March 13, 2003

Swimmers Set Team Records

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The men’s swimming and diving team capped off its season this past weekend at the EISL championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Uniondale, NY with a seventh-place finish.

The result was an improvement over last year’s finish in the same event. Going into the final day of competition, only nine points separated the teams in the 5-8 spots.

The Red finished just five points behind Navy, with a total score of 635.5.

Harvard took the overall title with a score of 1592, while Princeton finished second with a 1565.

“The team felt great about our overall performance, the guys swam up to their capabilities. Four new school records and 12 top-five times, that was quite an accomplishment,” said head coach Joe Lucia.

“I am very proud of how we performed as a united team the entire three days. Twenty-nine of our 48 individual events were lifetime best times and our relays were the best in a long time.”

The Red set school records in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and the 200- and 400-yard medley relay.

Freshman Stefano Caprara had a hand in all four records, setting the two individual records, and swimming in the relays along with seniors Danny Royce, Jeremy Sample, Charlie Ernst, and sophomore Doug Ernst.

In the 100-yard backstroke final, Caprara finished second to Princeton’s Pat Donohue by one-tenth of a second, posting a time of 48.86 seconds. The medley teams finished fourth in both the 200- and 400-yard events.

“We lost six of our top eight scorers, so it was a big challenge coming into this season. To score more than last year would [have] been an awfully big thing to reach,” commented Lucia.

In addition to the four school records, the team notched four finishes that rank second in the Cornell annals. These marks came in the 200 free relay, and the 50, 100, and 200 free events.

In addition, three times ranked third in school history, two finishes were fourth-best all-time, and three results were the fifth best in the Red’s record book.

Senior Tim Lenz and sophomore Tony Schultz made the finals in the 3-meter dive, with the two taking seventh and eighth, respectively.

Lucia expressed confidence in the squad’s ability to improve next year.

“We have a good group returning next season. We lose some good sprint power in four of our seniors, but we return a solid group and have some good guys coming in,” remarked Lucia.

“We’re not quite in Harvard or Princeton’s league, but we’ll be fairly competitive with the other eight teams.”

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach