With only a few weeks left until Ivy Championships, the Cornell women’s swimming and diving team travels to Providence this Saturday to compete in its final dual meet of the season against Brown.
Cornell (4-5, 2-4 Ivy) is aiming to improve its dual meet record to .500 with a win over Brown (6-3, 3-3) while also gaining momentum in anticipation of Ivy League Championships in mid-February.
“I think the team’s focus is to put every last ounce of energy we have left into our races and dives,” said sophomore diver Kimmy Vitek. “Our goal, like all dual meets, is to beat the other team, but this meet is especially important because we want to boost our confidence and morale before heading to Ivy’s.”
Brown will look to challenge the Red with its strong sprint freestyle group led by Sarah Cronin and Marley Cross. Cross is one of several freshmen to lead the Bears to success this season, along with Sarah Welch in backstroke and Julia Armitage in distance freestyle.
In order to challenge the Bears — a team with significant depth — third and fourth place finishes will be key for Cornell to emerge victorious.
“We expect to be pushed by Brown throughout the meet,” said Cornell head coach Patrick Gallagher. “They are a strong team with very few weaknesses.”
Gallagher expects complete team effort at the meet in Providence this weekend. He also knows that having his athletes focus on the details of their primary events serves as a great opportunity — some fine tuning before championship season.
Cornell’s diving squad, which finished 1-2-3-4 against Columbia and took first place against both Penn and Princeton, will also be tested by the Bears — a team that has been led this season by freshman Emily Zitkovsky. Vitek and fellow sophomore Jackie Real have led the Red’s diving squad throughout this season and look to continue delivering strong performances this weekend.
“Most of the team is going through that last push of intense training before taper begins, so we are all a little mentally and physically worn down,” Vitek said. “However, the harder we push now, the better our results will be in a few weeks at championships. It’s a challenge to push through this last bump before we start to rest for Ivy’s. We need to mentally stay strong as the season is coming to an end.”
In last year’s Brown-Cornell dual meet, the final results came down to the 400-meter freestyle relay, which the Bears won to secure the victory. Cornell will seek redemption this Saturday, as part of the team competes for the last time this season, while a select few will be gearing up for championships a few weeks down the road.
“We have our non-championship team members finishing up their season at this meet, while the championship team will be setting up to swim their events one last time before Ivy’s,” said senior Billy Murch Elliot. “The team’s focus will be on making sure we’re ready for championships, while also focusing on supporting our teammates’ finishing up their season.”
Cornell takes on Brown at noon on Saturday at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.