On Saturday afternoon, the Cornell women’s swimming and diving team competed in a scrimmage against the University of Buffalo in their first meet of the season after more than a year without competition.
This meet was not counted per the Ivy League rules, but Buffalo (0-0, MAC 0-0) won 16 out of the 18 events. Gaining some experience before the season allowed the Red (0-0, Ivy League 0-0) to identify what it needed to improve.
“I would say the hardest part right now for most of us is getting back in the competition mindset after over a year and a half,” said sophomore Anna Gruvberger. “We’re focusing a lot of our attention on getting in both physical and mental shape for that reason, so I’m optimistic that we will come back stronger than ever.”
The meet began with a 200 freestyle relay. The team of freshman Sophia Tsai, freshman Tori Zhang, sophomore Priscilla Wongso and junior Melissa Parker finished second at a time of 1:37.07, four seconds behind first place. Following in fourth place, sophomore Joelle Ohr, senior Deedee Maizes, senior Maddy Redding and freshman Schuyler DuPont finished at 1:42.50.
The second event was the 500-yard freestyle, and the Red came in third with freshman Allie Danko finishing with a time of 5:11.02 as she made her collegiate debut. In the third event, the 100 yard Individual Medley, Tsai secured second place for Cornell finishing at 59.49, one second after the first place finisher.
It wasn’t until event 10, the 400-yard IM, until the Red won its first event. Sophomore Olivia Sutter earned a first-place finish for Cornell when she finished with a time of 4:36.65, a second earlier than the second-place Buffalo swimmer. Continuing the momentum for the Red, Zhang and freshman Alex Syrkin finished in second and third place, respectively, during the 100-yard butterfly. Syrkin barely notched third with a time of 58.76, just .01 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
Cornell’s second win came during the 50-yard freestyle. Parker had a close race with fellow team member Wongso, but Parker earned first place with a time of 24.28, .16 seconds ahead of Wongso’s 24.44.
Diving had two events: the one-meter dive and and three-meter dive. Cornell’s highest placements in both events was fourth, with senior Demetra Williams in the one meter and junior Elise Jendritz in the three meter.
Swim and dive will be hosting St. Bonaventure at their first official meet of the 2021-22 season on Saturday, Nov. 26.
“I’m super excited for St. Bonaventure. We are gearing up now for three weekends of competition in a row, so this should be a great start to that,” Gruvberger said. “I’m really looking forward to showing what we are capable of after a year of not racing.”