Despite a disappointing 137-104 loss at Cornell on Saturday, the Penn men's swimming team answered important questions about its youth and training style. The highlights of the loss included sophomore Jon Maslow's victories in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events and freshman Blake Martin's win in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The Big Red, however, placed first and second in the two individual medleys, results which were a primary factor in the loss. "Freshman Tom Uybarreta had his best time ever in the medley, but they still one-two'd us," Quakers coach Kathy Lawlor-Gilbert said, illustrating Cornell's dominance in that event. Penn diving, however, fared better than its counterpart as Kyle Goldbacher won both the one-meter and three-meter events. Cornell had a true home advantage, as a large crowd turned out for its first competition. "It was a hostile environment in that they had a good crowd," Penn captain Colin Robinson said. Because of the youth of the team, no one knew exactly what to expect from the Quakers in their first meet. "We went to Cornell with a lot of unknowns," Robinson said. The questions surrounding Penn's freshmen included how they would adjust to a dual meet atmosphere under pressure, and if they could take their hard training and transfer it to the pool. "The first-year swimmers all come from different programs and have different training styles, so we didn't know the effect of Penn's training until the first meet," Robinson said. Another question the team answered was how some upperclassmen would fare racing in different events than usual. "What we found was that the team came together well, and we put in an all-around team effort," Robinson said. "The hard training definitely paid off. Many swimmers could have raced better, but aside from a win, all you can ask for is that the team will compete hard and that's exactly what happened." Both Lawlor-Gilbert and Robinson felt that a big reason for the loss was a difference in training. The discrepancy in style was evident, as Cornell started out every race fast, but slowed as the match persisted. Penn's swimmers, however, became stronger as each event finished. "All of the ends of their races were horrible," Robinson said. "They just died at the end of every race." "We focus on the season as a whole, whereas Cornell put their focus on just this race," Lawlor-Gilbert said. "You could tell they were well rested." The loss will not change the Quakers' training methods. Lawlor-Gilbert points to Martin's win as a testament to the team's endurance. "Blake stayed with his older, more experienced opponent for much of the race, and towards the end he started to pull away, which shows we definitely are in good condition," she said. Lawlor-Gilbert sees no need to make extreme changes as the team prepares for its next meet, at Princeton today at 7 p.m. Nevertheless, she does feel the the more experienced swimmers on the squad need to race better. "My upperclassmen still need to hone and tighten up their events," Lawlor-Gilbert said. Robinson believes the Princeton meet will be difficult. "They are one of the better teams in the league and even in the country," Robinson said. "We just have to swim tough and keep gaining experience."Comments powered by Disqus
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