January 22, 2008

Red Suffers Five Losses Over Break

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For the men’s and women’s swimming teams, winter break was only two weeks long. For the rest of the time, both teams were busy training and competing. While mostly training on campus at Cornell, both teams flew down to Puerto Rico in early January to train for a week.
“We do our usual thing — we train twice a day for two hours, so it’s a pretty busy time of swimming and we did that for seven days,” said men’s coach Joe Lucia about the team’s practice schedule down in Puerto Rico.
At its first meet back from break earlier this month, the men’s team fell to both Navy and Yale at a tri-meet held at Navy. The team lost by a score of 172-126 to Navy and 167.5-132.5 to Yale.
“Unfortunately we lost both of those meets, so that was kind of tough on us and the team,” Lucia said. “We had a very good idea of what Navy had coming back, and they had one of the best recruiting classes in the league. We swam well but we just don’t have enough power there to beat them.”
However, the Red was able to beat Colgate this past weekend 156-123, where eight swimmers and two divers won events. [img_assist|nid=26723|title=Eat water|desc=The men’s and women’s swimming teams trained in Puerto Rico for a week before competing in a tri-meet at Navy and single meet against Colgate.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“[Junior] Wes Newman had the best meet by far,” Lucia said. “He stepped up and had great performances.”
Lucia also noted recent performances from senior Brad Gorter and the reest of the sprinters. The divers have been a contributing factor on the team as well as this season, with sophomore Alaric Eby and junior Christ Donohoe both taking first in two events last weekend at Colgate.
“[Diving coach] Veronica [Ribot-Canales] is doing a great job with the team,” Lucia said. “They’re focused, they’re learning new dives, and I couldn’t be happier.”
The women’s team was also busy over break, accompanying the men to Puerto Rico and competing in a few meets back in the states.
“Over break we were home for two weeks, and we left on [Jan. 3] for Puerto Rico,” said senior Leah Tourtellotte. “We stayed in P.R. for 10 days. It was really cool. We were able to practice doubles most days.”
A few of the swimmers also competed in a low-key meet in Puerto Rico against other teams from the continental U.S. who were in Puerto Rico training as well.
Since returning back North to colder weather, the women have fallen to three schools. Earlier this month at the Navy tri-meet, the Red lost with a score of 175-125 to Navy, and fell to Yale with a score of 219-81. The team lost again this past weekend at a meet at Colgate, 181-117.
While the team wasn’t able to walk away victorious from its most recent meets, the Red was able to celebrate individual victories on the team.
“There were a few people who had really great times,” Tourtellotte said.
Freshman Meg Farrington showed impressive performances, winning the 200 backstroke at Navy and also two events in the backstroke at Colgate last weekend. Tourtellotte also excelled at Navy, winning the 100 butterfly, an event in which she has consistently performed well. Diver Gretchen Schroeder won both diving events at Colgate, and was followed closely by sophomore Jen Park.
“I think [the divers] are doing really well; it’s really awesome because they’re all really close,” Tourtellotte said. “It seem like they’re all improving a lot.”
Nearly halfway through its season, the team is starting to prepare for Ivies.
“It kind of gets interesting from now on, because we all start individualizing our training and getting prepared for our specific races,” Tourtellotte said. “We’re splitting up more and focusing more on our individual events.”