Two Dartmouth teams took big steps forward this weekend in their effort to improve on last season’s records. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams used strong showings from rookies and veterans alike to defeat Cornell University, before both teams fell to powerhouse Harvard University on Saturday. The Dartmouth men’s and women’s squash teams turned in solid performances at the annual Ivy League Scrimmages at Yale University, finishing in fifth and sixth place, respectively.SWIMMING AND DIVING
The men’s swimming team defeated Cornell, 187-113, while the women’s team won, 176.5-123.5. The victory marked the men’s swimming team’s first win against the Big Red in 35 years, according to captain Mickey Ahern ’12.
The two teams faltered against a strong Harvard team, however. The men’s team lost, 180.5-119.5, and the women’s team lost, 187.5-110.5.
“The depth and ability of our squad has improved significantly over the years,” he said. “We have some really good freshmen and have maintained our upperclassmen.”
The team used a powerful start to overpower Cornell early in the meet. Nejc Zupan ’14 and Will Derdeyn ’13 beat Cornell in the 200-yard medley. Zupan, the defending League Champion in the 1,000-yard freestyle, finished first in the event.
“Those two events set the tone and mindset [for the meet],” Ahern said.
The men’s team also excelled in the 100-yard butterfly, sweeping the podium positions. Derdeyn took first place, Albert Roth ’13 placed second and Ray Li ’12 placed third.
Ahern outswam Harvard freshman Jack Pretto by 0.03 seconds to finish first in the 100-yard backstroke.
Despite a slow start, the women’s team surged to soundly defeat Cornell. Captain Galen Berry ’12 applauded a strong performance by Siobhan Hengemuhle ’15 in the 100-yard freestyle and a first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay by Hengemuhle, Danielle Kerr ’14, Christine Kerr ’14 and Elizabeth Kamai ’12.
“The talent has upped the caliber of practices,” Berry said. “We’re not doing anything differently, we’re just doing it harder.”
Both squads’ divers also turned in good performances. On the women’s side, Erica Serpico ’12 placed first in the one-meter dive, while Katie Feng ’14 placed first in the three-meter dive. Kendall MacRae ’15 finished second and third, respectively, in the two events.
On the men’s side, Ryan Shelley ’15 finished first in the one-meter event, with teammates Chris Plante ’12 and Ethan Canty ’15 taking second and third, respectively.
Berry said the team’s goals in its first meet were to deliver solid results and to gauge the effectiveness of its early-season training. Ahern echoed Berry, adding that the meet was a chance to compete against top League competition.
“Harvard and Cornell are both very good teams,” Ahern said. “The fact that we swam down in Harvard was a great opportunity because Ivy Championships for both men and women are held there every other year.”
Co-captain Kelsey Pinson ’12 said this season, the Big Green team “is the strongest team we’ve had in my four years.”
The men’s and women’s teams next race at home on Saturday, hosting Brown University.
The men’s and women’s squash teams used several strong individual performances at the Scrimmages to finish in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
The men’s team lost to Cornell, 7-2, before recovering to record an 8-1 victory over Columbia University and a 9-0 win against the University of Pennsylvania.
The women’s team lost to Princeton University, 9-0, and then beat Brown University, 9-0, before falling to Cornell, 8-1.
Women’s captain Julia Watson ’12 and men’s co-captains Nick Sisodia ’12 and Brian O’Toole ’12 said the program’s new strength and conditioning program paid off this weekend and will continue to give both Big Green teams an advantage over opponents throughout the season.
Watson said she saw improvements in the team’s ability and competitiveness despite its sixth-place finish. Corey Schafer ’13, the team’s number-one player, won her match in dramatic fashion, using a 13-11 fifth-game victory to seal the win.
“It’s a really big statement for the rest of the season,” Watson said.
Other notable performances included five-game matches by Melina Turk ’14 and Oona Morris ’15. Marian Lurio ’15 and Sarah Loucks ’13 each fought their opponents to four games.
The men’s team will travel to face the United States Naval Academy and George Washington University on Saturday. The women’s team will also travel to play George Washington on Saturday.