Swimming aims to capitalize in new year
The Quakers will take on Yale and Dartmouth in final home meet for seniors
January 9, 2013, 11:20 pm·
Zoe Gan | DP
After a long break, the Penn men’s and women’s swim teams are hoping to start the new year with a kick.
Saturday, the Quakers will face Dartmouth and Yale in a tri-meet at Sheerr Pool as they enter their first action of the semester.
Though the Quakers had a long layoff from intercollegiate competition, they haven’t strayed far from the pool, using winter break as an opportunity to train in Florida.
The rigorous training program, undertaken while most of their classmates loafed around on the couch, has given the Red and Blue a chance to gel as a team.
“We have an opportunity down there to be able to work out with no schoolwork,” coach Mike Schnur said. “And it gives the kids a chance to bond, to spend all their time together and to share that self-sacrifice of real hard training.”
Sophomore Alex Elias echoed Schnur’s sentiments.
“We trained significantly better than last year,” he said. “I thought everyone really stepped up their game a lot. We got a lot of good training in, and overall, I think we’re all really where we need to be right now.”
The men’s and women’s teams will try to pick up where they left off prior to break. Both squads posted first place finishes at Kenyon College’s Total Performance Invitational, their last joint competition of 2012
They’ll now face a formidable challenge in their Ivy League opponents.
Both Yale squads are 2-0 on the season, and Dartmouth has benefited from already launching into early Ivy competition. The Big Green have already taken on Harvard, Cornell, Brown and Princeton, with both men’s and women’s teams splitting at 2-2.
“A lot of times in a tri-meet you’re going to be in a situation where you can beat one team and you can lose to the other team, and you can tailor your strategy to that,” Schnur said. “This is not one of those meets. It’s very competitive for both the men and women.”
Coming off their difficult training regiment, the Quakers are eager to prove themselves.
“We’re definitely looking to swim real fast against them because we really feel that these are two teams that we should be competitive with,” Elias said.
In addition to conference implications, Saturday’s meet will also hold a deeper meaning for the Penn swimmers.
The meet will be the Red and Blue’s Senior Day, the final chance for many of the Quakers to compete in front of a home crowd at Sheerr Pool.
“It’s going to be weird,” senior Melissa Parratto said. “It’s our last home meet, and it will mean something, and hopefully we can win.”