With the Ivy League portion of their schedule already in full swing, the Quakers will get another crack at one of their rivals on Saturday.
The men’s swimming team will take the trek northward to Providence, R.I., to square off against Brown. Currently, the Red and Blue sit in fourth place in the Ancient Eight, with two wins and three losses in intra-conference competitions, while the Bears are still looking to break into the win column with their first Ivy League victory of the season.
The men are coming off a tough loss in a tri-meet against Yale and Dartmouth — two teams that sit ahead of the Quakers in the Ancient Eight.
“We just want to keep swimming as well as we did last week,” coach Mike Schnur said. “If we put the same times down this week, we’ll have a much better opportunity to win.”
The opportunity of competing against the Bears this weekend will also provide the Quakers with their first swim in the new Brown pool. The Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center opened in May 2012, and Penn swimmers will get their first look at this state-of-the-art facility Saturday.
“We’re going to be having our Ivy Championship there six weeks from now, so it’s a good thing that we’re having a chance to swim there first,” Schnur said. “I think going up there for the dual meet should help us in March.”
The season is at the point where the coaching staff will start making decisions about filling out the roster for the championship meets at the end of the year.
“In these last few meets, these last spots on the Ivy team are up for grabs, and people have to show what they’ve got,” senior Ryan Littlefield said.
Schnur reiterated the sentiment that the team needs certain groups of swimmers to step up for this meet, including those in the the distance, butterfly and backstroke races.
“I think one of the areas we can exploit against Brown is our backstrokers — we’re a little better than they are, at least we should be,” Schnur said.
Motivation should not be in short supply come Saturday, especially since this is a conference rivalry. However, there will be some extra emotion going into this one for the senior men, since this competition will be the last time facing Brown in their dual meet careers.
“This is my last Ivy League dual meet so it means a lot to me and the rest of the seniors,” Littlefield said.
The Red and Blue are hoping to give the seniors a proper send-off from Ivy League competition, and they’ll look to do so at Brown’s new facilities on Saturday.