Sports | Swimming and Diving

Swimming and diving teams compete against tough Princeton squads

  • day of the jakl | Junior David Jakl and the men’s swimming and diving team faces Princeton and Dartmouth this weekend. The women’s team goes for 7-0 facing the same two opponents.

The men’s and women’s diving teams will compete at Princeton on Friday before finishing their regular season at home against Dartmouth on Sunday in their final tuneup before the Ivy League Championships.

The women’s team (5-0) is just one weekend away from completing its first undefeated season in program history. The Tigers are the biggest challenge standing in the way as they are third in the league at 4-2. Dartmouth is winless in conference play, but is 6-1 in nonconference meets.

“It’s important in that it would be the first time in the program,” associate head coach Michael Sabala said. “We would love to do it, and it would be a capstone for the seniors, but it wouldn’t take away from what’s to come and certainly is the be-all and end-all.”

The weekend will include the final home meet for the seniors, including captain Alena Kluge, who holds the top 200 breaststroke time in the Ivy League. Nonetheless, the future is bright for the Lions with the depth the team has developed this season.

“It’s a really deep team, but we didn’t know it was going to be this way. Consistently on paper … other teams outdo us with the ‘talent’ they bring in, but our women just shine and shine, and the freshmen in particular are doing a great job,” Sabala said.

Meanwhile, the men’s team (5-3, 2-2 Ivy) will look to bounce back after a tough loss at Navy last week against second-place Princeton, a team that the Lions upset last season.

“The meet will be a challenge. Princeton is last year’s defending Ivy champions, and they are loaded with talent,” head coach Jim Bolster said. “If we are going to beat them, we’re going to have to have a very good meet. All of our guys will have to be on their game.”

The Lions shouldn’t have too much trouble against 2-4 Dartmouth, but will rely on their overall team depth to counter Princeton’s swimmers.

“I think Princeton rivals us in terms of their depth, and probably with regards to their front line strength. They have a little more than we do,” Bolster said. “In the areas that we’re not as strong, it’s going to be important for us to use our depth to negate the points the other team may score if they win the event.”

Regardless of the results of this weekend’s dual meet, both teams will have their sights set on success at the championships.

“If we can win every meet, we will try to, but it doesn’t mean nearly as much as winning the Ivy Championships,” Bolster said.

sports@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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