February 10, 2009

Men’s, Women’s Swimming Concludes Dual Meet Season

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The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were in Rhode Island this weekend, facing Brown in their last Ancient Eight dual meet of the season. The men (6-4, 4-4 EISL) took another commanding victory, showing similar form to their performance against Columbia. The women’s team (1-9, 0-8 ECAC) failed to win its final meet of the season, or any meet this season, but some of its top swimmers did swim well against Brown.
Both teams will be heading to Ivy championships in the upcoming weeks. The men’s team, winning five of its last six meets, has been on a roll. The star 200-medley relay team of senior Phil Baity, freshman Michael Cai, senior Jackson Wang and junior Sasha Dobrolioubov took a nearly two second victory. All four men should be heading to Princeton for EISL championships against the other top teams in the league.
“Each swimmer doesn’t have to worry about swimming multiple events on a day, you can really focus on your event,” said senior Mary Cirella.[img_assist|nid=34914|title=Watered down|desc=The men’s team had another dominant showing against Brown, while the women failed to win a single dual meet this season|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]
Since the Championship meet format only includes the top swimmers from each team, Cornell has a great shot at placing well. Its top swimmers compete closely with the best in the league on both the men’s and women’s sides. Cai especially has a great chance at winning in the breaststroke. He has performed well in the event all year long, and according to top members of the team, like Baity, he is in the running for the top spot.
“Michael Cai is really a standout freshman … he’s one of the best breaststrokers the Ivy League has seen,” said Baity.
On the women’s side, several freshmen should be moving on to Ivy League championships at Harvard. The women’s team, though winless in dual meets, has potential going into championships. In their meet against Brown, the women took a tough, 112.5-170, loss.
“I can only see good things in the future for Cornell women’s swimming,” Cirella said.
Diving has seen good scores throughout the season, and some divers should be heading to NCAA regionals after EISL championships. Though diving often doesn’t get as much credit as it perhaps deserves, the diving team has performed well this season. The diving team often accounts for a large portion of the points in many dual meets for both the men and women.
As the final month of the swimming season begins, it is the goal of all the swimmers moving on to postseason competition to stay healthy and hit their peak at championships. Both the men and women are tapering their workouts, but when it comes to championships, it may be nerves that make the difference between a win and mediocrity.