This week, we have a double post! See below for perspectives from both the Texas and MIT Invitationals last weekend.
Sara Li on the Texas Invite:
Hello from snowy Cambridge! My name is Sara Li, also known as Sli, and I am a senior on the team and a sprint freestyler. Although half of our team spent the past week in Austin, Texas, the weather turned out to be colder than it was back at Harvard, and of course, the day we get back is the first real snowfall of the season. All of this is to explain why when we arrived in Texas, approximately 100% of the swimmers on other teams (Arizona, Penn State, Texas, USC, Wisconsin, UCLA, UCSB, and more) were tanner than we were.
Ultimately, it was not only the paleness of our skin that differentiated us from the rest of the swimmers on deck. Harvard is known for its academics, not its athletics. But when we walked on deck in our matching Lululemon warm ups and our crimson parkas, we looked good. We looked intimidating. Yes, Harvard is different, but we were different in a great way.
As Harvard student-athletes, we deal with a whole lot more stress than those other teams may deal with, but we are still top-level athletes. We swam well, with some impressive in-season swims and exciting relays. Though we were not quite where we want to be at the end of the season, we worked the little things: the starts, turns, breakouts, finishes. We made individual adjustments to our prelim races and came back strong at finals. And with every session, our team got closer. We cheered, we danced, and we stuck together more tightly and cohesively than any other team on deck. A meet like Texas inspires us to train harder, with swimmers who were busting out the top times in the country throughout the weekend. But it is also an opportunity to appreciate how impressive every single person is on HWSD, and remember how lucky we are to be on the same team as these incredible women.
Good luck to everyone during finals week. We can do it.
Maggie Chory on the MIT Invite:
Hi! It’s freshman Maggie Chory from Weston, MA and we are fresh off of our December rest meet, with some of the team going to the UT Invite in Austin, and the rest of us heading down Mass Ave to MIT for their annual invitational. This was the first time all season that we have been rested and wearing fast suits, and it was fun to see what we could do.
At MIT, despite being a small group we kept the energy up all weekend, cheering for each race and getting behind the lanes of our breaststrokers and flyers. Under the leadership of our great volunteer coach Kyle Cutter and her trusty assistants Taylor and Ana, we had some great swims, and really showed our competitive spirit in and out of the pool. Paige especially did her part to keep the Keene State men’s team from encroaching on our bleacher space.
It was also nice being so close to Harvard, as many of us had supportive friends and roommates able to come watch. Despite being less than half the size of most of the other teams, by the end of the meet, and with the help of our divers, we placed a solid second overall!
Now that the fun of the weekend is over, it is back to reality with final essays and exams taking up the next two weeks until we all go back home for a few days and then head off to Madrid! That is certainly enough motivation to get me through this final push.