Harvard Sweeps Rutgers

The matchup of top-25 teams lived up to the advanced billing, and the No. 25 Harvard women's swimming and diving showed the fight of a championship team as it edged 24th-ranked Rutgers, 150-149, in a neck-and-neck battle of two of the top teams in the Northeast Friday at Blodgett Pool. Junior Noelle Bassi won three individual events and sophomores Jaclyn Pangilinan and Samantha Papadakis took two each as the Crimson showed no ill-effects from eight days of hard training.

The win, which came after nine lead changes and two ties, extended Harvard's winning streak to 18 dual meets and came just two days after the team returned from its winter training trip to Aruba. Harvard (8-0) clinched the victory with a second-place finish in the day's final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Rutgers (3-1) split up its top relay team in hopes of creating two strong teams to take the first two spots, but Crimson junior Emily Wilson swam a strong anchor leg in 51.9 seconds to touch the wall in second.

"Coming off of an intense eight days of training, I am incredibly impressed by my team's tenacity," said Harvard head coach Stephanie Wriede Morawski. "They stayed confident and took one event at a time."

The 200 medley relay, the evening's first event, was a sign of things to come, as the Crimson squad of Lindsay Hart, Pangilinan, Bridget O'Connor and Amanda Slaight edged the top Scarlet Knight team by 0.02 seconds for 11 valuable points. Rutgers answered with consecutive wins in the 1,000 and 200 freestyles to tie the score at 27-27.

Harvard captured three of the next four events as Pangilinan took the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.41, Bassi won the 200 butterfly with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:59.81 and Papadakis claimed the three-meter diving with 281.48 points. The Scarlet Knights, however, continued to hang tough and trailed by a single point, 78-77, after eight events.

Rutgers took a 13-point advantage with two wins, but the Crimson tied the score at 103-103 with a dominant performance in the 200 breaststroke. Pangilinan's time of 2:17.61 was good for the win and an NCAA "B" cut. She was followed by junior LeeAnn Chang in second and senior Jane Evans in third. Harvard took the lead when Bassi won the 500 free in 4:53.57, another "B" cut.

After another Rutgers win gave the Scarlet Knights a brief lead, Papadakis scored 260.41 points to win the one-meter diving and Bassi swam a 4:24.63 to take the 400 individual medley. That gave the Crimson a 146-136 edge and enabled it to clinch the win with a runner-up finish in the final relay.

The Crimson now has nearly a month off of competition due to first-semester final exams, but returns to action Feb. 4-5 for another big home meet: HYP.

24th-Ranked Harvard Wins Big in Return to Action Strong showing for Crimson after a week of training in Puerto Rico

The Harvard men's swimming and diving team improved to 3-1 on the season with a dominating 202.5-97.5 win over Rutgers Friday evening at Blodgett Pool. Geoff Rathgeber and David Cromwell each won two individual events for the Crimson, which will jump right back in the pool tomorrow when it heads to Navy for a 3:30 p.m. start.

Harvard opened the meet by placing 1-2 in the Men's 200 medley relay. The team of David Cromwell, Geoff Rathgeber, Bill Jones and Mark Knepley won in a time of 1:32.01. Jason Degnan-Rojeski, Bill Cocks, Stephen Norberg and James Baily finished second in 1:35.84.

Eric Lynch won the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:32.81, while Billy Gray was third in 9:52.34. David Cromwell and David Guernsey went 1-2 in the 200 freestyle finishing in 1:41.21 and 1:43.34 respectively. Mark Knepley placed fourth in 1:43.63.

Rathgeber and Degnan-Rojeski continued the Harvard dominance by taking the top two places in the 100 backstroke. Rathgeber won 50.28, while Degnan-Rojeski was second in 52.79.

Bill Cocks made it five races in a row with a first place finish in the 100 breaststroke, swimming a 58.17.

Harvard took four of the top five spots in the 200 butterfly. Bill Jones won in 1:52.79, and Sam Wollner was second, swimming 1:52.92. Dan Jones (1:54.10) and Rich Goettke (1:57.14) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

David Guernsey captured the 50 freestyle in a time of 21.34. Pat Quinn was second in 21.55, while James Bailey was fourth in 21.93.

Harvard took the top three spots in the 100 freestyle. Mark Knepley won in 46.87, followed by Pat Quinn (47.15) and James Bailey (48.09).

Jason Degnan-Rojeski kept thing rolling for the Crimson with a first place finish in the 200 Backstroke, swimming 1:54.07. Tim Parent was third in a time of 1:56.44

Geoff Rathgeber won his second event of the evening with a 2:04.50 in the 200 breaststroke. Bill Cocks was third in 2:06.71.

Rutgers won its first event of the meet with a Scott Thompson victory in the 500 Free. He finished in 4:40.01. Brendan Mitchell was second for the Crimson in 4:44.43.

David Cromwell and Bill Jones got things back on track with a 1-2 result in the 100 butterfly. They finished in 49.93 and 50.19, respectively.

The Scarlet Knights got their second win with a Andrew Dilz win in the 200 IM but Harvard's Tim Parent (1:56.77), Dan Jones (1:58.90) and Stephen Norberg (1:58.93) finished in the 2-4 spots.

Harvard closed out the meet by posting the top two times in the 200 free relay. Mark Knepley, David Cromwell, Geoff Rathgeber and Pat Quinn won in 1:22.90. Bill Jones, David Guernsey, James Bailey and Patrick Morrissey were second in 1:25.22

Danil Rybalko swept the one-meter and three-meter diving events. Andrew Novacek was sixth in the one-meter and fourth in the three-meter.