SWIMMING | Swimmers knock foes out of water

It was a weekend of redemption for the men’s swimming team, while the women were set for another nail-biter.

The men finished out the weekend beating both Dartmouth and Penn at the Karl Michael Pool in Hanover, N.H., scoring 244 points to Dartmouth’s 56 and 184.5 points to the Quaker’s 115.5. The women also beat both teams, scoring 191 points to the Big Green’s 109 and 152 points to Penn’s 148.

For the men’s team, the victories against the Big Green and the Quakers signaled a sharp turnaround from their previous meet in which they were swept by Cornell and Navy by significant margins, 221-79 and 202-98, respectively.

“I thought everyone did a good job at coming back after last week’s defeat,” captain Alex Righi ’09 said. “Everyone was in the race and everyone was a lot more focused.”

Their focus definitely showed. After a paltry three first-place finishes through 16 events in the Cornell-Navy meet, the Elis finished with 11 first-place finishes this weekend. The Bulldogs also finished with at least one swimmer in the top three in every event at the meet. Notable performances included Righi and Chris Pool ’09, who both set new pool records. Righi’s came in the 50-yd freestyle (20.46) and the 100-yd freestyle (45.04), while Pool set his in the 100-yd butterfly (49.22).

For the diving team, Eric Olson ’11 put up an impressive performance, taking first place in the three-meter event (318.65) and second place in the one-meter (260.75). Teammate Colton Staab ’12 took first in the one-meter (267.20).

Righi explained that the team is where they need to be physically, but the difference between the last meet and this one was that the team was mentally ready this time around.

“It could’ve been easy for us to be demoralized for the rest of the season after such a devastating defeat to Cornell,” he said. “But it shows the team’s character because we were able to come back from such a loss and win as best as we can.”

The women beat Dartmouth handily, and unlike the previous meet in which they lost to Navy in a nail-biter, the Elis were able to pull off the victory this time in another close one against Penn.

“The team performed very well at the meet this weekend,” captain Aidan McKinlay ’09 said. “We had to pull together to win.”

By the start of the second half of the meet, the Elis were down by two points and would need a strong finish in order to pull off the victory, something they came up short with at the meet against Navy. Strong performances kept the Bulldogs in competition for first place with Penn — Susan Kim ’10 pulled off a pool record in the 200-yd breaststroke with a time of 2:17.80 and Abigail Nunn ’12 won the 500-yd freestyle (5:02.79). On the diving side, Rachel Rosenberg ’12 took first in the one-meter with a score of 246.70.

In order to win, though, it once again came down to the last race. The team needed a second place finish in the 400-yd freestyle relay for the victory. The relay team which included Hayes Hyde ’12, Ileana Lucos ’11, Annie Killian ’11, and Alexis Mann ’09 were able to pull off the second place finish (3:34.87) and give the Elis a win by a margin of four points over the Quakers.

“It was a much closer meet than we anticipated,” Kim said. “I think Penn really stepped up and they came wanting to win really badly. We were behind at the half and I think our team really pulled together in the second half of the meet.”

She added, “I was really proud of the way we swam this weekend.”

After this weekend’s meet and the improvements on both teams, things are looking up for the Ivy League championship meet, but McKinlay said more meets against Ivy League foes will be needed to predict where the Elis stand.

“Our biggest competition for Ivy League Championships will be Columbia and Harvard,” she said. “We will have a better idea of how we will place at championships after our meet against Princeton and Harvard.”

The teams will next face the Crimson and the Tigers on Jan. 31.

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