Cornell Knocks Off Bears 166-134

In their final dual meet before beginning postseason action next month, the Brown men's swim team (3-8, 2-5 Ivy) traveled to Ithaca to take on the Cornell Big Red (6-2, 4-2 Ivy) on Saturday afternoon, losing a tough 166-134 decision on the road despite a terrific day by junior Ryan Kikuchi, who took first in the 500 and 1000 free and 200 IM.  With the dual season complete, the Bears will now take nearly a month off from competition before returning for the Ivy League Championships at Princeton.

Saturday's meet kicked off with the 200 medley relay, where the Bears took a heartbreaking second place, finishing just .03 seconds behind the lead Big Red relay squad.  After Cornell took a slight edge going into the final leg, sophomore Timothy Juhn swam a terrific anchor section, nearly chasing down the win, but touched home in 1:32.79, a hair behind the Big Red.

In the individual events, Kikuchi quickly regained some momentum for the Bears though, turning in an impressive showing in the 1000 free, as he easily took the top spot with a time of 9:38.77.  Kikuchi turned in a remarkably consistent performance, swimming each lap of the race under 30 seconds, and gradually pulling away to win by almost nine seconds.

In the 100 back, senior John Pinto came away with a narrow second place finish, as he was just edged by Cornell's Jacob Sangren, finishing in 51.63 seconds.  Junior Conor Carlucci and Juhn then took the second and third positions in the 100 back, as Carlucci finished just behind the leader in 56.70, with Juhn close behind in 58.15 seconds.

The Bears got a big performance from a trio of freshmen in the 200 back, as rookies Ian Slater, Taylor Williams, and Tyler Benster took the second, third, and fourth spots respectively.  Slater led the pack with a time of 1:52.71, just .01 seconds behind the winner, while Williams and Benster crossed the line in 1:55.13 and 1:56.41.

Kikuchi was at it again in the 500 free, again swimming a smooth race throughout to take an easy win in 4:41.83, more than seven seconds ahead of the pack.  Carlucci and Pinto combined in the 100 fly for perhaps the best event of the day for Brown though, sweeping the top two positions, including a win for Carlucci.  The junior crossed the line in 50.11 seconds, narrowly ahead of Pinto in 50.85, though the duo was well ahead of the first Cornell swimmer, who came in at 51.72 seconds.

In the final individual event of the day, Kikuchi again took center stage, winning the 200 IM with a time of 1:53.31, taking the top spot by more than a second.  The Bears then wrapped up the day with a 3:07.37 in the 400 free relay, again knocking off the Big Red for the victory, though Cornell held on for a 166-134 final win.

The Bears will be back in action next month, when they travel to Princeton to compete in the Ivy League Championships from March 4-6.