With months of training behind them, the men’s swimming and diving team concluded a solid season of competition at the EISL championship meet at Harvard, last Thursday through Saturday.
Knowing how competitive the league was this year, the Red set obtainable goals and went in aiming to beat three teams it felt within its reach—Penn, Dartmouth, and Brown. It was only able to beat two of the three and fell short of its goal of sixth place, but the Red was able to come out with many individual victories as well.
The Red sat in fourth place at the end of the first day of competition and in sixth at the end of the second day, but couldn’t hold off Brown for sixth place on the third and final day.
It’s the weekend of competition the Cornell men’s swimming team has been waiting for all season. After two weeks of rest and reflection, the team heads to Cambridge, Mass. today for the three-day EISL Championship meet, which is hosted at Harvard this year. Heading into Ivies with a .500 season record, the Red (5-5) finds itself positioned in the middle of the competition.
Having walked away with a fifth place win last year, the Red is looking to beat three teams this weekend and hopes to finish in at least sixth place.
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The equestrian team travels to Saratoga Springs this weekend where it will ride against such upstate schools as Skidmore, Cobbleskill, Colgate, Hobart and Hart-wicks. The Red has twice come in second behind Skidmore this season — once at the Cornell Winter Show last weekend, and in a tournament at Skidmore last December. As its biggest competition for tomorrow, Skidmore holds a 37-point edge in season scoring over the Red.
For the last time this season, the men’s and women’s swimming teams competed Saturday in front of a crowd at Teagle Pool. Swimming against Brown, the Red was unable to take a win from the Bears in the last dual meet of the season.
“We swam well and came up against a tough component who was very much focused on the meet. We had a number of really good performances; it’s just that they swam better. They were very well prepared,” said assistant coach Robin Dyer.
Imagine Joe Paterno leaving Penn State. Think how drastically that would change the Nittany Lions’ image. Men’s and women’s diving coach Rick Gilbert had only been coaching for three less years than JoePa’s 42 when he retired at the end of last season. A drastic change was inevitable. Fortunately for Cornell, the Red thinks it has struck gold with Veronica Ribot-Canales, a four-time Olympian.
Ribot-Canales, in her first collegiate coaching job, has already raised the level of Cornell’s diving program by introducing and teaching harder dives, as well as focusing on theory and training out of the pool.
It was a day of mixed results for the men’s and women’s swimming teams. In a tense contest Saturday, the men squeaked by with a 153-147 win over rival Columbia, while the women ultimately fell to the Lions 188.5-106.5.
The meet was held at Columbia’s Uris Swim Center during the Lion’s alumni weekend in front of a packed stadium.
The men (5-4) entered the last event of the day a mere three points ahead of the Lions, winning the meet by a close six-point margin.
The 400-meter relay team, consisting of seniors Wes Newman and Brad Gorter and juniors Kevin Carey and Jackson Wang earned the deciding points for the Red. They finished the event in 3:02.86, bringing home the win for the Red.
For the men’s and women’s swimming teams, winter break was only two weeks long. For the rest of the time, both teams were busy training and competing. While mostly training on campus at Cornell, both teams flew down to Puerto Rico in early January to train for a week.
“We do our usual thing — we train twice a day for two hours, so it’s a pretty busy time of swimming and we did that for seven days,” said men’s coach Joe Lucia about the team’s practice schedule down in Puerto Rico.
At its first meet back from break earlier this month, the men’s team fell to both Navy and Yale at a tri-meet held at Navy. The team lost by a score of 172-126 to Navy and 167.5-132.5 to Yale.
Tomorrow, Cornellians get one of their only chances this season to see the men’s and women’s swimming teams compete at home in Teagle Pool. With both teams competing against Binghamton, the meet also marks the last opportunity for both teams to lock in a realistic victory before winter break.
Last year, the men took home a 175-122 victory. They are expecting to repeat that victory again tomorrow.
“In the past, we’ve normally beat Binghamton by quite a large margin, so we’re definitely going in expecting to win,” said junior co-captain Wes Newman. “It shouldn’t be that close of a meet so we’ll really just be challenging ourselves.”
Following the two biggest meets of the cross country season for the Red, this weekend marked the last competitions for the men and women. Both teams traveled to the Bronx for the IC4V and ECAC championship meets, where they pulled out a final effort. In addition, the men’s team was represented at the NCAA national championship meet in Indiana yesterday by senior co-captain Sage Canaday.
Two men from the Red decided to run in the IC4A Championships at Van Cortlandt. Representing the team were junior Sam Luff and sophomore Steve Soprano, who hoped to pull out one last good race before the season ended.
The men’s and women’s swimming teams are making their way into their second weekend of competition. Today and tomorrow, the squads will compete in Philadelphia against Penn and Princeton where they hope to give both teams a contest.
“Penn has been a traditional rival of ours for years,” said men’s head coach Joe Lucia.
Last year, the men shut out a consistently strong performing Princeton by a score of 71-42, which was its first win against the Tigers since the 1983-84 season. The Red also beat Penn by a wide margin of 223-77.