Russian World University Games Swimmer Alexandra Denisenko Commits to Harvard

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In the 2018-2019 season, the Harvard men had a banner season, led by NCAA Champion Dean Farris en route to an 8th-place team finish. But the Harvard women are on the rise as well, having won 2-straight Ivy League titles, and thanks to a big commitment from Russian National Team swimmer Alexandra Denisenko could be in for some more national recognition as well.

Denisenko, who has received a “likely letter” for admission to Harvard, represented Russia at last year’s World University Games. She swam in the 200 IM (19th) and 400 IM (16th) individually, and was also a prelims leg on Russia’s 800 free relay that eventually won a bronze medal.

The 18-year old is expected to arrive at Harvard in the fall of 2020.

Best Times:

SCY (Converted)
100 breast 1:11.73 1:06.01 59.46
200 breast 2:41.55 2:24.92 2:10.55
100 fly 1:01.77 54.39
200 IM 2:15.24 2:12.35 1:58.95
400 IM 4:48.53 4:36.78 4:09.35

Those conversions, if they hold true, would put her in the school’s all-time top 10 in all 5 of those above races, and would be school records in all of those races except the 100 fly and 200 IM.

While most of the Harvard roster is made up of Americans, they do have a few other internationals on the current roster, including Helena Moreno from Costa Rica, diver Morgane Herculano from Switzerland, and Chloe Close from the United Kingdom.

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Curious swimmer

Just curious, how did she swim at world university games if she is not in university yet, congrats though.


The rule says that you have to be enrolled in order to swim the meet. She probably is enrolled but not competing for the team.


What? She has a likely letter — she hasn’t even been officially accepted yet, let alone enrolled.

Can someone provide insight into this?


Are those breast conversions correct? The scy times seem to be quite a bit faster.


Keep Russians out of American sports

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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