December 1, 2004

Swimmers Meet N.Y. Rivals

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After swimming against four Ivy League opponents to begin the season, the men’s and women’s swim teams will take a break from the conference competition as the teams head to Binghamton to take on the Bearcats this evening.

Last season both the men’s and women’s teams recorded victories against the Bearcats.

“Binghamton is a team we should handle,” said men’s coach Joe Lucia. “We have a little more talent than they do. If you look at their times compared to ours, we have the better times.”

The men (2-2, 2-2 EISL) are currently in fourth place in the Ivy League standings behind perennial powerhouses Harvard, Princeton and Yale, which are all tied for first with perfect records. Also during the last meet, sophomore Mike Balint and senior Doug Ernst swam to first and second in the 50 free, respectively. But during tomorrow’s meet, Binghamton freshman Kaan Tayla, of Turkey, will challenge the sprinters.

Tayla swam the 50- and 100-meter races for his home country in the Athens summer Olympics. He is the first male Olympian in history to join the Binghamton swim team.

Two other swimmers who should excel in the sprint events are sophomore David Holmes and freshman Joseph Rogan. Holmes competed in the Olympic trials this past year.

“We are going to try some new lineups,” Lucia said. “We’ll have some guys trying new events during the meet, but some guys will swim their best events. We’re going to try to break some pool records.”

On the women’s side, the team is still looking for its second victory of the season. Last year, the women (1-3, 1-3 Ivy) won over Binghamton, 144-91. The victory was one of only three on the season.

Much like the men, the women will change their lineup in order to give the girls a chance to swim different events.

“Binghamton is not as strong as many of our opponents,” said women’s coach John Holohan. “Some girls will be swimming some events they don’t usually swim.”

Against Penn and Princeton, the women only found losses, but there were strong individual performances. Junior Holly Chance, junior Ashley Johnson and freshman Leah Tourtellotte swept the top three spots in the 100-yard butterfly.

Tonight, however, the women will face off against senior Huijue Cai, who captured the 100 fly title in the 2003 American East Conference. Cai is the women’s team’s top returnee from last season.

In order to prepare for the meet, the women needed to get back into their practice routine after Thanksgiving break.

“We just needed to get back into training mode,” Holohan said. “We had a little easier practice this week, but we still have another tough training period ahead.”

Although both teams expect to have a good showing against Binghamton, new additions to the Bearcats may shake up the results. In the end, both teams have the same goal — to swim fast.

Archived article by Kristina Kovach
Sun Staff Writer