Quakers pull away at Total Performance Invitational
Red and Blue clinch first place in the final night of competition
December 3, 2012, 12:39 am·
The Quakers conquered a three-peat this weekend, swimming home with their third straight victory at the Kenyon College Total Performance Invitational.
The Penn men’s swim team (2-2, 1-2 Ivy) faced five other schools in the weekend-long invitational, in a format similar to what they will face in Ivy Championships.
The Red and Blue finished with a final score of 1455.5 points to beat Kenyon (1396), Carnegie Mellon (523), Davidson (472), Lake Erie (182) and Grove City (167.5).
Top performances by all of the Quakers were crucial in taking home the Invitational victory.
“It’s not what your top two or three guys do that allows you to win or lose the meet,” coach Mike Schnur said. “It’s what all 25 guys do.”
And all 25 Penn men stepped up.
As competition kicked off, freshman Chris Swanson won his first collegiate 1,650-yard freestyle, winning by nearly 14 seconds. In a time of 15:21.21, he broke a pool record previously held by former Penn swimmer James Fee.
A number of Quakers moved onto the finals after Friday morning’s preliminaries.
But the Red and Blue really started heating up that night with victories in the 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke events. Freshman Kyle Yu finished first in the 100 breast with a time of 56.06. In the 100 back, junior Rhoads Worster finished his swim in a time of 49.60, breaking a school record previously set in 2011 by Nick Johnson.
Worster and Yu carried that momentum into the first two legs of the 400 medley relay, the final event of the night. Penn’s ‘A’ team, anchored by sophomore Alex Porter and freshman Samuel Haley, won with a time of 3:20.38.
The freshman energy was a driving force for all members of the squad.
“The whole team has become much more competitive on a daily basis because of the level of our freshman,” Schnur said. “It’s really rubbed off on a lot of the older guys and that’s terrific.”
But their victory was uncertain Saturday morning. The men managed to hold on to make it to the finals despite struggling in prelims.
“We did not swim a good session, but then at night, the guys got completely redirected,” Schnur said. “They were much more focused that night, and we came back and crushed some events that carried us the rest of the night.”
And the Quakers certainly dominated those races.
Starting with the 200 medley relay, the ‘A’ team of Yu, Worster and freshmen Eric Schultz and John Germanis secured a 1:30.44 finish, more than a second ahead of Kenyon’s best time.
The Quakers also occupied top spots in the 500 free. Swanson set a pool record with a time of 4:27:47, nearly three seconds ahead of senior Stephen Carroll.
Penn breaks from the action for the remainder of the year until it resumes Ivy competition against Dartmouth and Yale at Sheerr Pool on Jan. 12.