November 16, 2007

Swimming Teams Travel to Take On Ivy Foes

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The men’s and women’s swimming teams are making their way into their second weekend of competition. Today and tomorrow, the squads will compete in Philadelphia against Penn and Princeton where they hope to give both teams a contest.
“Penn has been a traditional rival of ours for years,” said men’s head coach Joe Lucia.
Last year, the men shut out a consistently strong performing Princeton by a score of 71-42, which was its first win against the Tigers since the 1983-84 season. The Red also beat Penn by a wide margin of 223-77.
While Cornell has beaten Penn for the past few years, the outcome of today’s meet against them is up in the air. And while the Red was victorious against Princeton last years Cornell isn’t necessarily expecting the same outcome this year, nor is it feeling pressure to live up to last year’s performance.
“I think [Princeton’s] the cream of the crop this year,” Lucia said. “We gained a lot of confidence when we beat them last year. But this is a different team and a different group of people.”
There will be minimal changes to the lineup today, with most on the team competing in the same events as last weekend. Moving into the lineup are freshmen Dean Holcomb and Chris Keady, who will compete today in the 1000. Although not likely, there may also be a last minute swap on the relay team as the Red is looking at a chance to win both of the relay events against Penn and Princeton. The Red is also hoping to improve its performance in the backstroke, which wasn’t as strong as last weekend.
“We’re excited to compete,” said Lucia. “The guys are mentally focused and prepared.”
While the women’s team lost both of its meets against Princeton and Penn last year, this year the squad is looking to give both teams more of a competitive show. For its competitions tomorrow, the Red is striving to narrow the margin between the final scores in both of the meets. While Cornell hopes to get its score as close to Princeton as possible, the players have targeted Penn as a team they have a better chance at scoring closer to this year.
“[The meet] will definitely be closer than last year,” said senior Nicole Tariverdian. “We beat Dartmouth last weekend which was a big step for us. Our team is definitely a lot stronger this year than it has been for the past few years.”
Last weekend, senior Leah Tourtellotte and many of the freshmen on the team showed impressive performances. With the experience of their first collegiate swimming meets and nervousness behind them, the freshmen are expected to continue excelling in competition.