Last year, Penn’s women swimming team dominated Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., with a 202.5-97.5 victory, yet were narrowly edged by Yale 152-148 at the meet.
In this year’s edition of the tri-team event, however, only half the script remained the same.
The Quakers (3-4, 3-4 Ivy) once again handled their business against Dartmouth (0-8, 0-5), taking down the Big Green 231-69, but unlike last year, the Red and the Blue were thoroughly outpaced 204.5-95.5 at the hands of the undefeated Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0) at Sheerr Pool on Saturday.
In fact, Yale’s domination resulted in first-place finishes in a remarkable 13 out of 16 events, with nine second-place finishes to their credit as well.
While Yale proved to be the class of the field, the Quakers mustered up a number of impressive performances, including seven second-place finishes and ten third-place finishes as well.
Senior Stephanie Nerby took second place in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races, while fellow senior Lauren Brandes took home second in the 50 and 100 free. Sophomore Laura Klick earned a trio of third place finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard individual medley.
But perhaps the most defining moment of the day for the Quakers was their gutsy performance — and only first place finish — in the last event of the day, holding off Yale in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:33.75.
“Everyone was just very excited for it because at this point last year, we had also won in this relay, so . . . we knew it was a good chance to end on a good note,” said senior Andrea Balint, who anchored the relay. “Doing relays, it’s a whole team, it’s not an individual event.”
And while the team of freestylers did indeed swim well as a unit, Schnur was impressed by his squad in the non-relay events as well. He called to attention his 50-yard freestylers — among them Brandes, Felicia Leksono, Amy Reams, and Jenny Claydon — who placed second through fifth respectively in the event.
Ultimately, fatigue was — and has been — a factor for the Quakers, who, according to Schnur, have already hit the toughest part of their season.
But that just makes the relay event all the more impressive and valuable going forward.
“I think the women should get some confidence that they’re able to compete tired,” Schnur added. “They don’t need to rest to be fast, and that’s a good sign. That’s a sign of a mentally tough team.”
The Quakers will need plenty of mental toughness and perhaps a bit of luck peaking at the end of the season if they hope to hang with the likes of Yale in the Ivy championships, which begin Feb. 25.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.