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Bath, Maine-native Olivia Harper has announced her verbal commitment to the University of Tennessee for the 2020-21 school year. She’ll join up with Aly Breslin, Annie Rimmer, Elle Caldow, Jasmine Rumley, Jordan Aurnou-Rhees, Katelyn Yule, Margaret Marando, and Nicola Lane in the class of 2024.
Harper is a senior at Morse High School. She swims year-round under coach Jay Morissette at Bath Area Family YMCA’s Long Reach Swim Club. Harper is a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100m backstroke, having gone 1:02.66 this summer at YMCA National Long Course Championships. There, she competed in the 50 free, 50/100/200 back, and 50 fly and was national runner-up in all but the 50 free (where she finished seventh). She earned PBs in the 50 free (26.77) and 50 back (27.49) and was just a tad off in the other events. Her best 100 back (1:02.21) and 200 back (2:15.75) times come from last year’s YNats in which she won both events.
In SCY, Harper is a 53/1:56 backstroker who also excels at sprint free, fly and IM. She won the 100 fly (54.98) and was runner-up in the 200 free (1:53.18) at the 2019 Maine High School Girls Class B State Swimming & Diving Championships. (Although she set the Maine high school state record in the 100 back with 54.22 during the 2018-19 season, she did not swim the event at States.) She also led off Morse’s state-champion 200 medley relay (25.55), swimming with her twin sister Haily Harper, the breaststroker. The Harpers also teamed up on the second-place 200 free relay, which Olivia led off in 23.33.
At 2019 YMCA Short Course Nationals, Harper earned new lifetime bests in the 100/200 back, 100 fly and 200/400 IM. She tied for second in the 100 back, placed 4th in the 200 back, and was 9th in the 200 IM. She also split a (24.28) fly on the 3rd-place medley relay.
Top SCY times:
- 100 back – 53.53
- 200 back – 1:56.87
- 200 IM – 2:01.95
- 50 free – 23.33
- 100 free – 51.36
- 100 fly – 55.84
Harper is the latest verbal commit in a Lady Vols class loaded with talent. They will take the baton from a loaded senior class this year that includes point-winners Erika Brown, Stanzi Moseley, Meghan Small, and Tess Cieplucha. Harper’s best 100 back time would have scored in the C final at 2019 SECs but she’s a tick off in the 200 back, 100 fly, and 200 IM (it took 1:56.25, 53.75, and 1:58.76, respectively, to get a second swim).
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