The men’s swimming and diving team won four of the first five events in Saturday’s meet against EISL rival Columbia. Unfortunately for the Red, the team could not build upon its early success, as it fell to the Lions by a score of 165.5-134.5. Although the Red was defeated by a 31-point margin, the meet was very competitive and could have gone either way.
“As we expected, there were a lot of close races, and I think we swam really tough,” said senior co-captain Jeremy Sample. “There were seven races decided by 0.2 seconds, and they were able to win six of them. If three of those races went our way, the outcome may have been different.”
Despite the final result, Cornell received standout performances by many swimmers, none greater than sophomore Stefano Caprara. Caprara captured titles in three events along with a second-place finish in the 200-yard I.M. His three first-place finishes came in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard medley relay.
With the loss, Cornell dropped to 5-3 on the season with a 3-3 record in the EISL. The team has three opponents left on its 2004 schedule, with meets against rivals Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown.
“We have an intense week of training coming up,” said Sample. “We face off against Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend. Harvard is the perennial powerhouse, and we are not looking to beat them. Dartmouth is also swimming really tough, and we are anticipating a difficult meet.”
Realistically, the Red will look to close out the season by winning two out of its last three meets and complete the year with an EISL record of 5-4 for the third year in a row. However, in order to do so, the Red will have to beat two tough opponents.
“We need to refocus during the week,” said Sample.
The women’s swimming and diving team had not gone winless in the Ivy League since the 1982-83 campaign. That all changed on Saturday when the Red finished up its Ivy League schedule with lopsided losses to arch-rivals Brown and Columbia. Cornell was defeated by the Bears 244-54 and fell to the Lions by a score of 228-72. The defeats dropped the Red to 0-7 in Ivy League play with a 3-7 overall record.
Despite the outcomes, the Red received a solid contribution from sophomore Kristin Rayhack, who finished first against Columbia and second against Brown in the 1-meter dive. However, Rayhack was the only bright spot for Cornell, as the next best finishes were fifth place overall by junior Alyson Melin in the 100-yard backstroke and junior Meredith Blackman in the 200-yard backstroke.
“For the people who are finishing up their season, it was a good chance for them to swim really fast,” said senior co-captain Aliza Ginsburg. “They were able to get in the pool and swim a lot of events that they haven’t swam this season.”
The Red will receive a much-needed week off, as it next faces Buffalo in two weeks. The meet will be in preparation for its trip to Harvard for the Ivy League championship in late February.
“It is going to be a nice weekend off from what seems like an endless travel schedule,” said Ginsburg. “Everyone will continue to prepare for the championships and the meet against Buffalo will give us another chance to get ready.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper