The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams returned from winter break with a strong home showing this past Saturday.
The men’s team, which hosted Navy and Yale, performed well in its return to the Teagle Hall Natatorium.
The team crushed Navy, 149-94, and also managed to defeat Yale, 136-107. The Red won eight of Saturday’s 13 total events.
Junior Mike Smit set a pool record with his win in the 200-free, with a time of 1:38.99. Smit also won the 200-yard fly with a time of 1:51.32.
Senior captain Stefano Caprara also swam well for the Red, winning two individual events. He took the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:55.17, and the 200-yard back with a time of 1:50.61.
Caprara was also part of the victorious 400-yard medley relay team, along with senior captain Jarad Levan and juniors Dave McKechnie and Brad Newman. The relay team set another pool record en route to their win, with a time of 3:23.94.
McKechnie notched an individual win as well, swimming the 200-yard breast in a time of 2:09.36.
Freshman Wesley Newman had a great outing for the Red, with a first-place finish in the 1,000-yard free and a second place showing in the 500-yard free.
Smit and Newman comprised half of a relay team that won the 400-yard free relay. Sophomore Brad Gorter and freshman Jackson Wang made up the rest of the team.
The Red’s divers also performed well, with junior Luke Baer finishing second and freshman Chris Donohoe taking third in the 3-meter diving event.
The women’s swimming and diving team also turned in a solid performance in its half of the double dual meet this past Saturday. The women defeated Navy, 178-122, but lost to Yale, 192-108.
“It was definitely the best meet we’ve had all year,” said senior Ashley Johnson, who earned a second place finish in the 100-yard fly with a time of 59.15.
Sophomore Emilie Rennie posted her season-best time in the 1,000-yard free with a time of 10:33.79.
Johnson attributes a lot of the success from the meet to a new attitude around the locker room.
“There were a lot of close races and we won a lot of them by touching out the other swimmers. It shows how much the team wanted to win,” Johnson said. “Morale is up. The team wants to win and that’s really bringing us all together.”
Sophomore Leah Tourtellotte won the 200-yard free and was also part of the 400-yard free relay team that won with a time of 3:32.53. Seniors Jessica Brookman and Elissa Kline, and freshman Laura Luedke rounded out the rest of the winning relay team.
Kline also won the 500-yard free with a time of 5:08.36.
Brookman’s stellar performance was not limited solely to the relay team – she also placed first in the 100-yard back with a time of 57.92, and she won the 100-yard free with a time of 53.21.
But the Yale-Navy dual meet wasn’t Brookman’s only competition over the break. On Dec. 2, she traveled to Auburn, Ala., to race in the U.S. Open Swimming Championships. She swam the best time of her career and qualified for “B” final in the 100-meter fly. She finished 16th overall out of the incredibly competitive field of over 50.
“It was pretty cool to just be there – [I was] a few lanes down from girls that swam in the 2004 Olympics and still felt like I was competitive.”
Archived article by Lance PolivySun Staff Writer
The men’s and women’s track teams opened their seasons with some very strong performances during their first three meets over the past month. Both teams competed in the Cornell Relays Dec. 3, the Cornell Open on Jan. 6 and the Penn State Relays this past weekend.
The women broke four Cornell freshman records and one all-time Cornell record in their first meet of the season. Freshman Jeomi Meduka won both the long and triple jump in 19-0 3/4 and 40-6 1/4, respectively, breaking the freshman record and qualifying for the ECACs. She also won her heat in the 60-meter dash in 7.72, breaking the old freshman record. Later in the day classmate Janice Nsor won the final of the 60-meter dash in 7.71, bettering Meduka’s time by .01 and setting a new record. Senior co-captain Sheeba Ibidunni shattered her own Cornell record in the weight throw by almost three feet with a heave of 62-10. The throw not only qualified her for the ECACs, but was a NCAA provisional qualifier as well.
“[Ibidunni] has been consistently improving over her four years here,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “She works hard, and usually hard work pays off.”
The Cornell Relays showed more broken records for the women, as Meduka bested two all-time Cornell records with leaps of 19-11 in the long jump and 41-5 in the triple jump. Both jumps missed the NCAA provisional standard by only three centimeters.
“It was certainly a pleasant surprise,” Duesing said.
“[Meduka’s jumps] were competitive performances in the league.”
The Penn State Relays provided a change of pace for the athletes, as the format of the event does not emphasize individual performances as much as it does that of the team.
“The relays are great because you can use more people – some of the nervousness that comes in the individual races is lessened,” Duesing said.
The Red fared well at the event, continuing to show its depth as it won four events, was the runner-up in four others, and boasted 20 more top-5 finishers.
The 4×800 team of sophomore Angelica Gregory, freshman Robin Daniels, junior Morgan Uceny and senior Ruth Morgan set a Penn State track record, finishing in first in 8:58.88. Another win came from the distance medley relay team of junior Erin Linehan, classmate Christina Cossel, sophomore Devon Rupley and junior Nyam Kagwima (12:04.19). Their time also qualified them for the ECACs.
Individual wins came from junior Sarah Wilfred in the high jump (5-7) and senior Emily McCabe in the 3,000 (10:04.35). Wilfred’s jump qualified her for the ECACs.
“Penn provided good opportunities, and there was a lot of improvement over the first meet,” Duesing said.
The men’s track team has seen success as well during their first three competitions, proving to have top-notch performers in nearly every event across the board.
The Red swept every relay event at the Cornell Relays and saw five individual titles. Sophomore Saidu Ezike won the 60-meter hurdles in 8.24. Classmate Aaron Merril won the 500 in 1:06.23. Perhaps the strongest performances were seen in the field, as sophomore Muhammad Halim captured the long and triple jumps in 23-7 1/4 and 49-7 3/4. Junior David Pell cleared 6-11 in the high jump, finishing second and equaling his indoor personal record. Classmate Evan Whitehall won the pole vault in 15-3.
The men won eight events at the Cornell Open, led by sophomore Rayon Taylor, who took the triple jump in 50-7 1/2. His jump qualified him for the IC4As and narrowly missed the NCAA provisional mark.
The Red had another round of strong performances at the Penn State Relays last weekend, again showcasing a solid group of accomplished jumpers. Whitehall won the pole vault in a personal best 16-4 3/4, fourth all-time at Cornell. Pell was second in the high jump with 6-10 3/4, third best all-time at Cornell. Halim and Taylor were first and second in the triple jump, leaping 49-7 and 48-9 1/2, respectively.
“We have some of the best jumpers in the country,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor,
“[All four] are in the top-50 or 60 in the country and had strong seasons last year. We have high expectations for the season.”
Archived article by Erin GarrySun Staff Writer