Cornell men’s swimming team had a very eventful winter break; the team traveled to Puerto Rico for an annual training trip and competed in three meets.
The men’s and women’s teams both traveled to the tropics for a trip that has become part of the program’s yearly traditions, allowing the teams to enjoy break in a tropical paradise while getting in valuable hours of swimming during extended practices and an Ivy League matchup meet, this year against Yale.
“The highlight of winter break was our training trip to Puerto Rico,” said men’s team head coach Wes Newman ’09. “We swim four hours a day and get a lot of hard work in there. The team always comes back in their best shape ready to finish out the season strong.”
Puerto Rico was also host to the Red’s season matchup with Yale, a team that has been strong in recent years. The Red wasn’t able to defeat Yale, but made the meet closer than it has been between the two teams previously.
After the training trip, the Red still had work to do over break. The team traveled to New York City for another in-conference meet against Columbia, which also proved to be a much closer matchup between the two teams than in previous match-ups.
“We were very proud with how the team competed against Yale,” Newman said. “They have been quite a bit stronger than us recently, so to make it such a close meet was just a lot of fun for our guys. We would have liked to win against Columbia, because that was a pretty even match-up, but they proved too much for us in their home pool. Columbia jumped out to a big lead early in the meet, and despite our guys fighting back hard, we just could not make up the whole deficit.”
The Red followed up that meet with its first home meet of the new year, hosting Colgate at Teagle Pool, a meet that was a fairly standard domination of non-Ivy opponents for the Red, who now have a win streak of 13 against non conference teams.
Over the next month as classes start back up, the Red have only one more dual meet, when the team hosts Brown in an environment that is sure to be intense between the two closely matched teams. Before the start of the competition, the team will also be having its senior celebration.
“The meet against Brown has been very exciting the past few years. Our two teams are very evenly matched, so there are a lot of great races,” Newman said. “Ultimately the meet this weekend is a final opportunity for our guys to get up and race before championships, so we will be looking for some great swims.”
After the Brown meet is the biggest meet of the year, the Ivy League Championships which will take place the weekend of February 25th.
“We typically see all the results of training trip at championships when we fully rest the team,” Newman said.
“I think the team has grown and become a closer group this year, which always makes for a more supportive team,” he said. “Physically they’ve also become stronger and gained endurance, so I’m looking forward to seeing all the results from them.”