March 4, 2004

Swim Around the Ivies

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The ECAC tournament kicks off its first round this weekend, yet with the men’s icers holding onto a first-round bye Lynah Rink will be empty. Several other Cornell sports will be competing for conference titles this weekend, however, and as such we begin this week’s Around the Ivies with a dip in the pool.

The Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championships start today at Princeton’s DeNunzio pool, yet while the Tigers may be the home team, a neighbor from the East is favored to take the title.

Last year’s event saw Princeton finish second to Harvard by 35 points, to give the Crimson its seventh title in nine years. Harvard again boasts a strong squad led by a surprising category — the diving events. The Crimson’s Enrique Roy returns this season to defend his sweep of the EISL’s diving events. Roy’s second sweep will be complicated, particularly by his own teammates, Danil Rybalko and Tom Crahan.

The events’ competition has also improved, as Army, Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton all have returning finalists. Cornell freshman Luke Baer should also add an interesting element to the mix, as he’s consistently been a top-finisher in the diving events for Cornell.

Senior Danny Royce and Sophomore Stefano Caprara should also provide the Red with points in the swimming events, as they’ve been able to finish in the top three spots all season long. Freshman Mike Smit has demonstrated a similar potential, and should challenge in several events.

Army, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Penn, Yale and Navy will also be in the hunt for the title. Navy appears strongest in the sprints, led by NCAA qualifier Noah White.

Columbia appears to have a deep and balanced roster, and could make a run at the title. Mike Bazylewicz has been solid in the 1,000 freestyle, where he won the event in six of the team’s eight league meets. Ben Collins has also turned in impressive performances for the Lions, going undefeated in league meets for the 200 and 400 IMs.

Across state lines, several Ivy teams will vie for another Eastern honor at the EIWA wrestling championships. Lehigh, last season’s title team, appears poised for a third-consecutive championship, but Penn and Cornell have the depth to play the role of spoiler.

Regardless of who hoists the league title on Sunday, more than 39 wrestlers will have the chance to participate in the NCAA national tournament.

Cornell’s lineup boasts five NCAA qualifiers, including one champion in junior Travis Lee. If the wild card spots fall in the team’s favor, Cornell could send as many as 10 to this year’s NCAA competition.

Rounding out this week’s tour of the Ivies are the League’s annual men’s hockey awards. Brown’s senior netminder, Yann Danis took player of the year honors after leading his team to a 7-2-1 Ivy record, and having one of the lowest GAAs in the nation. Teammate Brian Ihnacak netted the rookie of the year award, following a campaign that saw him score 13 points in Ivy play, leading all league freshman in scoring.

Joining Danis on the Ivy first team are Scott Ford (Brown), Lee Stempniak and Grant Lewis (Dartmouth), and sophomore Matt Moulson and senior Ryan Vesce. Besides Danis, Moulson was the only other unanimous first-team selection. The Red picked up two second-team nods; one for freshman goaltender David McKee, and another for junior defenseman Charlie Cook.

Archived article by Matt Janiga