Penn men's swimming takes on perfect Harvard in final dual meet
Only fastest 18 swimmers will race to prepare for Ivy Championships
February 7, 2013, 11:11 pm·
It’s never easy to beat perfection.
On Sunday, Penn’s men’s swimming team will have its chance as they travel north to Cambridge, Mass., to take on the undefeated and No.16 ranked Harvard Crimson in an Ivy League matchup that has been pushed back by a day in response to the upcoming snowstorm that is expected to hit Boston.
Harvard (7-0, 6-0) is as tough a matchup as any for this years’ Quakers (4-5, 1-5). The Crimson sit alone atop the Ivy League standings and are in the midst of putting together a perfect record against Ancient Eight opponents.
Perfect or not, Penn is ready to meet the challenge head-on.
The men’s team recorded a weekend sweep against West Chester and La Salle as part of a successful team effort in a season that has been characterized more by individual efforts.
Even with the victories, the Quakers are not about to jump to any conclusions about the rest of the season.
“Momentum in swimming only is as good as your next opponent is,” coach Mike Schnur said. “In swimming, your times are your times, and what’s much more important is how you prepare for the meet.”
The Quakers are currently in the midst of a grueling stretch of training designed to prepare them for season-ending championships.
“[Training is] definitely tough,” sophomore Konner Scott said. “It’s that really brutal point right before we start to drop off and we get to rest, but it seems like everyone is swimming faster and faster.”
On Sunday, Schnur will be keeping those championship swims in the back of his mind. As a result, the Quakers will come to Cambridge with only 18 men in the lineup.
“We’ll use the Harvard meet to sharpen up our racing approach for Ivies,” Schnur said. “It’s our last meet for a month.
We’re bringing our Ivy team to this, all the other guys will be resting this weekend for the Virginia meet the week after.”
Scott chimed in on Schnur’s lineup structure.
“It’s more of a test approach for the end of the season, but it will be good to see how we do,” Scott said.
“It’s the last time we race until our championship meets, so how we do here will kind of be an indicator of what we need to sharpen up and tighten up going into the end of the year.”
This upcoming meet will provide the Quakers with an opportunity to prepare for the long-term.
“We’re putting our top guys in their best events,” Schnur said. “We’re going to be doing sprint relays, and we’re going to have the ability to race with one of the best teams in the country.”
With confidence like that, perhaps perfection isn’t insurmountable after all.