There are times when stats do not tell the whole story. Certainly, the final results for the Ivy League women’s swimming and diving competition was one such instance.
Although Cornell placed seventh in the field of eight teams this past weekend at the Ivy Championships, held at Princeton, it produced its best performance of the year in its most important competition. The team had numerous record-breaking performances, as eight of the sixteen Cornell swimmers established personal bests, and all the swimmers swam season bests.
“I’m really happy with the way we swam. If you swim best times it’s great,” coach Marrie Neumar noted. “Although we finished one place lower this year, we scored more points this year.”
The hosting Tigers dominated the competition, taking home the title with an astronomical 870 points. They were followed by Brown (774), Yale (577), Harvard (411), Columbia (269.50), Penn (258.50), Cornell (190), and Dartmouth (153).
While the team did not finish near the top of the leaderboard, the personal records were quite an accomplishment. Among the stars was sophomore Courteney Tawresey, who broke the school record in the 200 yard breastroke. During the three-day meet, she earned a spot in the Cornell history, establishing the second best time in the 100 breaststroke, as well as a top-five time in the 500 freestyle.
Freshman Jayme Majeck shined during the competition, finishing with top-five times in school record books in both the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley. Also turning in a strong performance was senior Kellee Ngan, who set a personal best in the 200 individual medley.
The relay teams finished with the Red’s best results. The relay team of junior Kari Tornabene, junior Shayne Geneva, senior Mo Pozzi, and Ngan finished eighth in the 200 yard medley with a time of 1:49.87. Finishing sixth in the 800 yard freestyle relay was the team of junior Yoko Shibata, freshman Megan Gutman, Majek, and Tawresey. In the 400 freestyle relay, the trio of Shibata, Majek, and Gutman teamed with Tornabene to produce a solid eighth-place finish.
Of the divers, senior Lisa Dughi was a standout performer, as she placed fifth in the 1-meter springboard competition and fifteenth in the 3-meter event. The top-eight finish in the 1-meter springboard marked the first time in the five years that a Cornell diver has had such a high finish.
For a young Cornell squad, the meet was certainly a learning experience that will give the team confidence and camaraderie in the future.
“The team achieved a lot,” Majek said. “We achieved more because we worked as a team and supported each other. This was the first meet I’ve been to where team spirit was so high. I think the team bonded really well.”
While team chemistry is definitely an important element to success, talent is also essential. As coach Neumer noted, Cornell must do a better job of recruiting to become more competitive.
“Recruiting is the name of the game. Every year we lose a lot of top recruits to Harvard and Princeton because we don’t have the facilities that those schools have. We don’t have a 50-meter pool, so students don’t come here because of the bad training facilities.”
Archived article by Alex Ip