November 17, 2000

Women Swimmers Aim to Improve

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The women of the water are charged and ready to improve on last year’s 1-6 Ivy record. The Cornell women’s swimming and diving team have been working hard, not only in the water, but out of the water to strengthen the team mentally.

The women have already begun to compete and are determined to improve on their record of last year. Although the squad finished sixth in the Ivy Championships to end its 2000 season, there are a whole bunch of new faces, swimmers and coaches alike, in the pool to foster a new invigorating energy in to the team.

The Red is already off to a good start, defeating Dartmouth in a double-duel meet last weekend. However, in the other half of the duel, it lost to the always tough Harvard.

Leading the charge are senior tri-captains Brooke Patterson, Kelley Ngan, and Maureen Pozzi. Ngan, and the rest of the 400-medley relay team set the all-time Cornell record last year, with Ngan finishing the Butterfly leg in 59.50.

As for Pozzi, she set the 100-yard butterfly record, touching the wall in a mere 57.63 seconds.

“This is the most top-heavy team we have ever had. For the first time since I have been here, we have had more upperclassmen the lower, which provides stronger leadership and helps keep the team motivated,” Patterson said.

Overall, the top returning swimmers are sophomores Karen Ching and Courtney Tawresey.

Ching’s individual swimming has been outstanding. Her times in the 100-yard backstroke (58.23) and 50-meter freestyle (24.30) are fourth and fifth all-time in the Cornell record books, respectively.

This weekend, Tawresey won two individual events, the most of any Cornell swimmer, taking both the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.

There is a new addition on deck for the women as well for this 2000-2001 season. Dave Sheets, who was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion in the 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley, has been named assistant women’s swimming and diving coach. Sheets has over 11 years of competitive coaching experience, most of which was spent in the Pennsylvania High School system.

Marrie Neumer has been the head women’s coach for the past three years, after helping the University of Buffalo win four mid-continent Conference Championships. With the addition of Sheets, Neumer has been able to work more closely with her swimmers and spend more time tweaking her lineups. “Dave has been an invaluable addition to the team. He lifts a great burden off of Marrie’s shoulder’s and allows each swimmer to have more personal attention,” Patterson said.

But the spark comes from the new recruits. Freshmen Monika Fabriczi and Vicky Leuck stand out as two new stars in the distance freestyle and butterfly events.

Neumer plans on starting all of her freshmen this season, and has especially high hopes for Jayme Myjek in the 200-butterfly and 500-freestyle.

“They are our real smoking gun. I expect them to make a significant contribution,” Neumer said.

“It’s very exciting to watch the new freshman. They are filling in the weak spots nicely and are eager and ready to swim,” Patterson added.

As for the women divers, according to coach Rick Gilbert, “they are looking better this week and are getting back some of their dives.”

The team is lead by senior Lisa Dughi and sophomore Liz Druy. Last year Dughi finished fourth in the 1-meter at the Ivy Qualifiers, and Druy finished in the top 15.

“We are where we were at the end of last season, so I think we are ahead of the game,” Gilbert said.

The Cornell women’s swimming and diving team is a strong willed, exuberant team, that is eager to get in the water and take on the top teams in the Ivy league.

Archived article by Josh Vlasto