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SWIMMING Harvard bound

November 28, 2018

The Ivy League women’s swimming scene has seen Harvard University experience the most success this past decade and Kate Hazlett will soon be a part of the Crimson’s winning tradition.

A Greenwich Academy senior, Hazlett recently announced that she will continue her swimming career at Harvard. Hazlett, a Greenwich resident, was joined by her family and her GA coaches at a ceremony recognizing her commitment.

“It’s definitely nice to have my decision made,” said Hazlett, who has starred on Greenwich Academy’s swimming team the past three seasons and is serving as one of the squad’s captains for its 2018-19 campaign. “It’s a nice thing to look forward to — knowing all my teammates and everyone I am going to go to school with the next couple of years is exciting.”

Coached by Stephanie Wriede Morawaski, Harvard won the Ivy League swimming title in 2017-18 and has captured the league championship 13 times, placing either first or second at the conference meet the past 13 seasons.

“They have two amazing female coaches and the group of girls on the team are so incredibly tight-knit,” Hazlett said. “They help each other inside and outside the pool and they do so many team-bonding activities together.”

Though she said she may be leaning toward computer science, Hazlett is leaving her options open regarding her major at Harvard.

“With it being a liberal arts school I have an opportunity to try everything and figure out what I want to do from there,” Hazlett said. “I’m excited about having the opportunity to go to such an incredible academic institution.”

While at Greenwich Academy, Hazlett has starred on a Gators squad that’s won two straight NEPSAC Division I championships and posted a second-place finish during the 2015-16 season.

As last season’s NEPSAC Division I Championships, Hazlett finished first in the 50-yard freestyle in an All-American time of 22.92 seconds. Her time in the event established a pool record at Phillips Exeter Academy and also set NEPSAC, Greenwich Academy and personal-best records.

Hazlett, who has won the 50 freestyle title at the NEPSAC finals three consecutive seasons, also touched the wall first in the 100 backstroke in an All-American time of 55.11 at the last year’s championship meet. At the Bud Erich Championships (FAA Championships) she garnered the first-place medal in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

“High school swimming is so much more team-based than club swimming, because you get so close to your teammates and you want to swim fast for your team,” Hazlett said. “It has helped all of us progress and perform well.”

Coached by Michael Sabala, GA should once again, be the team to beat in the NEPAC this winter, with Hazlett leading the charge.

“Everyone here has been so helpful during my GA career,” Hazlett said. “Not only the coaches and administrative staff, my teammates here at GA have been amazing and supportive. It’s great to be a part of a group like that.”

Besides swimming at Greenwich Academy, Hazlett has competed for the YWCA Dolphins Swim Club since she was seven years old. She swims year-round for the Dolphins, who are headed by Nick Cavataro.

“I have swam for Nick the whole time and he has been awesome,” Hazlett said. “He’s literally been there through everything and has helped me get to where I am today. Along with training, he’s helped me with the mental aspect of swimming, which a lot of people don’t even think about. He’s been such a supportive figure in my life.”

Competing at the National Swimming Association Championships at Indiana and Purdue University over the summer, Hazlett flourished in the 50 freestyle and 50 and 100-meter backstroke events. At the Connecticut Senior Long Course Championships at Wesleyan University this past summer, she won the 50-meter freestyle (26.69), 100 freestyle (57.41), 100 backstroke (1:03.66), 200 backstroke (2:15.66) and 100 butterfly (1:02.63). She showcased her skills in the 200-meter backstroke at the 2016 Olympic Trials, in what she described as “one of her favorite swimming highlights.”

Thursday, Hazlett and YWCA Dolphins teammate Meghan Lynch (Greenwich High School star swimmer) left for Greensboro, N.C., where they will compete in the 2018 USA Swimming Winter National Championships, which concludes on Saturday.

Lynch is slated to swim in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 backstroke and 100 backstroke at the Winter National Championships — a long course competition.

“I’m really excited to going down there with my teammate Meghan Lynch,” Hazlett said. “We we are both seeded really high, which is cool. They came out with new Olympic Trial cuts for 2020, so we’ll see what how we do.”

One of the captains of Greenwich Academy’s swim squad, Hazlett sees herself swimming the 50 freestyle and the 100 or 200 backstroke events at Harvard.

“I am looking forward to experiencing the college atmosphere,” Hazlett said of swimming at the collegiate level. “It should be a great experience.”

dfierro@greenwichtime.com

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