It was a weekend of record breaking, personal bests and the only individual first-place finish at the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming Championships since 1996 for the Penn men's swimming team. The Quakers finished ninth in the ten-team field, earning 516 points. Harvard too top honors with 1,468 points. Despite the ninth-place finish, the focus of the weekend was on the individual accomplishments of the Penn swimmers. "Kenneth Goh won the 100 [yard] breast. That's only the third guy we've had win since 1971. Spencer Driscoll yesterday morning in the 200 fly went really, really fast," Penn coach Mike Schnur said. "Our 200 medley relay broke the school record. Kenneth broke the school record in the 200 breast. He was very instrumental in the 400 medley relay where we got fourth. In a medley, we've never finished higher than that." Penn ended Thursday with some strong finishes, but not enough points to rise above ninth place. A seventh-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, a fourth-place finish in the 400 medley relay and a 15th-place finish by Jon Maslow in the 50 free were the highlights of the day for the Quakers. On Friday, Penn roared ahead to end the day in seventh place. The Quakers continued their strong relay performances with a fifth-place finish in the 200 medley relay and a seventh-place finish in the 800 free relay. Penn proved strong in the 100 back as well, with a seventh-place finish by Matt Reilly, followed by a 11th-place finish by Kevin Pope and a 13th-place finish by Maslow. Driscoll had a ninth-place finish in the 400 IM, followed closely by Ian Bowman at 14th. The highlight of Friday's races was unquestionably the victorious finish by Goh in the 100 breaststroke. Goh broke the Penn school record with a time of 55.83, which qualified him to be considered for a coveted place at the NCAA Championships in late March. He was 0.42 seconds away from automatically qualifying for NCAAs. This is the first time Penn has had a first-place finisher at EISLs since 1996, when Jeff Brown won the 500 free and 200 fly. Goh took second place last year at EISLs in the 100 breast with a time of 57.37, 1/100th of a second away from the 12-year-old school record he finally broke on Friday. Despite strong performances by the Quakers on Saturday, they slipped back to ninth place, losing to rivals Army and Cornell by 10 and 69 points, respectively. Reilly finished sixth in the 200 back, while Driscoll finished sixth in the 200 fly. The 400 free relay finished off the meet with a seventh-place finish. Although Penn ended the meet second-to-last overall, they were seventh in swimming events. The Quakers were ultimately hurt by a lack of diving points. Sophomore Matt Cornell started the season with a broken wrist, and from there it has been an uphill battle for him and senior Mike Previti. Cornell and Previti have faced larger and better trained diving teams, and their EISL finish was a testament to the difficulty of their struggle against their competitors this year. Penn was only able to amass seven points over the course of the meet, with the winner of each diving event receiving 32. The strong performances this year by Penn swimmers bode well for next year and, with some work on the diving and continued improvement by the returning squad, the ever-optimistic Schnur is confident that the Quakers can break into the top five in the EISL next year.Comments powered by Disqus
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