Summer Preview

From New York City to Arizona, from Peru to Israel, this summer the Harvard Women’s Swim and Dive Team knows no bounds. Dani Schulkin, here, introducing the team’s newest online venture: HWSD Postcards. Each week one or two teammates will send in one picture and one short note with an update on their whereabouts and adventures somewhere in the world.

Here’s a sneak preview of the posts to come:

Marlee Ehrlich, Class of 2016:

This summer, I’ll be going home for about a month and training with my old club team. I’ll be traveling to Israel in July to partake in the 19th World Maccabiah Games. I’m lucky enough to be able to represent the USA as a member of the Open Swim Team for the 19th World Games. I’ll be in Israel for 3 weeks in July, I’ll be training, touring, and competing. I’m very excited about the Games! I even get to swim an open water  5K for the first time. I’m looking forward to going home for a bit, but I’ll miss my teammates and my new home (Harvard) very much!

Shori Hijikata, Class of 2016: 

For the first time since arriving in Cambridge, I’ll be flying home! I’ll be starting the summer with a bit of traveling, spending some time visiting friends here in the US before going back to Australia for two weeks. Early June, I’ll be back in sunny Cambridge to work as a research assistant in a neurobiology laboratory on campus. I’ll also be working at the Harvard Admissions Office, giving tours and information sessions to prospective students and their families throughout the summer. Come August, I’ll be moving back into the dormitories early in preparation for the Freshman International Program (FIP), where I and twenty-five other FIP leaders from around the world will be excitedly awaiting the arrival of our incoming international freshmen. Swimming this summer without HWSD will be a different experience and I’ll miss the team a ton, but at the same time, I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s summer adventures and to dive right back into practices in the fall! #HWSDlovefarandwide

Steph Ferrell, Class of 2015: 

This summer I will be traveling to Lima, Peru from June 1st to July 27th to work as an intern at the “Museo de Sitio Bodega y Quadra.” I will be living with a host family and am so excited to be fully immersed in Latin American culture through this experience. I will be working Monday-Thursday, but every Friday the other Harvard students within the program all meet up to explore the country. A diver on the men’s team (George Doran), actually, will be joining me as he is working for a lab in Lima through this program as well. I’ve included a website (the article is written in Spanish but I have included it mainly for the purpose of the pictures) to show what the museum I’ll be working at looks like!

Ana Anaya, Class of 2015: This summer I will be taking a Psychology of Law class. I am going to be rooming with fellow teammate Taylor Foster, Class of 2014. We are renting our own apartment and will have an opportunity to play house this summer. I am going to get back into training, since I have a lot to catch up on after surgery. It’s exciting to be able to explore all that Boston has to offer this summer with some of my best friends and fellow members of HWSD.

Deirdre Clute, Class of 2014: While I am a little sad to be leaving my home in sunny California, I am really looking forward to spending my summer in New York! I will be working as a marketing intern for PepsiCo. Not only will the job itself be a huge learning experience, but living on my own in New York City is bound to teach me a few things. Luckily, I have my fellow HWSD teammate, Daniela Suarez, to show me around! It should be a great summer filled with runs through Central Park and lots of time spent with my fellow New York HWSD’ers.

As for me, I just arrived home yesterday! My family moved out to the west coast my sophomore year so this will be my first chance to explore Seattle. I’m spending this next month training with my new club team while studying for graduate school exams. I’m then shipping off to India to dig into government archives for thesis research. I’m stoked about seeing an old friend and teammate, Helen Pitchik, in New Delhi!

Despite being excited to embark on new quests this summer, I had a hard time leaving Harvard this past weekend. In the span of four hours, my room transformed from the place that defined who I am to a barren, soulless room waiting for the next inhabitant to color its walls. From that Turkish lamp my friend and I found in Istanbul to a collage of inspirational notes from teammates during championship meet season, packing was a uniquely nostalgic experience. I was constantly reminded of why I’m so grateful to this school and, more importantly, to the people who make this place come alive. So here’s a shout-out to my fellow teammates and friends: to the training partners who keep me going during practice, to the partners in crime who dance no matter the place, and to the students who time and time again inspire me. I will miss you all very much. Whether you are peacefully training at home or exploring new places, I can’t wait to hear about your summer adventures!

Much love,


Just Keep Swimming

Hi everyone, it’s freshman swimmer Shori Hijikata here, writing this week’s post having survived the action of this week’s historic Hurricane Sandy. (Or as we fondly called it, “Frankenstorm”.) Firstly, a shout-out to those reading this post who have family and friends in the regions affected by the hurricane – our thoughts are with you and we hope that you are all doing okay!

This past Monday was ‘historic’ for Harvard as it was only the third time in the school’s 376-year history that classes were cancelled. So not only was the day a freshmen first, it was an entire team first. For the students, it meant a rare opportunity to catch up on schoolwork, appreciate the convenience of microwavable meals and enjoy movie marathons with friends as the rain pounded the grass outside. For us swimmers, is also meant a few extra hours of sleep, as morning practice was pushed back to midday. Laughing about the oddity of walking to practice with actual light in the sky, we made it to practice in one piece and were ready to hit the water to do what we do best.

But walking back outside after completing yet another challenging practice, the sky had morphed into an ominous and angry grey. Though the winds were deceptively strong, between our car pools and linked arm huddles, we were safely able to reach the swimmer’s ultimate post-workout location: the dining hall. And another team lunch meant another opportunity for bonding. I love how much time our team spends together and how quickly us freshmen were made to feel a part of the team, even before we arrived on campus just over two months ago.

This week also marked the transition into Phase 3 of our dryland program. With our unbeatable combination of lifts, jumps, slams, throws and presses, we can feel ourselves getting stronger and it’s exciting to see it translating into fast times in the water. With our first official swim meet of this season less than a week away, we’re practicing harder, swimming faster and bonding more as a team each day. Training with these girls is an absolute inspiration and I can’t wait to join this unstoppable force of black and crimson next weekend.

After all, if Sandy couldn’t stop us, I don’t know what can. :)

”We survived Frankenstorm!” The team cheering at the end of practice