March 5, 2009

M. Swimming Culminates Season at EISL Championships

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The men’s swimming and diving team is in Princeton, N.J., and back in action for the EISL championship meet, about a month since their last dual meet. The Red has taken a long and winding road to this point, but left the dual meet season on a high, beating Brown, Columbia, Colgate, and Yale in solid fashion.
The 17 men representing Cornell at the championships have been preparing for the last month, both through tough, long-yardage sets, and a strong nutritional regimen. The biggest change these athletes will see however is the famed laser suit, the same suit used at the Olympics. But according to Phil Baity it’s not the suit, but the adrenaline pumping through an athlete’s body after a swim that really makes it fast.
“On a good swim, a fast swim, you know it not because you’re dead tired, but because the adrenaline is pumping through your body so you can’t feel a thing,” senior Phil Baity said.
[img_assist|nid=35828|title=Flying forward|desc=The Red intend to come blasting into EISL championships today, hoping to make waves in the 400 medley relay and many individual events.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red’s biggest competition will be Princeton according to Baity. Princeton has one of the deepest teams in the Ivy League, having the ability to take the top-5 spots in many events against every team. Princeton won the dual-meet title this year, and their depth should serve them well at championships.
However, the Red has many events in which they intend to strike damage. The team hopes to show up strong on the first day in order to take control of the meet going forward.
“A strong performance on the first day of the meet really changes the pace of things and has a lasting impact on how the next couple of days go,” Baity said.
Freshman Michael Cai has a great opportunity to leave an early mark on the championships in the breaststroke. In addition the team will hope to capitalize on the 400-meter medley relay. The relay, one of the Red’s strongest, represents the team spirit amongst these men.
“The 400-meter medley is the event in which we as a team can leave our mark on the EISL championships, and it holds a special place in my career, “ Baity said. “Two years ago we won that event and took the Ivy record, the following year Harvard took the record back from us. I want to take it back.”
In preparation for the meet, the team has been trying to load their bodies with simple energy.
“A lot of this last month has been spent making this last big push to try to get in the best shape of the season, and I can say that we all feel pretty good about everything.” Baity said.
Glycogen, street name simple carbohydrates, is what most people avoid on a daily basis, but the swim team is loading up. The energy to stay at peak performance far outweighs what any average Cornell student could dream of.
“We’ve been loading up on glycogen in order to have that simple energy so we can compete at our highest level,” Baity said. “Eating well and getting to that warm down pool right after our events is going to help us stay in the meet.”
But after all the preparation, the training time in Puerto Rico and thousands of yards of swimming, the top swimmers will get three days to leave their mark. For seniors like Baity and Wes Newman, their last championship meet is both the culmination of their collegiate careers and a chance to close their last season with a bang.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Cornell swimming over the last four years, I’ve had some great experiences and I will miss it.” Baity said.
The Red begins its campaign at EISL championships today, with many swimmers competing in multiple events. Baity will have three events in a single session, and many other swimmers will follow suit. The Red’s task today is to not be tired for the medley relay, one of their better events.