November 19, 2003

Turning it Around

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The men’s swimming and diving team is coming off a season in which it achieved a school-record 635 points at the EISL championships. Unfortunately for the Red, the score was only good enough for a seventh-place finish. But with eight of the top 10 scorers returning from last year’s squad and a talented freshman class, the team is poised for improvement in 2004.

“This year, we have very high expectations and high team goals as far as improving what we’ve done,” said head coach Joe Lucia.

The Red is led by senior co-captains Danny Royce and Jeremy Sample, whose experience and leadership could prove invaluable throughout the season. Royce, who was voted team co-MVP last season, will be swimming the individual medley, breaststroke, and freestyle. Sample will swim the sprint freestyle and relay events.

“I think the program is definitely heading up,” said Sample. “We should be a stronger team than last year.”

The junior class will also provide leadership and consistent contributions to the team. Danny Diette, coming off a solid performance at the EISL championships, will swim backstroke, while teammate Doug Ernst will compete in the butterfly. Diette, Ernst, and fellow junior Paul Teta will also add strength to the freestyle events. Divers Tony Schultz and Andrew Wolf round out the junior class.

The sophomore class is led by Stefano Caprara, who led the team with 69 points at the EISL championship. Along with Caprara, there are six returning sophomores as well as seven freshman joining the squad this season.

“We have a bunch of really good freshman and a lot of returning points from last year,” said Royce.

“Right now, we have very special athletes in the pool,” said Lucia. “I think it is very likely that this is one of the best teams we have ever had.”

Women’s Team

After a disappointing 2003 campaign, the women’s swimming and diving team looks to turn its success around this season under the leadership of a new coaching staff.

Behind new head coach John Holohan and recently hired assistant Katie Cowan, the Red will try to improve upon its 5-6 regular season record of a year ago.

“My expectations are more along the lines of establishing a new program based on the commitment to individual excellence,” said Holohan. “We want to build the team on that core belief.”

The team will be led this season by its only two seniors, Aliza Ginsburg and Jayme Majek. Majek is a very versatile swimmer and will compete in freestyle, butterfly, individual medley, and backstroke events. Ginsburg specializes in the butterfly events, but will also swim freestyle during the season.

“Most of all we are really hopeful of what the new coaches will bring to the table for us,” said Ginsburg.

The team also features a strong junior class. Meredith Blackman swims individual medley and butterfly events, while Alyson Melin provides depth in the breaststroke events. The team also features Stephanie Klusko, Liza Ranzenhofer, and Elissa Kline, coming off her injury plagued sophomore season. Diver and two-time team MVP Kara Neal rounds out the juniors.

In just one season at Cornell, the sophomores have already broken eight all-time top five marks. Among the team record holders are Jessica Bookman with three, Marisa Sweetser with two, and Holly Chance and Ashley Johnson with one apiece.

Although the freshman class is small, it also has the potential to contribute in several events.

“The girls have been training really hard and I am impressed with their dedication right now,” said Holohan.

Archived article by Bryan Pepper