Men’s and women’s swimming start season

by Ray Lu | 11/11/14 4:38pm

A tri-meet against Harvard University and Cornell University will officially launch the Dartmouth’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams’ season this weekend.

The teams have heavily practiced for weeks in advance of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, meets, the first for team members in the Class of 2018.

Men’s co-captain Konrad von Moltke ’15 said both teams’ workout regimens have included practicing four hours a day along with swimming workouts and lifting sessions.

“Everyone on the team has really bought into our program of eating healthy, getting enough sleep and working hard in practices,” he said.

Women’s co-captain Siobhan Hengemuhle ’15 said practices have focused on technique, race strategy and power.

Both teams will look to beat last year’s results. The men’s team finished sixth in the Ivy League last season, thanks in large part to performances from Nejc Zupan ’14 and James Verhagen ’16. Brett Gillis ’16 led the diving team.

“The Ivy League is a very competitive league for swimming, and the level of competition has risen every year,” von Moltke said.

The margin of victory in the last two years’ championship meets were about 75 points for the men’s teams.

Princeton University and Harvard have been recent league leaders. The Crimson won both the men’s and women’s championships last season, ending the Princeton men’s five-year winning streak.

Head coach Jim Wilson said the men aim to beat Yale University or Columbia University, which respectively finished fourth and fifth, to finish fifth in the league.

The Big Green women seek a fast start after a disappointing eighth-place finish last year, 127 points behind seventh-place Cornell University.

“We would love to win all of our conference meets this year as well as move up at Ivy Championships,” Hengemuhle said. “Coming off of a rough season last year, the coaches and team know what changes need to be made so we can have a successful year.”

Hengemuhle noted that the team has changed its weight lifting program to increase strength, and practices have become more individualized.

Both teams say they are looking ahead to the Ivy Championships, where improvement may be possible. The men will have to make up for the loss of Zupan, who competed in two NCAA Championship meets while on the team. The team looks to von Moltke, Verhagen and Logan Briggs ’16, as well as its new recruits, including Mykhailo Tovmashenko ’18 and Bruno Korbar ’18.

Korbar is a member of The Dartmouth photo staff.

“Looking back on my career,” von Moltke said, “there is nothing more exciting than putting on the Dartmouth cap for the first time. I can’t wait to see how fast these guys can swim.”

The women graduated Mary Van Metre ’14 and Katy Feng ’14 from last season’s point-getters at the Ivy Championship meet, but Wilson said that several swimmers are primed to help fill in. He pointed to Charlotte Kamai ’16 and Olivia Samson ’16 as swimmers who have performed well for the Big Green.

Wilson said that new recruits Taylor Yamahata ’18 and AnnClaire MacArt ’18 will also look to bolster the women’s side.

“The freshmen are always a highlight for me because you just don’t know how they are going to compete,” Wilson said. “They’re always a lot of fun to watch.”

The meet begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.