Away at Dartmouth

Hello HWSD fans! Taylor Foster here with updates from our recent trip to Dartmouth this past weekend. I’m a senior swimmer hailing from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. There was a lot of excitement going into our tri-meet this weekend against Dartmouth and Cornell because any chance to compete always brings the team closer together. It was not only our first opportunity to travel altogether as a team, but also a chance to improve on our dives and races from last weekend at Columbia.  I noticed the whole week at practice there was a renewed energy on deck as that fire inside us all was reignited to continue training day-by-day towards our goals for the end of the season. That was the theme of the meet as we all tried to focus on the small things in our races and dives that still could be perfected.

HWSD finished up the weekend with two resounding wins, and also set five pool records along the way. It was really special to start to see our team come together at this point in the season and give a view of what a fun-filled and exhilarating year we are going to have. The freshman all have at least one meet under their belt now and are fully on board and ready to go. Now that the meet season is underway, next up we are gearing up for the Texas Invite and MIT Invite the week after Thanksgiving.

This meet was also a special time for the seniors because the last time we were at the Dartmouth pool was at our first dual meet of our careers freshman year. We were nostalgic as we took a photo in the same exact spot and realized how we have grown over the past three years. It’s at moments like this that we stop and realize how much Harvard Women’s Swimming and Diving comes to mean to us.

HWSDlove,

Taylor

Class of 2014 as seniors (2013)

Class of 2014 as freshmen (2010)

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!

http://turismo-huacho.blogspot.com/2013/02/museo-sitio-bodega-y-quadra-en-el.html

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,

Dani

Thanksgiving

Hey everyone, Taylor Foster here! I’m a junior backstroker on HWSD. This week we all had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and/or friends. After a crazy busy September and October filled with seemingly endless problem sets, papers, and morning workouts, I know everyone was looking forward to a little relaxation. It was a wonderful time to count our blessings, reflect on all that has happened the past few months, and gear up for an exciting December. The chance to go home always leaves me appreciating even more the team that we have back at school.

 

One of the things that I’ve been so excited to see is how we have slowly come together as the season has gone on. Our baby freshman are no longer the little wide-eyed girls just trying find their way around campus. The sophomores have redeveloped their fire in the water and on the boards that they had last year as freshman. The juniors and seniors have fully embraced their leadership roles and everything seems to be falling into place.

 

Seeing a team of girls who are so different come together as one is always a pretty incredible thing, but there is something special this year about this team that I haven’t experienced before. The excitement is building as we got glimpses into what we are capable of at the past two meets and start to generate buzz on a national level. Although there isn’t one distinctive moment when we finally come together, each dive done correctly and each tough set pushed through together brings us closer to each other and closer to our goals. We are finding our greatness one step at a time. There are always the lofty goals and mantras at the beginning of the season that we are striving for, but now we are at the point when it has all become real.

 

We are fortunate to get to compete against some of the top teams in the nation this coming week at invites at University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and MIT. Because our team will be split up for the first time, we will need to trust in the strong base we have developed as teammates to get the job done even when apart. I have no doubt that this team will bring the Crimson fighting spirit wherever there are Harvard swimmers or divers in the pool. The time to test our performances on a level with a bit more pressure is finally here and in the back of all of our minds are Chris’s words: “get ready to start the DYNASTY.”

HWSD Summers

Hi, Brittany Powell here! I am a rising senior diver on HWSD and an honored captain for the 2012-2013 season. Exam stress is finally over and summer is off to a great start, which means a variety of exciting adventures for HWSD. Some of us choose to train hard, especially in the Olympic Trials year, and others are traveling home and around the world. Because our season runs October to March, many of the girls see the summer as an opportunity to travel or study abroad. There is such a wide variety of interests and plans! No matter where we all are, we have HWSD on our minds, and are getting pumped up for the upcoming season.

Dani Schulkin is training for Olympic Trials in Boston and then will head off to Cambridge, UK for a study abroad program after her swims in Nevada. Caroline Weaver is gearing up for a Trials qualifying meet, and after she swims at Trials, will return to Cambridge to proctor in the Harvard dorms. She will be busy taking a summer course and working on her thesis research in Human Evolutionary Biology.

Rising junior Taylor Foster is headed around the world to Beijing to work for a tutoring company with other Harvard students, and to study Chinese for half the summer. Then she will return home to Minnesota for an internship with ArgosRisk.  Laura Evans is working as the CEO of an upcoming startup out of the Harvard Innovation Lab and will spend her evenings DJing.

Diver Schuyler Moore is flying to London to work at a law firm and the BBC, and then will take her skills to work at a military institute in Germany. Rising senior Mackenzie Luick will be in Cambridge training for her Trials swims and then is working in Cape Town, South Africa for a month with an organization called One Heart Source. She will be teaching in a classroom as well as providing after school activities, and HIV/AIDS community awareness/education.

Kyle Kruger is heading to Trento, Italy with a Harvard Summer School program there, studying psychology and neuroscience. She hopes to fit in some sightseeing while she’s there! And one of our graduating seniors, Margaret Fish is working at Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio for the summer before enrolling at the University of Michigan for graduate school in the fall.

As for me, I’ll be in Cambridge doing some training and studying for my MCAT, and then will be working for Partners In Health in Neno, Malawi during July and August. That’s just a taste of all the crazy places we’ll all be this summer, and there will certainly be a lot of stories to be told when we get back in the fall.

A Belated Holiday Post (Taylor Foster ’14)

Taylor Foster writing here from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. I’m a sophomore swimmer in the backstroke group on HWSD. Now’s the time of year when we are entering the second phase of training, with only 9 weeks out from championships. We are leaving our HWSD family and coming home to our other families. After a long few weeks of final exams, papers, and projects I know we are all in need of some much deserved R&R. But unlike other students of the college, we are only home for a little less than two weeks. The phrase “hold the rope” comes into true meaning when we all train with our respective home teams. “Hold the rope” is a phrase we use to represent each of our own piece in the team’s success. Comparable to a game of tug of war when one teammate drops their grip on the rope, the rest of the team has to make up the slack. When we all do our part and put in the work for the good of whole, our end goals will surely be exceeded. Though we all come from such different backgrounds and parts of the world, we are still one team even when apart from one another. Getting up before the sun on your holiday break to put in the work for your teammates is what true dedication is. It truly is a season of sacrifice and giving around the holidays in more ways than one. With the much awaited J-term training and our Puerto Rico training trip on the horizon, the burdens of school no longer exist and we can focus on honing in on our skills. Santa’s  HWSD elves named Steph and Matt send us encouraging “stocking stuffers” from time to time with motivational quotes or messages that end in “MondayAM…be prepared,” but the all time favorite is a promise of Ihop for a increase by 2 in our max pull-up test.

Being home and swimming with other college students who are on break is something that I always enjoy. It’s entertaining to hear all of their stories from great schools and swim teams around the country. I take pride in wearing my Harvard cap and representing my school and team while away from campus. Telling others about HWSD always leaves me feeling so fortunate to be a part of the amazing group of women that make up the team. Our dedication to the sport as well as each other is something truly special, and when we are away from each other this comes into the spotlight.

Wishing you a happy holiday season from HWSD!