Cornell women’s swimming and diving just began its competitive season for the year this past weekend against Binghamton University. The women representing the Red put in a dominant display in the pool to best the Binghamton competitors, winning the meet, 173-114. Both the diving team and swimmers put on excellent performances to open up their first season under new head coach Patrick Gallagher.
The Cornell divers had quite the showing against the Binghamton Bearcats, earning the top four scores in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dive events. Diving head coach Veronica Ribot-Canales said she is excited about the talent she is coaching this season.
“My women did a fantastic job taking all four of the spots on both the 1 and 3-meter events,” she said. “My women’s squad has enough talent to to do a good job this season, however, a lot of work will need to be accomplished early in the year for them to reach their full potential at Ivy Championships.”
Sophomore diver Victoria Chan earned first place honors in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, followed on the podium by three freshman divers, Jackie Real, Kimmy Vitek and Alex Steelman. While Chan’s performance was clearly the standout for the women, their coach is still optimistic about the development of the freshmen.
“It is still early in the season with only one non-conference meet yet completed, so more opportunities are ahead for the women to garner stand out performances,” Ribot-Canales said. “Freshmen are getting used to the collegiate dual meet model, so they are learning the ropes and need more consistency in their performances.”
Meanwhile, the women of the swim team showed their skills at Teagle as well. In the 400 medley relay event, a quick team composed of freshman Helen Hsu, junior Billy Murch Elliot, junior Isabelle Cecere and senior Jenna Immormino posted a time of 3:52.72 to not only beat the closest Binghamton relay by almost a full 10 seconds, but also to set a new pool record.
“I was happy with their swims,” Gallagher said. “That time is the 10th fastest in school history and that’s pretty good for November.”
Some other impressive performances from the Cornell women came from junior Currie Murch Elliot, who had the quickest times in the 100 breast, 100 IM and the 1000 free events. The Red managed to win 15 of the 16 events in the meet, with individual first place performances coming from sophomore Micaela Luders, freshman Maya Hiebert and senior Jennifer Zhang, among others.
The meet against Binghamton was certainly an impressive outing for the Red, but not necessarily a major indicator of its skill level, as it was a non-Ivy League conference meet.
“I don’t necessarily think that our results against Binghamton [are] an indicator we will point to,” Gallagher said. “We will use our league meets a little more towards that end, but we are taking a long view of the season, so the goal is to be ready for a peak performance in February.”
February is when the team will compete against the other Ancient Eight schools in the Ivy League Championship. This coming weekend, the Red will get its first opportunity to compete against other Ivy opponents when Harvard and Dartmouth come to Teagle to compete on the 13th and 14th. Ribot-Canales is ready to watch both her men and women divers compete against Cornell’s rivals.
“Traditionally, Harvard’s team has always been one of the strongest in our league,” she said. “Dartmouth has also had good talent over the years. It will be fun to watch our women performing in front of our home crowd.”
Gallagher is also optimistic about the meet, but said he is not making any special preparations for the competition.
“Nothing special leading into this week,” he said. “I am very confident this team will compete hard this weekend and expect great results.”