Sports

Glenn ’14 defends titles at Ivy League swimming championships

Brown finishes seventh overall, besting Cornell and improving on last year’s point total by 90

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, March 3, 2014

Tommy Glenn ’14 races toward the finish. Glenn won and set a pool record in the 100 and 200 fly races this weekend, and his time in the 200 fly set an Ivy Championships record, immediately qualifying him for the NCAA finals. Despite Glenn’s strong performance, Bruno finished in seventh.

The men’s swimming and diving team finished seventh overall at the Ivy League championships this weekend at Harvard, posting the same result as last year. Harvard ultimately outmatched second-place Princeton to take home the team title.

Head Coach Peter Brown said the Bears’ final standing was not the only barometer of success. “I don’t really put a goal on team placement,” he explained. “We just focus on trying to score points.”

Across three days of competition, Bruno amassed 679.5 points — good enough to top Cornell’s score of 561.5. But Brown came up short of Dartmouth, which ranked sixth in the team standings with 718 points.

Still, Brown noted that the Bears scored more total points than in last year’s meet, when the team scored managed only 589.5. “We improved, there’s no question about that. But so did everybody else.”

“We’re in a conference that’s about as competitive as any you’re going to find,” Brown said. “There are swimmers and divers in this conference who could compete on any team in the country.”

Just as the Bears’ seventh-place team performance mirrored last season’s result, so too did the showing of Tommy Glenn ’14. Glenn entered the meet as two-time defending champion in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly races. Unfazed by the weight of expectations, the standout swimmer successfully rebuffed all rivals to claim another Ivy title in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events. Altogether, Glenn’s individual performances added 72 points to the Bears’ total score.

“He’s a tough competitor,” Brown said. “What he’s doing is a function of all the training he’s done over the summer, over holidays. It’s been relentless — consistent hard work.”

Glenn took to the pool for the 100 fly on Friday, out-sprinting Columbia’s David Jakl to win by less than half a second. Glenn’s time of 46.13 seconds established a new pool record and was an NCAA B Cut, meeting the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships.

The senior produced an even more eye-popping result in Saturday’s 200 fly. His time of 1 minute, 42.35 seconds broke both the pool and Ivy championship records. Glenn’s mark met the NCAA A-Cut qualifying standard, guaranteeing him a ticket to the NCAA finals in the 200 fly.

“It was like icing on the cake. It was a fantastic way to end my Ivy experience,” Glenn said.

Glenn was not the only swimmer who made a notable individual contribution to the Bears’ effort. Cory Mayfield ’16 emerged as the “backbone of the distance group,” Brown said, as the sophomore competed in three events on three consecutive days. All told, the sophomore completed a grueling triple that consisted of the 500-yard freestyle, 1000-yard freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle.

Mayfield’s best result came in the 1000 free, as the sophomore claimed eighth place overall with a time of 9:12.5. This result was especially notable for the fact that Mayfield outperformed his seedtime by almost 22 seconds.

Mayfield said his performances fell somewhat short of his personal expectations. “I wanted to podium (place in the top eight) in all of my events. I managed to podium in one of my events and just missed the podium in another. It was still a good meet overall.”

Mayfield is “a very well-conditioned athlete,” Brown said. “He’s still learning what he’s capable of, and that doesn’t happen overnight. I feel like there’s another level there that he has yet to get to. He’s just going to keep improving.”

The Bears also met with an appreciable degree of success in the relays. The 200-yard freestyle relay squad — which consisted of Glenn, Jeffrey Strausser ’15, Jack Nee ’17 and Daniel Klotz ’17 — claimed fourth place overall, setting a new school record of 1:19.71. Later in the meet, the 400-yard medley relay team of Glenn, Alex Pascal ’15, Christopher Meyers ’16 and Oliver Diamond ’14 finished fifth for another school-record with a time of 3:15.19.

The Ivy League championships marked the end of the season for the majority of the team — only Glenn will go on to compete at the NCAA championships. Brown said Glenn’s times rank him among “the top five or six” in the country, setting the senior up to perform well in the post-season.

The Ivy League championship “was not the culmination of (Glenn’s) season by any means,” Brown said. “He’s in a much different place than he’s ever been in when it comes to his training. Achieving at a high level at NCAA’s is very realistic.”

As Glenn racks up the hardware, he contributed his consistent excellence to the ability to block out the distractions and expectations.

“It’s a bit like a dance. You spend all this time rehearsing it, practicing it. When it comes to the meet, you want to think about it as little as possible. You just want to get a good song in your head and swim to that,” Glenn said. “It’s one of the more fun experiences that I get to have.”

Looking forward to future seasons, Brown offered an optimistic outlook and said the loss of a star like Glenn will not spell disaster for Bruno.

“We return a really solid nucleus,” he said. “Our incoming class of freshmen should be strong. I’m confident in the people we have coming back and the people we have coming in.”