Coming off short rest from last weekend’s season opener, the Penn swim teams showed no signs of fatigue.
“They could have gone into meet today feeling sorry for themselves, being tired and not ready to race,” coach Mike Schnur said. “But that’s not this year’s team.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams battled it out Saturday at Sheerr Pool, beating Cornell and ultimately falling to Princeton in a spirited competition.
The women took the 189.5-91.5 win against Cornell, but had no such luck against defending Ivy League champion Princeton in a 155-125 loss.
Early on, Penn (1-2, 1-1 Ivy) and Princeton (2-0, 2-0) were neck in neck, especially after sophomore Julia Anderson’s win in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
“We had some really great races with Princeton,” Schnur said. “We got touched out on a couple races that ended up being the difference where we couldn’t catch up in the end.”
The dominating win over Cornell (0-2, 0-2) served as a benchmark for the Quakers, who barely edged the Big Red last year.
“The women beat Cornell rather easily [this] year,” Schnur said. “[Last year] it came down to the last 25, the last relay, so we made some good strides.”
The women had many close races, especially the 200 fly, which junior Melissa Parratto was touched out for first by two tenths of a second.
The big difference in this meet versus last week’s against Connecticut was the emergence of the freshmen.
“They weren’t so good last Sunday,” Schnur said. “They were terrific today.”
The men (2-2, 1-2 Ivy) had a similar matchup against the two Ivy teams.
“We battled Princeton all the way,” Schnur said. “We came up short earlier in the races. Cornell, we handled it. We beat them just about every race today.”
The team got the win, despite swimming on short rest.
“Swimming unrested is always hard. Princeton is a really good team,” said senior co-captain Brendan McHugh, who won both breaststroke races. “Coming in knowing you are going to get beat is kind of a hard thing to overcome, but we still had Cornell and we gave it to them pretty good.”
Sohpomore Rhoads Worster beat Cornell in both butterfly events, while senior Cam Hood did the same in the 500 and 1,000 free. Hood remained neck-in-neck with Princeton during these events.
In sprint events, freshman Alex Porter stood out for Penn.
“The biggest swims for Alex Porter, our freshman sprinter, were the 50 and 100 against Cornell,” Schnur said. “Those were huge swims, he had a great day.”
The Quakers hope to maintain the momentum going into the Total Performance Invitational at Kenyon College in two weeks.
“Most of our guys are performing at a higher level than they did last year at this time, so that bodes well for Kenyon and the rest of the season,” McHugh said.
This new level of performance was evident in Saturday’s finale, when Worster’s anchor on the 400 free relay beat Princeton by three-tenths of a second.
“It was fun to beat Princeton in that 400 free relay at the end,” said McHugh, who swam the third leg. “We don’t usually do that, so that’s nice.”
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