November 24, 2008

Swimming Teams Confident With Weekend

Print More

Although the results of this past weekend may not directly show it, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams continued to make strides against Penn and Princeton, proving that they are able to compete with the best. Both teams placed third over the weekend, but in doing so they showed that from top to bottom they are making improvements.
“We’re definitely happy with how things went,” said senior co-captain Phil Baity, who finished first in the 200-meter backstroke. “It was a very fast meet, probably the fastest dual meet that I’ve ever been a part of. All three teams put up some amazing swims.”
The men, who beat Dartmouth and narrowly lost to defending Ivy League champion Harvard in their previous meet, posted even faster times this weekend in Princeton, N.J.
“I wouldn’t say that we lost the meet, but that we just got outperformed,” Baity said. “We showed great endurance, keeping our heads on straight throughout the whole meet. Overall, it was great.”
“Our coach was very pleased with how we swam,” Baity added. “He said that we’re a much better team coming out of the meet. We swam a lot faster than we did at Harvard which indicates a lot of promise for the future; he’s proud of us for that.”
A significant difference maker among the three teams was that Penn elected to wear their “fast suits,” similar to the ones worn by swimmers over the summer in the Olympics. “Fast suits” are state-of-the-art swimsuits that are extremely hydrodynamic in addition to allowing the swimmer to float more and sit higher in the water.[img_assist|nid=33844|title=Fast suits|desc=Cornell’s swimmers elect to wait until championship meets to wear their “fast suits,” which reduce drag and increase floatation. Penn’s swimmers wore their fast suits for this weekend’s meet.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“They really cut off a lot of time in comparison to conventional suits,” Baity said. “Most teams, like us, only wear them at championship meets. We want to get stronger throughout the season then have that added advantage in the [Ivy League] championship.”
Similar to the men, the women’s team did not finish with its ideal final result, but showed improvement, giving the squad confidence heading into the rest of its schedule. The Red placed third, but several freshmen put up fast times and showed their ability to compete at the collegiate level.
“A lot of freshmen really stepped up big and did well,” said sophomore Kathleen Hohwald. “Heather Miller, Emily Dean and Sadie Ellison all came up huge for us. They proved to everybody that they can compete at this level.”
Although the Red was happy with the progress that it showed, the team knows that there is room for improvement.
“There’s always room to improve,” Hohwald said. “Our approach is to just focus on each meet week to week and see what we can improve on.”
“Our coaches wanted us to go out and show that we’re competitive with anybody,” added Hohwald. “We don’t have the depth that a lot of other teams have, but we proved that we have some pretty competitive swimmers.”