Cornell women’s swimming and diving fell to Brown this past weekend in its final competition of the three-month regular season before the Ivy League Championships in February. The 200-100 loss caps off the team’s dual-meet schedule with a 4-6 overall record and 2-5 Ivy record.
“We got off to a rough start in our dual meet with Brown,” said head coach Pat Gallagher, “but about a third of the way into the meet they dug their heels in and they really responded well, and I think they’ve been doing that all year — pointing us in the right direction for championships.”
Although the Red did not take the overall victory, many of its individual performances were dominant, building excitement for the impressive performances to be seen at the Ivy League Championship meet in mid-February. Heading into the championship, the team will taper and be primed for an even higher level of performance.
Several of the Red’s standout performances came from freshman Shoshana Swell, who took first place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.58 seconds — the fifth fastest all-time at Cornell in the event — and second in the 100-yard freestyle in 51.35 seconds, the fourth fastest for a Cornellian. Swell is likely to continue impressing both in this year’s championships and in her seasons to come.
Other highlights from the meet included senior Currie Murch-Elliot’s double-win in the 1000-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley, as well as her twin Billy’s second place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. This is the final season of the twins competing at Cornell, but they were joined on the team this year by younger sister Cape, who will work to carry on the impressive Murch-Elliot legacy.
The Red captured second place in both of the diving events, with sophomore Jackie Real placing in the one-meter dive and fellow sophomore Kimmy Vitek placing in the three-meter dive. Real and Vitek have been consistent performers and important contributors to team success throughout the season.
Other highlights of the Red’s 2016-17 season include its win over Ivy League competitor Dartmouth back in November, as well as more recently, the defeat of Columbia on Cornell’s senior night Jan. 14. The team also recently saw dominant wins over Calvin College and St. Bonaventure. Senior captain Cari Stankaitis has said these wins display the growth of the team since the beginning of its season.
“We have had a lot of tough meets, but we have been very happy with our progression throughout the season,” she said.
The team aims to continue improving its performances in the upcoming Ivy Championships, which presents the opportunity to again face teams the Red saw earlier in the season — including Brown.
The women’s team will compete again at the Ivy League Championships in Cambridge at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool from Feb. 16 to 18.