The men’s swim team has kept up its impressive record from last semester by edging out three tough opponents in the last two weeks. With an overall record of 6-2 this year and a 4-2 record against its EISL opponents, the men have proven to be one of the strongest groups of swimmers the Red has seen in years.
“The season is going very well for the guys,” said men’s head coach Joe Lucia. “They are being a great team, very unselfish, and so far they are achieving the goals they set.”
The men started off the new semester with two outstanding victories against Yale and Navy.
The Red decisively defeated the Bulldogs for the first time in nine years with a final tally of 126-117. The team was led to victory by exceptional performances from junior captain Stefano Caprara and sophomores Mike Smit and Dave McKechnie.
“The season has been the best since I’ve been here,” said Caprara.
Caprara secured two wins in the 200-meter individual relay and the 200-meter backstroke with times of 2:07:89 and 2:02:85, respectively. Smit well represented the underclassmen on the team by taking first in the 800-meter freestyle, and McKechnie placed first in the 200-meter breaststroke.
The men also proved themselves a stronger team than nearby opponent Colgate, posting a convincing 160-122 victory over the Raiders on Jan. 22. The Red swept all ten events, getting outstanding performances against Colgate from senior Danny Diette and McKechnie. Diette sailed past all others in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke, and McKechnie won the 100-meter breaststroke.
Without a doubt, the team’s arduous swim practices during winter break are now paying off. The men and women’s swimming and diving teams spent time in Puerto Rico this winter break preparing to finish the season strong.
While the Red used the first part of the season to determine its best lineups, the second half of the season will be focused on making a strong showing at both the EISL Championships and the NCAA Championships. The EISL Championships will be held in Cambridge, Mass. starting March 3. The NCAA Championships will follow shortly after on March 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both the men’s and women’s teams have high hopes to have a strong showing at both meets.
Although the Red is keeping both championship meets in mind, it is not losing sight of upcoming competitions this weekend. The men will host Columbia this Friday at 4 p.m. at Teagle pool. The women will also stay in town this weekend to challenge Columbia and Brown. The women’s meet will be held at 12 p.m. this Saturday.
“We have the chance to accomplish some really high things in our next two dual meets, one against Colombia and against Brown,” Lucia said.
According to Lucia, while Columbia may appear to be better on paper, the team plans to make the meet on Friday very exciting and competitive.
“If we can win this meet, we will be one of the top two teams in the past fifty years, so that’s something big,” Caprara said.
The women’s swim team has faced mixed success this semester and is working diligently to improve its record. The women were edged out by Yale and Navy on Jan. 15.
However, these defeats did not dampen the spirits of the women, as they conquered Colgate with a final score of 185-111. Out of the sixteen events in the meet against the Raiders, the Red took first in thirteen.
Freshman Emilie Rennie’s remarkable performance in the 1000-meter freestyle awarded her a position on Cornell’s top-five all-time list, no small feat for a first year swimmer. Rennie finished 32 seconds before the second place winner for this event.
Archived article by Kristen Schneider