Following a difficult loss to Yale last week, Cornell looks to complete its Ivy League dual-meet season on a high note with a match against Brown this Saturday.
The Red sits with an overall record of 2-5, with only one result — a win — coming outside of Ivy play. So far this season, the team has faced off against tough competition, but has managed to maintain a positive outlook for the upcoming match this weekend to go along with the Ivy League Championships in February.
“It’s kind of disappointing to have your record like that,” said senior captain Luke Reisch. “There were some meets that we wanted to pick up wins in, like against Columbia … so we’re really hoping to rebound against Brown.”
In comparison, Brown has had a slightly more consistent record, with a total of five wins and four losses — two wins and four losses within the Ivy League. Although Brown has the better record of the two teams, Cornell’s recent history against the Bears has the team feeling hopeful. The past three years have resulted in undefeated contests for the Red against Brown, and the team hopes to continue this pattern.
“Historically Brown has been pretty competitive, but every year I’ve been here we’ve still managed to win it,” Reisch said. “I think it’s going to be a big confidence boost to be in a competitive meet like that right before Ivy League championships, so … hopefully everybody swims to the best of their abilities and we’re able to pull out a last win for our dual-meet season.”
Head coach Wes Newman is on the same page.
“It certainly is our goal to go in there and get the win this weekend,” he said. “I think that Brown definitely has a strong team this year and it will be a good competition, but I also believe that we can go in there and win this meet.”
Brown’s team has had a pattern of winning second, third and fourth places in its events, leading Cornell to focus its efforts on placing first, in addition to filling second, third and fourth in as many events as possible.
“If you win an event, even if the other team comes in second, third and fourth, you will still outscore them at that event,” Newman added. “So trying to get a lot of wins — which I definitely think we’re capable of doing against Brown — is one of [our] main goals, and then obviously making sure that we have depth as well, not just winning, but [also] making sure we have second, third, fourth place.”
The way the team plans to rally with this strategy is by continually gaining momentum throughout the events, and that all starts with the medley relay. With freshman Dylan Curtis on backstroke, junior Alex Evdokimov on breaststroke, Reisch on butterfly and junior Jack Brenneman on freestyle, Newman is confident that they’ll be able to start the team off on the right foot.
“We have a very talented medley relay this year … and actually that relay is ranked first in the Ivy League now,” Newman said fondly of his swimmers. “So there’s not many teams across the league who can beat that relay.”
No matter the outcome of Cornell’s match against the Bears, the Red’s focus is set on the Ivy League Championships, which are set to take place in late February at Harvard.
“This weekend will definitely be a lot of fun for our guys to get out of Ithaca for a couple days and into a great facility and see how fast we can race there, and it’s also a really good leadup to that Ivy meet, to see how fast they are about a month away from that meet,” Newman said. “I want to see us getting faster and faster at every dual meet throughout the season, so if our guys swim faster against Brown than they did against Yale then I know we’re heading in the right direction for the end of February.”