The Cornell men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will be back in action this afternoon at home in Teagle Hall, taking on regional rival, Binghamton.
The men’s team is absolutely ready for what should be a winnable meet. It is coming off of mixed results at Princeton, where the Red handily took care of Penn, but fell to the Tigers. However, the story of the meet on the men’s side was the performance of freshman Wes Newman. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Brad, a junior, Newman swam hard in the 400-meter freestyle relay and helped the Red take second place. He also had a tremendous individual performance, winning the 500-yard freestyle race with a time of 4:33.88.
Other highlights included junior Mike Smit’s win in the 100-yard freestyle and junior Luke Baer’s second-place finish in the 3-meter dive.
Men’s head coach Joe Lucia is ready for the meet and is expecting some tough competition from Binghamton.
“We’re going to be on our toes against this team,” Lucia said. “They won their league two years ago and were runner-ups last year.”
Lucia is expecting strong performances out of Binghamton’s top-2 swimmers. Kaan Tayla almost qualified for the NCAA Championships last year when he recorded times of 20.18 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and 44.0 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle. David Holmes will be an equally formidable opponent. Holmes is expected to swim the 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard IM and several breaststroke events.
The Cornell women’s swimming and diving squad is looking to secure its first victory of the season today and is hoping that a revitalized lineup and swimming in its home pool will push the Red towards a big win.
“This is a fun meet for us,” said senior captain Ashleigh Walker. “We do it with the men’s team and it’s at home, so our friends can come.”
Walker isn’t expecting Binghamton to swim at the level of the Ivy League powerhouses that they’ve been paired up against in the Red’s past two dual meets. “Coach thinks they don’t have too many strong swimmers this year,” Walker said.
Senior captain Jess Brookman is also anticipating that the level of competition will be much different today.
“The pressure is off in terms of winning and so we’ll see how we swim,” Brookman said. “People will be swimming different events and hopefully, it’ll pick up the energy of the team.”
Junior diver Caitlin Burrows is also looking forward to the lineup changes.
“I don’t think all of a sudden, I’m going to be anchoring the 400-yard relay on freestyle or anything,” Burrows said. “But it really seems like the swimmers are excited about swimming some new events and I think we’re ready to beat Binghamton.”
Just like Walker and the rest of the girls, Brookman is raving about the addition of new assistant coach Gail Meakins.
“She’s always there for me in the morning for early workouts,” Brookman said. “I think she’s a good addition to the program. She’s really experienced and a very skilled coach.”
Archived article by Lance Polivy
Sun Staff Writer