March 3, 2013

W. SWIMMING | Red Breaks Six School Records, Finishes Eighth at Ivy Champs

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This weekend, the women’s swimming and diving team competed in the Ivy League Championship at Princeton University. The Red completed a record-breaking performance at Denunzio Pool, shattering six Cornell school-wide records. As a team, the Red placed eighth overall with a team total of 576 points. This is the fourth most overall team points scored at the Ivy League Championships by any of Cornell’s women’s swimming and diving teams in the past.

With freshman Jenna Immormino leading the way, the Red was able to substantially break previously lofty school records. Immormino set a new school record with a time of 49.77 seconds, which shattered the previous time of just over 51 seconds, set in 2008.  Immormino finished third overall, earning herself a Bronze medal. Additionally, senior Ali Guba also broke the previously held school record with a time of 51.22 in the finals and 51.15 in the preliminaries, which gave her the second fastest time in school history.

“We set a lot of school records and we swam really fast,” said sophomore Katie Morin. “We kept fighting, even though we weren’t at the top of the pack.”

Freshman Dani Sims also set the new school record in the 200-meter back stroke preliminaries with a time of 2:01.02. Overall, she finished in 16th place. The next impressive finish for the Red came during the 400-meter free relay. Made up of senior Ali Guba, freshman Jenna Immormino, Junior Kelsey Rossi and freshman Jennifer Zhang, this relay team set yet another school record, bringing the overall record time down over half a second.

Although the Red shattered numerous school records, the other swimmers in the Ivy League were equally impressive, giving the Red some tough match-ups.

“The league seemed to step it up this year as a whole and the times that were being posted by girls were shattering league records,” Morin said.

However, according to Morin, the increased level of competition in the Ancient Eight this year pushed the Red swimmers to perform at a higher level.

“It’s a great thing because it challenges each school to bring the best that they had and keep pushing,” she said. “I think that’s what we did; we fought through each session.”

The particularly fast times at this year’s Ivy Championships were unexpected according to Morin, but they were also indicative of the fact that competition in Ancient Eight swimming is on the rise.

“You don’t expect girls to be going as fast as they did in the Ivy League,” she said. “Girls were going and beating some of the top times in the nation this year. You don’t expect that. People are starting to realize that the end result of a diploma from a well-recognized school is what employers are after, and that just brought more talent to our league this year.”

Though Cornell finished in the last spot, the Red’s solid individual performances from some of its younger swimmers shows promise for the future. Next up for the Red will be the NCAA Regional Diving Qualifiers in Piscataway, N.J. beginning on Mar. 11.

Original Author: John McGrorty