While Senior Day may have only been Saturday, that didn’t stop Penn swimming and diving from sending out their graduating class with a full weekend of success.
On Friday evening, the men’s team dispatched visiting West Chester, 164-125, while the women claimed a 185-101 victory. Less than 18 hours later, both squads were back in Sheerr Pool, this time against La Salle where the Quakers racked up 165-123 and 160-129 wins, respectively.
Penn started off Friday’s meet in style, sweeping the first event of the day. In the 200-yard medley relay, Penn’s “A” team — comprised of freshman Libby Jardeleza, junior Haley Wickham, freshman Nancy Hu and sophomore Kim Phan — finished in 1:46.35, which got the Red and Blue going strong.
Senior Morgan Scott followed that up with a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle in a time of 10:20.7, trailed closely junior Maddie Jardeleza with a finish of 10:39.36. In the 100 breaststroke, Penn also dominated the podium in the 200 fly where freshmen Madison Visco and Kelsey Prince combined with senior Annie McCotter to take the top three spots with times of 2:08.04, 2:08.78 and 2:12.17.
On the men’s side sweeps in the 1,000 free and 200 back highlighted an impressive performance for the Quakers
Sophomore Taylor Uselis won the 1000 with a time of 9:31.49, with seniors Bradley Wachenfeld and Brendan Crystal close behind, touching in 9:37.06 and 9:46.60, respectively.
In the 200 back, senior Brian Foley’s time of 1:54.46 was good for a first place finish, and sophomores Andrew Drummond and Uselis rounded out the top three.
In one of his few events of the weekend, senior Eric Schultz sprinted back to take the lead after trailing heading into the last lap, winning the 200 free by .07 seconds in a time of 1:39.46.
“Meets like these are kind of what swimming is all about.” Eric Schultz said. “It’s about days like today where we can go out and have some fun without all the built up pressure and get ready for our next stage of competition.”
Rounding out the excitement on Friday was freshman Thomas Dillinger’s swim in the 400 IM, where he broke the pool record which had stood since 2012 with a time of 3:57.53 on his way to a first-place finish.
While Friday’s meet may have started the party, the real celebration came on Saturday when both teams honored their 14 graduating seniors. Seniors Scott, Emma Siewert, Meaghan Kwarcinski, McCotter, Catherine Yee and Megan Alexander were joined by Crystal, Foley, Samuel Haley, Kevin Intrieri, Schultz, Chris Swanson, Wachenfeld and Kyle Yu prior to the start of the meet to receive congratulations from their coaches, teammates and supporters, before taking to their home pool to race one final time.
“It’s really nice to have the rest of the team recognize the seniors and the work we have done in our time here.” Siewert said. “I think we as a class have really focused on making every swim count, and trying to bring all the classes together, and in the end it’s nice to be recognized.”
“Since after this race not all of us will be going to the same meets, it’s nice to have this one last time were we are all together,” McCotter said. “It really is a celebration of the entire year, but also how close we are as a team.”
Seniors continued to dominate the day for the Quakers, first as McCotter took home the 1,000 free in 10:22.07, and Scott recorded another win on the weekend, claiming victory in the 200 free.
On the men’s side Swanson and Wachenfeld led the way in the 500 free finishing one-two. Swanson’s time of 4:27.32 fell just short of knocking off yet another Sheerr Pool record.
While the score sheets may reflect a great weekend for the Quakers, they were secondary on a day where it was the seniors themselves, and not the times they posted that were important.
“The legacy of this class is easy to describe, it’s a commitment to hard work,” coach Mike Schnur said. “They work hard every day, they represent their school with pride, and the men and women that are here are the right ones. They just do everything right, and they have been a joy to coach. ”
“I’m just really proud of our whole class for sticking together through all four years and of all the hard work we have done.” Scott said. “Seeing my teammates and my classmates swim fast is one of the best feelings in the world, and being celebrated today is amazing.”
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