January 30, 2006

Men Win, Women Fall in Lions' Pool

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One pool, two very different results. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed against Columbia this past Saturday, with the men earning a 157-143 win while the women fell by a 222.5-77.5 margin to the Lions and were defeated by Brown, 187.5-112.5.

The Cornell men’s swimming and diving team defeated Columbia in a roller coaster meet that included seven lead changes on Saturday afternoon in New York City. The Red’s 157-143 victory extends its winning streak to six matches.

The Red’s late-season surge is coming at the perfect time with only one more meet remaining before the EISL Championships.

The Red was able to capture the win with good races out of both its younger swimmers and veteran leaders.

Sophomore Brad Gorter had a huge day for the Red, placing first in the 50-yard freestyle. Gorter was also on the 200-medley relay team that took home first place and set a pool-record. The team, consisting of senior captain Stefano Caprara, junior David McKechnie, junior Mike Smit, and Gorter swam the medley in a time of 1:30.72, breaking the previous pool record by over two seconds.

Caprara set another pool record in the 100-yard backstroke by finishing the race in 49.66 seconds, toppling Harvard backstroke specialist Tim Carver’s record of 50.49 seconds from 1991.

“I was more concerned with winning the actual meet,” Caprara said. “But as a senior, setting a pool record like that was just the icing on the cake, a way to keep a little legacy in the league.”

The match ended with the 400-yard freestyle relay. Although both teams swam hard in the final race, it was one individual’s performance that sealed the victory for the Cornell.

“You can’t see it in the times, but we were down by more than a second when Mike Smit hit the water,” Caprara said. “It was the fastest I’d ever seen anyone swim. He was absolutely on his game.”

The women’s swimming and diving team had less success in an equally hard fought battle when it met Brown and Columbia on Saturday. The Red fell to Columbia by a narrow margin of 187.5-112.5 and was dispatched by Brown 222.5-77.5.

There were, however, plenty of positives to take away from the meet. Junior diver Kristen Rayhack finished second in both the 3-meter and the 1-meter dives.

Sophomore Leah Tourtellotte also continued her strong season with an impressive second place finish in the 50-yard freestyle. She also placed third in the 100-yard butterfly.

Both squads are looking forward to the season finale race against Buffalo in two weeks. The team is even focusing beyond the Buffalo race.

“We’ve got to focus on all the little things both mentally and physically. Now we’re right on track to have a great showing when we get to the Ivy League Championships,” said senior captain Ashley Johnson.

Archived article by Lance Polivy
Sun Staff Writer