identify yourself. The Ivies extend further than this… I know it… so I’m asking you to prove it! Shoot me a comment or an email and let me know where you are from. We’re doing well but the goal is all 50 and a few more countries. Make it happen!

[Editor’s Update — Still looking for Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Alabama and Indiana]

Domestic(ated) Ivies

Arizona — Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale (wait – aren’t they all the same place?)

California — Westlake Village, Oakland, Tustin, San Diego, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Redondo Beach, Palo Alto, Santa Barbara, Mountain View, Huntingdon Beach

Colorado — Aspen, Boulder

Connecticut — Farmington, New Haven, Mianus (giggle), Bristol (evidently Big Brother is watching — who knew the World Wide Leader was checking out our LZR suits)

Delaware — Wilmington

Florida — Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers

Georgia — Atlanta, Athens

Hawaii — Ewa Beach

Idaho — Moscow (darn — I thought this my bride contacting me, aww man!), Boise

Illinois — Evanston, Chicago

Iowa — Cedar Rapids (Welcome to the Party CY3)

Kentucky — Louisville

Louisiana — New Orleans

Maine — Cumberland

Maryland — Baltimore, Chevy Chase (C’mon man… we need another Caddyshack… more like Ty Webb in one… less like Ty Webb in 2)

Massachusetts — Boston, Cambridge, Cape Cod

Michigan — Allegan (I actually have a good friend from Allegan… should be heading out there soon), East Lansing, Kalamazoo, Gross Pointe

Minnesota — St. Paul, Wabasha (NO WAY! Just have to ask… how’s Slippery’s?)

Missouri — St. Louis

Montana — Missoula

New Hampshire — Nashua, Hanover

New Jersey — Hawthorne, Princeton, Morristown, Hamilton, Toms River, Bridgewater

New York — Long Island (obviously, the hotel is just down the street), Morningside Heights, New York City, Ithaca, Albany, Poughkeepsie, Pelham

North Carolina — Durham, Greensboro

North Dakota — Fargo

Ohio — Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Bowling Green

Oklahoma — Ada (Isn’t that were Jeremy Shockey is from? Could it be?)

Oregon — Nesika Beach (that deserves a closer look since I have never heard of it)

Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Yardley, Williamsport, Richboro, Mechanicsburg

Rhode Island — Providence, Cranston

Tennessee — Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Jackson

Texas — Fort Worth, Texarkana, Colleyville, Dallas

Vermont — Burlington (Bring some Ben & Jerry’s… I’m hungry)

Virginia — Herndon (he’s a hater though — so we laugh in his general direction and shun him), Richmond, Vienna, Chantilly (lace… and a pretty face and a pony tail hanging down)

Washington — Seattle, Olympia

Washington, D.C.

West Virginia — Wheeling

Wisconsin — Milwaukee

* — Thank you iTunes

International Ivies

British Columbia, Canada — Not a bad start but we can do better! We were in Amman, Jordan and Beijing China a year ago. We are globalized… just don’t know how global yet.

Anhui, China — NOW THAT’S INTERNATIONAL! And apparently the People’s Republic still will not permit WordPress blogging — we had that same issue in August with the Olympics blog — but thanks to the YPN at Yale we can now officially make a shout out to Anhui.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India — Never too late to get people onto the list, especially when you are coming from one of the most popular hill resorts in India. Looks like a pretty interesting place too. Perhaps I will start to create a list of all of these cool Ivy places… and make plans to visit.

Ludvika, Sweden — So we’re looking at North America, Asia and now a nice slice of Europe! An area known for high-tech companies, Ludvika is within the greater Ludvika Municipality. I am frankly disappointed that the sports section does not note Ivy League Swimming & Diving because it’s clearly evident that we have a fan there.

women’s program

wschedule wteamresults wrollcall wpsyche windtimes 09wrecords2 wivy50 wolympians warchives xxxxxxxxx

race recaps

200y FREE RELAY -- Pre | Final
500y FREE -- Pre | Final
200y IM -- Pre | Final
50y FREE -- Pre | Final
1m DIVING -- Pre | Final
400y MEDLEY RELAY -- Pre | Final
200y MEDLEY RELAY -- Pre | Final
1000y FREE -- Timed Final
400y IM -- Pre | Final
100y FLY -- Pre | Final
200y FREE -- Pre | Final
100y BREAST -- Pre | Final
100y BACK -- Pre | Final
3m DIVING -- Pre | Final
800y FREE RELAY -- Timed Final
1650y FREE -- Final
200y BACK -- Pre | Final
100y FREE -- Pre | Final
200y BREAST -- Pre | Final
200y FLY -- Pre | Final
400y FREE RELAY -- Timed Final

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Question, comment, suggestion? Feel free to email me at alex@ivyleaguesports.com.

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