Elevation is the theme of the women’s swimming and diving team this season. Literally. As the team opens up its 2003-04 campaign tomorrow, it will enter Teagle Pool with U2’s “Elevation” blasting behind it, with the thought in mind of elevating its disappointing performance of a year ago.
Last season, the team did not fair well against Ivy League opponents, finishing with an abysmal 1-6 record and finding itself occupying the seventh spot in the league at the end of the year. Actually, the team has finished 1-6 in the league for the past six seasons. Its only win in the latter four of those years came against a Dartmouth squad which has not won an Ivy League meet since 1999. But tomorrow the Red will have an opportunity to double its league win total of a year ago, as it faces the Green and perennial Ivy League powerhouse, Harvard, in its first meet of the season.
“We are looking to blow Dartmouth out of the water and go after Harvard,” said senior co-captain Jayme Majek.
Literally, blow them out of the water. Over the past four years, the Red has had overwhelming success against the Green, as it tries to extend its winning streak to five in a row tomorrow.
But this meet will feature a twist that the others have lacked. Head coach John Holohan will keep his lineup hidden and will only reveal his swimmers as the meet progresses. Therefore, both the teams from Dartmouth and Harvard will be unable to strategically match up against the Cornell swimmers.
But ultimately, if the girls are going to continue their winning ways against Dartmouth, they will have to rely on Majek along with fellow senior captain Aliza Ginsburg.
“Realistically, we hope and are expecting to beat Dartmouth and give Harvard a run for their money,” said Ginsburg.
Ginsburg, considered by many to be the team’s motivational leader, will compete in the butterfly and freestyle events, while Majek will swim the butterfly and individual medley. Although the team has strong leadership, it will still need contributions from its underclassmen in order to be successful.
“We definitely have some strong freshmen, and the sophomore class is an awesome group of girls to work with,” said Ginsburg.
While the Red may have experienced success against Dartmouth in the recent past, the same cannot not be said about Harvard. In fact, the Red has not finished ahead of the Crimson in the Ivy League standings since the 1985-86 campaign. The girls, though, are hoping that this season could be the change of the tide. Behind new head coach Holohan and assistant Kate Cowan, the team is much more confident going into tomorrow’s meet.
“The team is ready for it,” said Ginsburg. “The new coaching staff gives us a totally different mindset going into these meets.”
When the two teams face off tomorrow, it can be expected that the girls will have some extra motivation to defeat the Crimson.
“Harvard and Princeton are definitely strong rivalries,” said Ginsburg.
Although Harvard has traditionally dominated the Red, Cornell is looking to turn the tables around.
“We are going to swim our hearts out and see what we get,” said Majek.
“This meet is a benchmark for the rest of the season,” said Ginsburg. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and then improve over the next few months.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper