SwimPreview_Burns
Credit: Julio Sosa

The home stretch for Penn swimming and diving begins this weekend.

The seasons of both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been defined by a series of ebbs and flows. The men sit at 4-4, the women at 4-5, and both teams have blown out and been blown out by their competitors.

The men are 2-4 in Ivy League competition, which includes a victory against Cornell with nearly 200 points to spare, as well as a loss against Yale where the team faced a 100-point margin of defeat. The women sit at a 3-4 record in conference competition, and, like the men, have enjoyed victories and suffered defeats on diametrically opposed ends of the spectrum.

Last weekend, both the men and women traveled to Providence and returned empty-handed in the win column — the men fell to Harvard 181-108, and the women fell to both Brown and Harvard by scores of 178-119 and 197-100, respectively.

This weekend gives both teams the opportunity to right the ship and gain momentum for Ivy League Championships, which looms large on the horizon.

Army will make the trip from West Point to Sheerr Pool, where both the men and women will square off against the Black Knights.

The Army men (5-2) come into this meet having bested both Bucknell and Boston College in a dual meet last weekend by decisive margins. The Black Knight women (3-3) defeated the Bison and Golden Eagles in a similar fashion.

While recent team momentum appears to favor Army going into this matchup, the Black Knight men’s loss against Columbia — an Ivy League foe who the Quakers battled hard in a similarly close loss — and some incredible individual performances at last weekend’s meet indicate that the Red and Blue are on much more level footing than the records may suggest.

Notable performances from last weekend's dual meet included the men’s 200 yard medley relay, junior Erin Kiely in the 1,000 freestyle, freshman Sean Lee in the 200 butterfly, sophomore Serena Xue in the 200 breaststroke, senior Virginia Burns in the 500 free, and junior Nancy Hu in the 200 butterfly. Each finished either first or second in their respective events.

The Quakers need to gain momentum for the looming Ivy League Championships after a rough stretch and this Friday’s meet against Army is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

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