The Cornell men and women’s swimming and diving teams have been working diligently to produce better results than last season. The Red views its overall season success based on the team’s performance in the Ivy League Championship in March at Brown and not on individual dual success.Thus far, the Red has fought four hard duals against Ivy League rivals Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton and Penn. Although the squad has not had the success it expected in these duals, Cornell continues to post fast early season times.The Red has implemented a new training program this year, which focuses a great deal of time and energy on developing strength both in the pool and in the weight room. In the off-season, Cornell devoted a lot of time to developing each individual athlete. The focus on this development will pay off for the squad later in the season.“Erika [Travis, our trainer] has been helping us get stronger and more fit, so I think it just might take a little longer before we start to see all the strength work we are doing transition to the pool,” said senior diver James O’Neil. “But once we do, I think we will see a lot more success, closer meets, and more wins for our record.”The Red also looks to its training trip to Puerto Rico over break as a way to develop speed within the pool and a stronger team connection to one another. This trip will have a significant impact on the development of this year’s team.“We have our big training trip to Puerto Rico in a month which really helps with team cohesion and the practices will definitely be hard enough to help us get to that next level,” said sophomore swimmer Bethany Douglas.The team has been training hard for the upcoming Ithaca College Invitational — a race where the Red typically has won events on both the swimming and diving sides. Following winter break, the Red will pick up again with meets against Yale, Colgate, Columbia, Brown and Ithaca College before Ivy Championships.With faster times each meet and a constant team drive for continued strong performances, Cornell’s Ivy meets after winter break will be interesting. Yale, Colgate and Columbia are all meets at Teagle Hall post break.“Post-break, I believe we will see more success for our team. We all have goals in mind going into our winter training trips and we should be able to swim and dive much better in our January meets. We are not going to let a few losses deter us. If we remain positive and continue training as hard as we have been, we should be able to see faster swims, better diving, and more wins overall for our team. I have no doubt we will improve throughout this season,” O’Neil said.
Original Author: John McGrorty