The Cornell men’s swimming and diving team returns to this upcoming season fresh off a fifth place finish at the Ivy League Championships earlier this year.
Returning to the team is three-time All-American and six-time Ivy League breaststroke champion Ilya Evdokimov, who will compete in his final year for the Red as a senior captain.
Evdokimov comes off an active offseason, where he competed at the US Open, placing fifth in the 100-yard and fourth in the 200-yard breastroke. Evdokimov looks to keep his undefeated record at the Ivy League Championship in the breastroke events and will also seek to make it to the finals at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.
Along with Evdokimov is senior captain Jack Brenneman, who holds the school record in the 50-yard freestyle. Brenneman is looking to lead his team to better results at the Ivy League Championship in February. Though the Red finished fifth place, Princeton, a perennially top tier team, was not competing at the meet.
With all of the Ivy League schools expecting to compete at this year’s championship meet, the Red looks to put in more work for better performances.
“We have all put in a lot of work over the summer both in the weight room and in the pool,” Brenneman said. “We had 100 percent participation in these optional practices which I think [will] help us get ready a lot.”
Head coach Wes Newman ’09 has his eyes set on the big races in February and hopes to help the team to a strong performance at the Ivy League Championships.
“Fifth is a good goal for us this year with Princeton coming back [to the Ivy League Championships],” he said. “We like to stay ahead of Dartmouth and Brown, and we’re striving to shoot for Columbia and Yale which are the next [competitors]. Potentially Penn depending on how they swim also.”
The team will be helped by 11 new freshmen swimmers and divers this year. The list of newcomers includes Jacob Mullin, who comes off a strong senior year in high school where he made his mark in the butterfly and backstroke. Adding to the roster of divers is Brett Hebert, who competed for the New York Dive Club in previous years.
“I’m fortunate enough because I really don’t have to lead much of my team, as they all are very driven individually,” Brenneman said of how he approaches his leadership role. “The entire senior class really leads by example with all the work we put in, and the rest of the team sees that and they do the same.”
The team will begin its season this weekend on a road trip to Cambridge competing against the returning NEWMAC champions MIT on Friday at 5:30 p.m. before opening up its Ivy League conference in a double dual meet against Harvard and Dartmouth on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.