February 9, 2004

M. Swim Splits Against Dart., Harv.

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For the past two seasons, the men’s swimming and diving team has finished with a 5-4 record in EISL competition. It may be on its way to another five-win season. On Saturday, the Red defeated Dartmouth by a score of 136.5-104.5, while falling to Harvard 131-110. The Crimson won the tri-meet by beating Dartmouth in dominating fashion, 137-94.

“We performed really great and bounced back from the tough loss against Columbia,” said senior co-captain Danny Royce. “We really focused on beating Dartmouth and tried to get a win from them.”

With the split, the team improved to 6-4 overall, with a 4-4 record against EISL competition.

The success on Saturday did not come without standout performances from many of the Cornell swimmers. Freshman Mike Smit continued his league dominance of the long distance events, as he finished first in the both the 1000- and 500-yard freestyle events. Smit beat the second place finisher in the 1000 by over seven seconds. With the two victories, Smit extended his streak of meets with at least one first place finish to five, capturing seven individual event titles over that span.

Sophomore Stefano Caprara also won the 200-yard backstroke while Rob Payne added a title in the 200-yard butterfly. Royce finished second in both the 200-yard individual medley and the breaststroke.

“I think everyone swam really well,” said senior co-captain Jeremy Sample. “We had a lot of close races with Dartmouth and unlike last week, we ended up on the good side of many of them.”

Besides assuring itself a chance at a third consecutive 5-4 season, the Red continued its dominance over Dartmouth, as Cornell will finish ahead of the Green in the EISL standings for the 24th straight year.

But, while Cornell moved easily past the Green, the team was engaged in a fairly competitive meet against Harvard. While the Crimson was expected to roll over both opponents, the Red only fell by a 21-point margin.

“I think we swam really well against Harvard,” said Sample. “I don’t think they put forth the strongest team they could have put forth. We won a lot of races against them and we put them down to the wire in a lot of the races we didn’t win.”

While team may have been favored over the Green, they were not expected to stay that close to Harvard. With the EISL championships coming up at Princeton in early March, Cornell’s ability to hang with the Crimson was an excellent sign that the Red will factor at the championships at the end of the season.

“We feel like we put forth a really good effort against Harvard,” said Royce. “It was nice to give them a pretty good scare.”

Cornell will face off against Brown next weekend to finish up its 2004 schedule and in the process try to capture its fifth win.

“Brown is traditionally a tough meet and we will not take them lightly,” said Royce. “If we can get a win against them, we will have a winning record in the conference, which is always a main goal of the team.”

Archived article by Bryan Pepper

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