The women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Harvard tonight to compete in the 2010 Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championship at Blodgett Pool in Cambridge, Mass. The Red (3-6, 2-5 Ivy), coming off its best dual meet season in the Ancient Eight since 1997-98, will look to improve on its eighth-place finish last year.
While the team’s results may not reflect it, the Red has actually made steady improvements all year, culminating in a 3-1 home record and quality victories over Dartmouth and Brown. The team hopes it can ride the momentum of a successful season into a record-breaking championship meet. The women’s record for points scored in the championship meet is 551, set in 2005.
“We are looking to break all of the school records in the relay events and we are also trying to break the team record in scoring at Ivy Championships,” said senior co-captain Laura Acchione. “I think the team is ready, especially coming off the win against Brown. We are so excited and cannot wait to race, I think it's going to be an awesome meet for everyone, including the divers.”
Leading the Red will be standout sophomores Chiara Spinazzola and Emily Dean. Spinazzola set the school record at the 2009 Ivy Championship in the 100 back with a time of 55.91, and was the opening leg for the 200-medley relay that also set a school record at the Ivy League Championships. Dean has competed well all season in the 100 and 200-backstroke, most recently winning both events against Brown. Head coach Joe Lucia believes the Red’s confidence in its ability to succeed will serve it well this week.
“I think there’s a very confident attitude among the women’s team,” Lucia said. “As they’ve gone through the year and the changes in the coaching staff and the whole organization, they’ve just been so receptive to it and they have a great attitude about competing, about going into the championship.”
Despite its record, the Red has a lot to look forward to in future seasons. With a young core of strong swimmers, this season has served as a building block for future success. The improvements the team has made this season will help it perform better against Ivy League competition in the future.
“The team has come so far in one year,” Acchione said. “I think with the new coaching staff and the strong base that this team has built, they are just going to continue to improve and I cannot wait to come back and cheer them on.”