Freshmen lead the way at Terp Invite

Quakers battle for final two spots on Ivy championship meet roster

· February 14, 2011, 5:13 am   ·  Updated February 14, 2011, 12:00 am

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With just one coveted spot remaining on both the men’s and women’s swimming team’s Ivy championship roster, the Quakers made the trip down to College Park, Md., for the Terrapin Invitational — their final chance to earn a berth to the Ivy championships.

Making that decision will be hard for coach Mike Schnur, but for all the right reasons.

“They made my life very difficult, trying to pick who the last person is on both Ivy squads,” he said. “Because almost everybody in the meet swam great.”

Led by promising freshmen talent, both the men and women ended their seasons on a high note, capturing many personal records.

For the men (5-5, 3-4 Ivy), freshman Will Hartje took third in the finals of the 200-yard breastroke, while fellow freshman Michael Lin came in second in the 100 backstroke, with a personal best time of 52.75. Junior Brett Gomes gave the Quakers their only win of the day, placing first in the 50 freestyle.

“I can’t remember the last time we had a meet where so many people were just swimming so well,” Schnur said.

On the women’s side, the Quakers (6-4, 3-4) fared just as well — junior Rebecca James came in second in the 200 free and sophomore Erica Pagilinan placed right behind her.

Penn also got solid performances from freshmen Jordan Hanna, Anne Maercklein and Clarissa Palmer — the first two took third and fourth in the 200 breast, and Palmer placed fourth in the 50 free.

After a less than stellar start to the season, the Quakers are now in prime position to enter the Ivy championships with the confidence from their recent victories.

“The kids who were at Maryland did a great job, and I know our Ivy team will do a great job also,” Schnur said. “It’s really neat to have that kind of momentum going in.”

While 32 Penn swimmers know they will continue their seasons until Ivies, the next few days will decide the fate of two more.

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