Swimming And Diving Falls To The Big Red

The spirit of the underdog is one not to be underestimated – if anything, it should be most feared. Although the Raiders swim team came up short of victory against archrival Cornell this past weekend, its optimism and strong sense of personal accomplishment are marks of a team undaunted by failure. “A lot of the progress we have made this season is tough to see based on final scores,” said captain Mike Gentithes. “But people really are starting to improve, and the work that everyone has put in has been tremendous.”A high caliber team with an equally competitive diving squad, Cornell presented a fair challenge for Raiders. The training sessions of St. Croix were laborious, and the meet fell just as the swimmers were recovering from the intense aerobic work. The freshman managed to score a daily double with Kacy Reams taking first in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:08:18, and fellow classmate Colby Seamans winning the 200 I.M. with a time of 2:13:65. On the men’s side, junior Marc Falkner snatched first place in his 200 breaststroke event, touching in at 2:10:74. Although coming in second for the one-meter dive, Jen Busby championed the three-meter event with a score of 267.75, beating out closest competitor Kristin Rayhack, who was the Ivy League Diver of the Meet in 2004. Senior Mike Aphibal dove his lifetime best, and sophomore Richard Hamlin followed it up with a particularly successful day against Cornell as well.”Unfortunately, our progress and success has been overlooked since the outcomes of our meets have been disappointing,” commented Busby. Instead of trooping along with the swim team to St. Croix, the diving squad had ventured to Puerto Rico-no less sunny of a destination.”We worked really hard for the ten days we were there and came back with a lot of new tricks and personal bests,” said Busby. Both Busby and senior Lane Ellis qualified for National Zones at the Bucknell meet. As for the swim team’s progress since St. Croix, many inspiring performances took place in the lanes at the Cornell meet that reflected the well-deserved pay-off of winter training. Sophomore Andrew Kodesch put up speedy times in the 200 fly and the 400 freestyle relay, while Falkner broke a minute in the 100 breaststroke. Captain Caitlin Craumer also pulled out a swift swim in the 200 breaststroke.”A lot of people started to see drops in their individual times this week,” said Gentithes. “And I think that definitely reflects how hard we worked in St Croix.”What seems to be most striking about this underdog team is the sense of camaraderie amongst its athletes; despite the mounting losses, the close squad has depended upon its unity to stay mentally positive. The closeness is something they cherish with pride. “I think this might be the closest team I’ve been on the past four years I’ve swum at Colgate,” said Gentithes. “The team is extremely optimistic that all the work will pay off at league championships. We are shooting for one hundred percent personal records at that meet, which is a very auspicious goal.”With a month and four more meets until the League Championships, the hopeful team still has some time to gain momentum, fine tune, and reverse the curse.