The Penn women's swimming team simply decimated its competition last weekend at Bucknell. The Quakers ended the meet with 755 points, placing them ahead of host Bucknell (492) and Binghamton (76). The Penn swimmers used this meet as an opportunity to practice racing and prepare for upcoming meets. The Red and Blue were not expecting tough competition from either Bucknell or Binghamton, so the Quakers focused on improving their own times and challenging each other. "We wanted to have some fast times and good swims," junior tri-captain Devin McGlynn said. "We also used this meet to see where we stand going into next week." Overall, the team was pleased with the results -- considering the circumstances. Last week, Sheerr Pool at Gimbel Gym suffered a broken pipe, forcing the team to practice in the less-desirable Hutchinson pool. "The team just looked tired," Penn coach Mike Schnur said. "We had to deal with the pool situation at Gimbel last week, which meant that they had to get up and train earlier than usual." The meet was a two-day affair consisting of three back-to-back sessions. This format tested the Quakers' endurance and versatility. "Basically what we were trying to accomplish was just swimming through hard training and a tough past week," senior tri-captain Cathy Holland said. "It was important to see how fast everyone could swim, even when they don't feel well." Despite some of these setbacks, the Quakers still performed exceptionally well. Both the relay teams and individuals proved that they were able to perform without sufficient rest. "All in all, people put in really good performances," McGlynn said. "I think it really shows the team's integrity. Everyone came, raced and gave it their all." Not only did Penn trounce its opponents, the team also broke a few of Bucknell's pool records along the way. The 200-yard freestyle relay set the tone for the rest of the meet. The squad -- comprised of sophomore Jessica Anders, freshman Ashley Rader, McGlynn and freshman Linda Fescoe -- broke the Bucknell pool record and won the first event of the meet for the Quakers. "That was the fastest unshaved relay we have ever done," Schnur said. "It was definitely a great way to start the meet." Rader also set school and Bucknell pool records in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.20. Freshman Kathleen Holthaus, another top newcomer for the Quakers, set a pool record in the 1,650 freestyle. Holland contributed a new record of her own in the 400 individual medley. "This meet and all the pool records we set just shows the kind of talent we have," Schnur said. "A lot of women swam really well." The fatigued Quakers squad found that the key to their success was a positive attitude. "We just really worked as a team, cheering for everyone and staying positive," said Fescoe. "It was more of a relaxed atmosphere." The Penn women will now turn their attention to their upcoming meets. On Friday, the team will travel to New York to face Columbia before hosting Harvard the following weekend. The Lions and Crimson are a pair of Ivy League foes that the Quakers have traditionally struggled against. "The team is really enthusiastic," Schnur said. "We're ready to challenge two teams that we haven't beaten in a very, very long time." The Quakers' main priority this week will be to rest up. Practices will lighten as the team prepares mentally and physically for a very challenging meet. "We're trying to compete with [Columbia and Harvard] as best we can," McGlynn said. "We think we are a much stronger team than before and we're excited to prove it."Comments powered by Disqus
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