February 27, 2012

SWIMMING | Drummond Shatters Records

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Despite placing last over the weekend at the Ivy League championships hosted by Harvard, the women’s swimming team (2-6, 1-6 Ivy League) boasted a few standout performances. The Red scored 630.5 points behind freshman Meredith Drummond, who broke three school records. The men’s team (1-7, 0-7) will have its chance to win big at the Ivies this weekend in Princeton, N.J.

Drummond led the team with a total of 69 points, which she compiled throughout the three-day event. The rookie set the school record in the 200 IM, as well as in the 200 breaststroke, just five minutes after junior Jessie Holley set her own personal record. Senior captain Chiara Spinazzola was second on the team in points, after advancing to the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke finals.

“I was really overall pleased at how well they did,” said head coach Joe Lucia. “I think the most important thing was they handled themselves in the meet because it is not easy. They were mentally tough throughout the three days.”

Lucia also noted the performance of sophomore Kim Jerome, who set the fourth school record of the meet in the 100 breaststroke. Sophomore Sarah Schlichte had her all-time best swim in the 500 freestyle and senior captain Emily Dean had a strong showing in her final meet, earning 34 points. Sophomores Melissa Mrozinski and Manita Herlitz-Ferguson also recorded their best performances of the season.

Lucia noted he was partially disappointed by the performances of the relay teams, which he felt did not fully express the depth of the team. He said that he thought going into the last day of races, the team had a chance to pass Brown, but the Red was unable to overcome the deficit. According to the coach, his proudest moment was when Drummond beat Holley’s record in the 200 breast.

“It was one of the best things I saw as a team,” Lucia said. “When [Drummond] beat [Holley] after just setting the record herself, [Holley] was the first one to congratulate her and tell her great job.”

Lucia has no time to rest after last weekend, as he will travel with the men’s team to Princeton this weekend to compete in the Tigers’ version of the Ivy League championships. The Red departs on Wednesday for the three-day event, which kicks off on Thursday, March 1.

“The league got very competitive this year,” said senior Julian Chan. “But since our losses this year have been very close we have the confidence we need going into Ivies that we believe we can perform well.”

Both Lucia and Chan noted that defeating Harvard and Princeton are long shots for the team, but they remained confident in the Red’s ability to compete against other rivals such as Brown, Penn and Dartmouth.

“It is fully on the shoulders of the senior class,” Lucia said. “They have been here before and I am looking for them to step up and set the tone for the meet.”

The seven seniors — Kevin Brazitis, James Keady, Steven Kwatler, Chan, Zac Mijares-Shafai, Jake Sangren and Eric Anderson — were all on the 2009 team that had the best championship result in school history.

Despite failing to beat an Ivy League opponent this year, Lucia highlighted the team’s depth and how important it is in a meet like the one starting on Thursday. The coach also echoed Chan’s feelings that the diving squad, comprised of juniors James O’Neil, Jon Zollo and sophomore Phillip Truong, will have to have a strong meet record if the Red wishes to place well.

Sophomores Henry Scott, Harry Harpham and Taylor Wilson are expected to do big things as well, according to Lucia.

“It has been a season of perseverance,” Chan said. “But we expect personal bests from everyone on the team and if we can do that we can be stay competitive in the league.”

Original Author: Scott Eckl