This one has been a long time coming.
For the first time since 1989, Penn men’s swimming and diving defeated Princeton (1-1, 1-1 Ivy) in a dual meet, handing the defending Ivy League champions their first loss of the season, 192-108. While the women were defeated by Princeton (2-1, 2-0 Ivy), both squads picked up decisive wins over the weekend against Cornell, with the women dropping the Big Red (1-3, 1-3 Ivy), 170-130, and the men besting Cornell (1-3, 1-3 Ivy), 222.5-77.5.
While slightly overshadowed by the historic day on the men’s side, the women’s team (4-1, 2-1 Ivy) found plenty of its own success inside the Teagle Pool in Ithaca.
In the meet’s opening event, the 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Libby Jardeleza, junior Kimberly Phan and seniors Rochelle Dong and Haley Wickham finished second to Princeton with a time of 1:44.96, a mere .17 seconds behind the Tigers.
Freshman Grace Ferry won the first individual event of the meet, taking the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:16.00, and junior Carolyn Yang’s time of 10:24.28 was good for third place.
Junior Virginia Burns continued adding to her personal resume with yet another victory in the 200 freestyle, touching in 1:51.76, and senior Haley Wickham’s 1:05.33 in the 100 breaststroke was also good for a top spot on the podium. Burns and Ferry also placed second and third in the 500 freestyle with times of 5:00.25 and 5:03.29, respectively.
Freshman Wendy Yang had another strong performance in the sprints, notching the top time of 23.61 seconds in the 100 freestyle, while Dong took third place in the same event. Yang also picked up a second place finish in the 100 butterfly with a closing time of 56.49.
“It was really good to see our usual suspects get out there and do their thing,” coach Mike Schnur said. “We got a couple people back in our lineups for the first time, and from top to bottom we have girls who are having great seasons and just get out there and win a lot.”
For the men (4-1, 2-1 Ivy), the divers put the team well out in front of the pack before any of Saturday’s races had even taken place. Freshman John-Michael Diveris took the 1m event with a final score of 289.2, and sophomore Andrew Bologna’s 311.85 was good for the top spot in the 3m dive, with Diveris in second place behind him.
The story didn’t change much when the rest of the team got in the pool, and the men captured 11 individual event victories on the day.
The freestyle races were particularly kind to the Quakers. Junior Alex Peterson stormed out of the gate in the first individual event to win the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 9:28.98, and senior Kevin Su matched his performance in the very next event, the 200 free, taking first in 1:39.56.
Sophomore Thomas Dillinger took both the 50 and 100 freestyle events posting times of 20.60 and 45.49 respectively, and fellow sophomore Mark Blinstrub also finished atop the podium in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.40.
“It was like watching a snowball coming down a mountain, and there was just absolutely no stopping us today.” Schnur said. “We took a couple early wins that got the ball rolling, built up some confidence, and by 45 minutes in we knew there was no way Princeton was going to catch us.”
Sophomore Mark Andrew was another multiple event winner for the Quakers, posting a 4:37.33 to take first in the 500 freestyle and a 1:51.42 to take the 200 IM.
The 100-yard breaststroke was one of the few events all meet that saw a team run the table to take all top three spots – and in this case, all three men on the podium wore Penn colors. Senior Wes Thomas led the charge with a time of 56.63, with sophomore Colin McHugh and senior Cole Hurwitz close on his heels, finishing with times of 56.79 and 56.90 for a grand total of .27 seconds separating the three. Thomas also brought home top points for Penn with a win in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:01.07.
“Today was something that I’ve never experienced, either as an athlete or a coach.” Schnur said. “We’ve been on the other side of days like today so we know how tough it can be, but it’s absolutely awesome to be able to win a meet like this for only the third time in history.”
A short turnaround will see Penn back in the pool this Tuesday for a meet against crosstown foe La Salle, in a final preperation meet before heading out to Ohio to take on the field at the Total Performance Invitational next week.
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