February 13, 2006

Swimmers Finish Season With Wins

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Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, both the men’s and women’s swimming teams were looking to finish the season on a positive note.

The men (8-2, 6-2 EISL) accomplished their goal and put the finishing touches on their regular season, defeating Brown (2-5, 2-4) by a score of 126-102. With the victory, the Red pushed its winning streak to seven meets.

The Red used its home pool to its advantage, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back. With wins in nine of its last 10 meets, the Red is on a roll heading into the postseason EISL championship, which will be held March 2-4 in Long Island, N.Y..

“We were confident going into that meet, but it definitely gives us some momentum,” said senior co-captain Stefano Caprara. “Obviously, with our win streak, everyone is rolling. We’re looking to be better than ever this year,”

Freshman Rob Manor and sophomore Bobby Nitto highlighted a solid, all-around team performance, as Cornell finished first and second in both the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyles. The Red also captured first place in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle events. Sophomore Brad Gorter won both the 50 and the 100, while junior Mike Smit, freshman Wes Newman and senior Jared Levan finished 1-2-3 in the 200.

“[The freestylers] are remarkable,” Caprara said. “They have been coming through all year. The last couple of meets, everyone has been stepping it up.”

Smit, whose preferred stroke is freestyle, was dominant throughout the day, as he broke a 14-year old school record in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:49.73.

“He’s a great swimmer, but no one expects it in the butterfly,” Caprara said. “He has been stepping up all year, and he could even do better at EISL.”

The women’s team (3-8, 0-7 Ivy) rolled into Buffalo over the weekend and defeated the Bulls by a 163-135 margin. The win gives the Red momentum heading into the Ivy League championship, held on Feb. 23-26 in Cambridge, Mass.

“The win helps so much. We thought it was going to be very close, so the win really helps our confidence,” said freshmen Sarah Yan.

The meet was close in its early stages, with several lead changes making the match tense. Wins by sophomore Leah Tourtellotte in the 50 free and senior Jessica Brookman in the 200 butterfly kept the Red in the meet. Brookman’s time was a personal best, and came close to breaking a school record.

However, the Red began to pull away, with a victory by Tourtellotte in the 100 free turning the tide. A 1-2-3 finish in the 100 butterfly by Brookman, sophomore Colleen Murphy and senior Ashley Johnson spurred the Red to victory.

Brookman’s 2:06.58 performance in the 200 IM nearly set the Cornell record.

“I was pretty happy with my performance,” Brookman said. “I swam some of my best times. I had a good start, and then when I swam the last three meets in a row, my goal was just to swim as fast as I could and get some points for the team.”

Archived article by Jeremy Drucker
Sun Staff Writer