As Penn men’s and women’s swimming showed over the weekend, sometimes, when David gets matched up against Goliath, Goliath wins.
Matched up against a field composed mainly of Division III programs — including host Kenyon, the nation’s top-ranked D-III squad — the Red and Blue dominated at the Total Performance Invitational, winning 28 events across men’s and women’s competition en route to two commanding team victories.
Over the course of the three-day event, both teams combined to put up 5,698.5 points. Kenyon — which finished second in both men’s and women’s competition — did not even break a combined 4,000.
No Penn swimmer was more representative of the program’s overall dominance than junior Rochelle Dong. In what is generally regarded as one of the faster pools in the nation, Dong broke school records in the 100-yard free and the 50 free.
The youth movement would continue for the women’s side in the 100 back, as freshman Libby Jardeleza picked up a school record of her own. Meanwhile, freshman Nancy Hu came just one-hundredth of a second short of a school record in the 200 fly.
Meanwhile, senior captain Chris Swanson notched a school record of his own in the 1650 free, a performance that earns him an automatic bid to NCAA’s later this season. The senior, who earned honorable mention All-American honors last season, is showing signs of his complete return to form after a relatively slow start to the season.
On the men’s side, the Quakers would go on to establish an additional four school records, courtesy of Eric Schultz, Mark Andrew, Grant Proctor and the team’s 800 free relay group.
Following their outstanding performance, the Red and Blue will get some time to rest over the upcoming holiday break. Both the men’s and women’s squads will not return to competitive action until Jan. 9, when they take on Dartmouth and Yale in their first Ivy tri-meet of the year at Sheerr Pool.
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