In a weekend to remember, the Penn men's swimming team was less than a hand's length away from beating Brown at home on Sunday, just a day after beating Navy for the first time in a decade. The score was tied between the Quakers (4-2) and the Bears (4-0) going into the last two events. But Brown's relay teams edged Penn in both races. The Quakers placed second and fourth in the 200-meter IM and second and third in the 400-meter freestyle relay. And, as a result, Brown won by a mere 12 points. The Bears were shocked as a motivated and quick Red and Blue team turned in much better-than-expected performances. Brown, arguably one of the best teams in the EISL, came into the meet expecting to roll over the Quakers, but instead barely eeked out a 155-143 victory. "Sunday was the best meet we've swum, period," Penn coach Mike Schnur said. "[The Bears] are much more talented than we are." But Penn managed to show that talent is not the only factor that goes into a swim meet. Penn's hard work over the past months paid off, as did the team's strong determination to improve. "A lot of our guys weren't good enough to be recruited by Brown in high school and now they're better than a lot of the Brown guys," Schnur said. A few key swimmers propelled the Red and Blue's momentum early in the meet. One such motivational factor was senior Sean Perschy, who won the first race of his college career in the 50-meter freestyle.. Some of the team prepared and rested up for this meet, while others trained through it. "We had five or six guys who shaved their heads for the meets," Schnur said. "Our bald guys came through for us." The Quakers even surprised themselves as they stuck with the Bears throughout the meet. "I didn't think that we would beat them," freshman Shaun Lehrer said. "Coming down to the last relay, I was surprised that it was that close." The Red and Blue were also still recovering from a meet they competed in just one day earlier. For the first time in 10 years, the Quakers beat Navy. By surmounting the Midshipmen, 137-106, the Quakers squashed another long-standing streak. Penn had not beat defeated both service academies in the same season since 1971. Freshman Adam Smith was a critical asset in Penn's win against Navy, as well as the team's relay squads. "The key event in the whole meet was Adam's 200-meter backstroke race," Schnur said. "Navy has two really good backsters and Adam beat them." By topping Navy and putting up a formidable showing against Brown, the Red and Blue have improved both their reputation and standing. The Quakers, who are currently two games above .500, are looking to post their first winning record in eight seasons. "There is no doubt that this was a big weekend," senior captain Brian Barone said. "We looked at it as an opportunity to gain respect."Comments powered by Disqus
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