January 18, 2007

W. Swimming Wins Meet; Men Clinch Title Share

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The women’s swimming and diving team earned its first dual meet win of the season by beating Binghamton on Dec. 4, proving that its hard work is beginning to show up on the scoreboard.

The Red outraced the Bearcats, 198-108, at the Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center in Binghamton.

“I was pleased with our team effort,” said head coach John Holohan. “Due to illness, we were missing a few swimmers so most of the athletes had to swim multiple events. In addition, we didn’t back off from a difficult training regime, so the team was tired. Given that, they all performed very well.”
[img_assist|nid=20778|title=Winning form|desc=The women’s swimming and diving team won its first dual meet of the season with a 198-108 victory against Binghamton on Dec. 4. (Alex Teney / Sun Staff)|link=popup|align=right|width=100|height=65]
Heading into the season, Holohan knew that the team would be the underdog by 75 to 100 points in each of its meets and would have few chances to get out of the pool with a team victory. The team has shifted its emphasis to individual wins, individual best times, and swimming as a unified team. In these areas, the Red has been winning and improving all season.

In the victory over the Bearcats, the foursome of junior Leah Tourtellotte, freshman Danielle Visco, freshman Julieclaire Sheppard, and sophomore Laura Luedke took first in the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:52.83 and gave the Red an early lead.

According to Holohan, Tourtellotte’s numerous individual wins set the pace for the rest of the team.

“Leah led the way again. She swam the backstroke leg of the winning medley relay (27.96), won the 50 free (24.98), the 200 back (2:11.86) and the 100 fly (59.52). Our freshmen and sophomores followed Leah’s lead with excellent swim,” Holohan said.

Immediately after the Red went 1-3 in the opening event, freshman Emily Caras won the 1000 free with a personal-best time of 11:12.24. Sophomore Katie Gryka and freshman Heidi Judd added seven points to the Red’s score by finishing third and fourth in the same event.

Caras also placed second in both the 200 fly (2:17.16) and the 200 IM (2:19.83), then swam on five minutes rest in the 400 free relay, winning the event along with freshman Laura Acchione, sophomore Emma Wondergem and sophomore Sarah Yan.

Against Binghamton, Yan continued to be a solid performer for the Red. Yan won the 100 free with a season-best time (54.61), the 200 free (1:58.36) and the 500 free (5:21.64) in addition to anchoring the 400 free relay.

Acchione took second place to Yan in the 200 free (1:59.45) and in the 500 free (5:23.47), but she had her own individual win in the 200 fly (2:16.13) followed by Caras and junior Nicole Tariverdian in third (2:21.35).

After swimming the breaststroke leg of the 200-medley relay, Visco took the crown for three individual wins in the meet: the 100 breast (1:10.92), the 200 breast (2:32.71) and the 200 IM (2:14.09).

Men clinch share of Ivy title
The men’s swimming and diving team left the pool with at least a share of the Ivy League title on Jan. 13 with a 170-130 win over Yale.

A victory over Navy the same day by a 213-87 margin ensured that the Red retained its hold on a perfect 8-0 record this season. In the three-team meet, Cornell took first place in 10 events. Senior Mike Smit claimed three individual victories and anchored the 400 free relay in a blue-ribbon performance. Sophomore Wes Newman won the 1,000 and 500 free and swam a leg in the victorious 200 medley relay, a race in which the Red also took second. This team win followed a 175-122 win over the Bearcats on Dec. 4.