February 28, 2006

Swimmers Lapped at Ivies

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The Cornell women’s swimming and diving team took to the pools one last time over the weekend, putting the finishing touches on its season at the Ivy Championships in Cambridge, Mass. Despite finishing in eighth place as a team, with 532 points, there were several strong individual performances during the tournament, which lasted from Thursday to Saturday.

“I know we didn’t do as well as we would have hoped. We thought we could compete with Dartmouth, Brown and Columbia, but we had a lot of girls out. Considering that we were missing them, the team overall did very well,” said freshman Sarah Yan.

Senior Jessica Brookman got the Red rolling on Thursday, setting a school-record time of 2:04.22 in the 200-yard individual medley. Brookman would eventually cut the time down to 2:04.08 – qualifying her for the USA Nationals. Sophomore Leah Tourtellotte kept the momentum going, with an eighth place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.

“[Leah and Jessica] really deserve it. They have been training hard, in their own lanes, all season. They did workouts that were harder than the rest of the whole team during the season, harder sets and longer reps. It really showed how hard work can pay off. They have led our team throughout the whole season,” Yan said.

Freshman Laura Luedke and Yan placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the C finals. Senior Kristin Rayhack turned in another solid performance, finishing fifth on the 1-meter board.

Brookman wasted no time getting started on Friday, taking first place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.44. This time not only qualified her for the USA Nationals, but also shattered her own school record. Senior Ashley Johnson placed sixth in the B finals. Tourtellotte turned in another workmanlike performance, placing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle – breaking a school record from 1992 in the process. Senior Elissa Kline placed sixth in the race.

“I think the whole meet is a great meet for me. I finally got that win the 100-fly, I was so close before. It was a great feeling to finally look up and see No. 1 next to my name,” Brookman said.”My goal all season was just to swim as fast as I could, and getting the records was just icing on the cake.”

Saturday saw more strong performances from Tourtellotte and Brookman. Tourtellotte placed seventh in the 100-yard freestyle. Brookman placed sixth in the 200-yard butterfly, and her time of 2:05.63 broke a school record from 1995.

“I things our prospects are bright for the future. We are losing some top seniors, but we are getting some fast recruits, and we will work hard and train hard. We should be more competitive next year, maybe even come in fifth or sixth in Ivies,” Yan said.

All told, the Red set five new school records in Cambridge, including three by Brookman. While the Red will lose a hardworking graduating class, it will look toward next season with a solid young nucleus in place.

Archived article by Jeremy Drucker
Sun Staff Writer