January 23, 2012

SWIMMING | Squad Continues to Struggle in Ivy Play

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Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams struggled against Columbia, one of the tougher opponents in the Ivy League, last weekend in New York City. The men lost 205.5-92.5 and the women fell 194.5-99.5. Though the Red (1-6, 0-6 Ivy League) entered the meet with a win against Colgate the weekend prior, the team was not as confident on Saturday.

“Columbia is a much better team than us,” said senior captain Sadie Ellison.“We went into it as a chance to swim events that we would not usually swim and try to boost up our times.”

Ellison noted that the women swam different races than usual, which made the meet closer than what it should have been.

“Columbia was a long, tough day for both teams,” said head coach Joe Lucia. “Beating Columbia at home last year and beating them the last nine years on the men’s side made it especially tough.”

Lucia added that the only two events in which the Red came out on top were the 50 freestyle, won by junior Ali Guba, and the three-meter dive, won by sophomore Phillip Truong. He also noted other stand out performers, such as senior captain Kevin Brazitis in the 100 freestyle and sophomore Manita Herlitz-Ferguson on the diving board.

The Red had come into the meet against Columbia swimming well after its win at Colgate. The men beat the Raiders 197.5-99.5 while the women knocked off the defending Patriot League Champions, 175-125.

“We were not expecting to beat [Colgate],” Ellison said. “It was a pleasant surprise to win that meet and it provided our team with a nice morale boost.”

The Red went 1-2 in the first two events of the meet and never relinquished the lead en route to its first win of the season. Cornell also won the recently created Ithaca Invitational in early December.

The stand out swimmers all year, junior Jessie Holley, freshman Meredith Drummond and freshman Eric May, swam their best against Colgate. Holley won the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, Drummond won the 400 IM — almost breaking the Colgate pool record with a time of 4:27:38 — and May won the 200 freestyle.

The Red was ready for Colgate after its 10-day training trip to Puerto Rico in late December. The squad had double practices every day, continuing its tradition of following an intense training schedule over break.

“It was probably our most successful trip since I have been here,” said senior captain Emily Dean. “Everyone was very motivated and focused to do well and train. It also really helped our team mentality and morale.”

After a weekend off, the Red will host Brown on Feb. 4, in its first and only home meet of the season — its last meet of the year until the Ivy League championships at the end of February.

“We are really hoping we can give Brown a run for their money,” Ellison said. “It should be evenly matched and I expect that we will win because it is our only home meet and our seniors will be really amped for their last home competition.”

Looking ahead to the Ivies, Ellison also noted that there are high expectations for a few swimmers to do well. She expects Holley, Drummond and sophomore Kim Jerome to succeed at the championships in February.

Original Author: Scott Eckl