As the regular season came to a close, the women’s swimming and diving team found itself in eighth place in the 2004 Ivy League standings, finishing the year with winless record in conference. It was no different at the Ivy League championships this weekend, as the Red finished again last place, compiling a total of 410 points.
Princeton won the title for the fifth year in a row, edging out Harvard, 1361-1344.5, in the Crimson’s own Blodgett Pool. The meet came down to the last relay in which the Tigers were able to hold off the Crimson for a 16.5 margin of victory. Despite the last place finish, the Red swimmers were not at all disappointed by the effort put forth.
“Basically, everyone on the team swam their hearts out,” said senior co-captain Aliza Ginsburg. “Everyone gave 150 percent and most, if not all of them, came out with season best times and several came out with career best times. People were swimming as fast as they have ever swam before. There is no negativity if you look at it from that perspective.”
The Red’s best event of the weekend proved to be the 3-meter dive, as sophomore Kristen Rayhack captured a first-place finish with a score of 476.95. The next closest competitor only scored a 456.50. Her terrific performance over the weekend and throughout the whole season, earned Rayhack the award for 2004 Diver of the Year. But, unfortunately for the Red, besides the 3-meter dive, none of the Cornell swimmers finished in the top eight in any other events.
While the competition served as an opportunity for each of the teams to jostle for position, by the end of the competition, there was no surprise in the final finish. The regular season standings held form as Princeton topped the leaderboard, followed by Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Penn, and Dartmouth.
Although the season as a whole appears to be a disappointing one, Ginsburg feels that it a positive one for the program.
“I don’t think that any of us our frustrated,” said Ginsburg. “As a team, we made a lot of strides that we didn’t think were possible at the beginning of the season. We just have to continue taking it one step at a time.”
Although Ginsburg and fellow senior co-captain Jayme Majek will be missed next season, head coach John Holohan will continue to rebuild the program. Only those two seniors will be graduating, leaving the team with several talented swimmers, including Rayhack, who has already achieved the highest award for an Ivy League diver. Although Holohan’s first season as coach of the Red did not lead to many victories in the pool, his coaching methods have brought hope for Cornell in future years.
“The underclassmen are looking forward to working with coach Holohan,” said Ginsburg. “This meet served as a building process for him and the program. Everyone has the confidence that he will be able to rebuild the program.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper