Maybe the women’s swimming team is allergic to ivy. Maybe the jealousy Cornell has with Princeton and Harvard carries over to the swimming pool. Maybe it’s the East coast air.
Whatever it was, the Red headed west to get out of its Ivy League slump, having a great meet at the Akron Invitational this weekend. The women finished third, out of 15 teams, in a three-day competition. Cornell was the only Ivy participant in the meet, which is the second largest Invitational in the country.
After the first day of events, the Red was in fifth place.
Buffalo won the meet with 1361.50 points, followed by Illinois State University with 1267 points.
The Red tallied 1066.50 points.
“I am so proud of the team. Out of the 15 teams, half of them are scholarship schools, and our swimmers still managed to place third,” head coach Marrie Neumer praised.
Relays were the Red’s heart and soul. Two fifth-place relays got the Red off to a hot start — the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.31) with the team of senior Kari Tornabene, sophomores Deanne Moyer, Megan Gutman and freshman Sydney Freas; and the 400 medley relay (4:01.79) of Tornabene, senior co-captain Shayne Geneva, Freas, and freshman Elissa Kline.
Sophomore Courtney Tawresey led the Red’s the distance team, finishing sixth out of 24 swimmers with a time of 5:12.92 to lead Cornell in the 500 freestyle.
“Every day we had lots of [personal] best times, especially in the finals at night. In the 200 backstroke seniors Anna Zemjanis, Whitney Yates, and Kari Tornabene all had lifetime best times,” Neumer added.
After the second day of swimming the Red had climbed up to fourth place in the standings. Again the relays dominated for Cornell, with the 200 medley relay finishing fifth place with a time of 1:50.47 — Tornabene, Moyer, sophomore Vanessa Rai and Freas made up the ‘A’ squad. The ‘B’ squad of Zemjanis, Geneva, freshman Lisa Ranzenhofer and Kline took ninth place in 1:52.31.
Freshman Meredith Blackman nabbed fifth place in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:42.06. Freas was Cornell’s top finisher in the 100 butterfly with a ninth place finish (59.71). Kline won the consolation heat in the 200 freestyle, earning ninth place by finishing in 1:55.47.
Seniors had a great showing, with Geneva swimming a time of 1:07.06 to score fifth in the 100 breaststroke, and Tornabene improving to 1:00.13 in the 100 backstroke to finish 10th.
“This meet was a huge uplift for us, especially after the last Ivy meets. We had a great time,” Neumer gushed.
The Red managed to advance further on the last day to finish third overall. The 800 freestyle relay finished fifth (7:52.33) with the team of Tawresey, senior co-captain Lauren Marino, Gutman, and Kline. The 100 freestyle had Cornell swimmers Kline and Gutman going neck-and-neck, finishing 11th (53.52) and 12th (53.98), respectively. The Red swam well in the breaststroke events again, with Geneva scoring third (2:23.90) and Moyer taking sixth (2:25.35).
Cornell ended the meet with a great race in the 400 freestyle relay, placing second (3:33.48). The team of Freas, Gutman, Tornabene and Kline just missed a school record.
“The championship-format meet really prepares us for the Ivy Championships in February. The kids swam well in a competitive situation,” Neumer noted.
The Red finished the first half of the season with this meet. The team will train over winter break, heading to Hawaii to swim over break.
Archived article by Cammy Kandiko