It’s fair to say Benjamin Oh is facing a bit more pressure than the average Penn student this week. That’s because Oh’s version of finals doesn’t involve competing with classmates to get friendly curves on exams or essays. Rather, it entails of battling with some of the top athletes in the nation at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where Oh is one of sixteen men’s short track speed skaters seeking to qualify for Team USA’s five spots at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
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The wire-to-wire domination that Penn women’s basketball displayed en route to its third conference title in four years was impressive, but that wasn’t the only Penn team to bring home Ivy League glory in 2017. A pair of Penn programs continued the elite play they’ve shown in recent years, as both Penn men’s fencing and Penn women’s lacrosse took home shares of the Ivy League title.
With various teams engaging in some instant classic battles, the Quakers have given fans a wild range of emotions throughout the calendar year, with the lone constant being thorough entertainment across the board.
All athletic directors have their own hiring methods, and all coaches interact with their respective teams differently, but both within Penn itself and the entire NCAA, team sports tend to have female coaches at a very high rate, while sports more individual in nature have been hiring male coaches in increasing numbers — and this is no coincidence.
But in the study, the Ivy League was the lone exception, earning the only “passing” score out of eight studied conferences, with 55 percent of its women’s varsity teams having female head coaches.
Such a spectacle hasn't happened to Penn since 1920, making this the second time ever the Quakers made it so far into a contest. The thriller was Penn's second overtime game of the team's young season, with a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to La Salle being the other.
Penn football’s epic late-season surge ultimately couldn’t secure its third straight season of Ivy League title glory, but the Red and Blue had no such shortcomings with individual hardware. The Ivy League released its 2017 All-Ivy selections Tuesday afternoon, and the Quakers were thoroughly represented with 14 total picks.
In one of the most impressive performances in program history, Penn made mincemeat of Penn State Brandywine from start to finish, opening up a 39-point lead at the half and cruising to a 99-40 win, setting an all-time record for the biggest margin of victory in school history.
Earning playing time on a varsity team as a freshman is no small task — but starring on one is something even more impressive. Several Penn rookies stepped up to the plate in this regard — but which one had the best season? A trio of DP Sports' finest debate.
Dominating an outmatched Harvard defensive front all afternoon long, senior running back Tre Solomon put up a career-high 181 rushing yards on only 15 carries against Harvard, propelling Penn to a 23-6 win and comfortably earning honors as the DP Sports Player of the Week.
Whether one sees Penn as the little brother to the Harvard-Yale-Princeton triumvirate or not, though, one thing is undeniable — the Ivy League is improving, and fast.
The DP is taking time to reflect on the past. By any definition of the word, Fink has transformed the Red and Blue program in her brief tenure here. After going 1-6 in Ivy League play in her debut season in 2010 and finishing in the bottom half of the league in each of her first three years, she has taken the Quakers from pretenders to contenders, as the team has already clinched its fourth winning season in Ivy play in the last five years.
For a number of former Penn student-athletes, however, the most difficult move of their lives often ends up being the most necessary one. And while starting their next chapters after leaving Penn varsity teams provides former Quakers with major fulfillments in their own right, the sports world’s unique thrills of competition, triumphs and camaraderie often prove difficult to replace.
History. Made. Fresh off a frustrating weekend including an upset loss at Ivy League rival Columbia, Penn field hockey responded with one of the most impressive weekend sweeps in school history, including the first top-10 win of coach Colleen Fink's eight-year career.
For the third straight weekend, the Red and Blue took one of two Ivy matches, beating the Lions in a five-set thriller on Friday before falling to Cornell the next night in four sets to fall to fifth place in the Ivy League at the end of the first half of conference play.
In the Quakers’ first contest since taking a 6-0 loss at the hands of defending Ivy League champion Harvard — the team’s worst loss since 2014 — Penn made sure it wouldn’t feel that sting twice in a row. Led by a shutout from goalie Ava Rosati, the Red and Blue trounced Dartmouth, 3-0, seizing their largest margin of victory all season to stay in contention for their first Ivy League title since 2004.
On June 26, Jason Calhoun was named Penn's next men's golf coach. This is the fourth time he has worked at the same university as his wife, Penn Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun.
Quarterback is not the only place where the Red and Blue need their “next-man-up” mentality to pay off. Both the offensive line and the secondary have some drastic overhaul from one year to another, and these groups will play just as pivotal roles in determining if coach Ray Priore’s squad can make history.
Year after year, Penn’s Southern California recruiting pipeline has grown larger and larger, and this coming season will be no exception. With 16 SoCal natives on their 2017 roster — as many as Penn has from any non-California state — the Quakers are locked and loaded with supreme talent from across the country as they embark on their three-peat attempt.
Taking place in a southeast Mexican region called the Riviera Maya, Morales showed off her aquatic abilities in the area’s cenotes — underground sinkholes that some Mayan natives consider a gateway to the Underworld — giving the wakeboarding phenom a new opportunity to showcase her sport and her country.