Going into Saturday’s meet, the men’s and women’s swim teams knew they were facing tough competition. Despite close match-ups on paper, both Cornell teams gave outstanding performances and came out on top. The women captured a 168-132 win against Buffalo at home while the men outscored Brown, 129-122, on the road.
Going into the meet as underdogs on paper, the women (4-7, 1-6 Ivy) took chances in a few events by changing the line-up.
“Pre-meet, we were 10 to 15 point underdogs,” said women’s head coach John Holohan. “We gambled on a few events [by] using our top swimmers in the medley relay rather than saving them for the last [event].”
In the end, the women had an excellent showing against a strong Buffalo team, including first place finishes in 11 of 16 events against the Bulls. Senior Alyson Melin, junior Holly Chance and freshmen Leah Tourtellotte and Emilie Rennie took first in two events each on the day.
Rennie dominated the distance events while Melin, who swam to season-best times against Buffalo, claimed the 100 and 200-yard breastroke.
Chance and Tourtellotte fought out the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events. Chance took first in the 50-yard free by less than one-tenth of a second, while Tourtellotte touched the wall first in the 100-yard free.
Junior Jessica Brookman also won some key races for the Red by swimming a tough combination of the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard backstroke and the fly leg of the 200-yard medley relay.
“We won most of the close races,” Holohan said. “Every member of the team contributed to the win.”
The women will return to the water on Feb. 24 to compete in the Ivy League Championships in Princeton, N.J.
On the road, the men continued the success they have found all season by placing first in seven of 13 events to defeat the Bears.
“We’re really happy about our 8-2 record and the outcome of the meet,” said junior tri-captain Stefano Caprara. “We didn’t back down, and our swimmers really came through in the end.”
The men, who secured third place in the EISL standings, led from the beginning with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay. Caprara, senior Doug Ernst and sophomores Mike Balint and Dave McKechnie swam for the winning team, finishing in 1:32.23.
With help from sophomore Rich Bowen, McKechnie helped the Red earn a 1-2 finish in 200-yard breastroke. McKechnie and Bowen finished in 2:06.81 and 2:07.62, respectively.
“Although there were a couple of curveballs in the meet, McKechnie and Bowen really came through in their events,” Caprara said.
Sophomore Mike Smit, coming in two seconds ahead of Brown’s Eric Brumberg, also came through by winning the 200-yard free in 1:40.20.
After finishing their regular season, the men continue to prepare for the EISL Championships to be held March 3-5 in Cambridge, Mass.
“We’re setting up for great things [at the end] of this season,” Caprara said. “Hopefully they’ll come true.”
Archived article by Kristina Kovach
Sun Staff Writer