It’s not often a team gets the chance to make a splash against two of its rivals on the same day.
But that’s precisely what the Penn men’s and women’s swim teams (1-1, 1-0 Ivy), (1-1, 0-1) will have the opportunity to do on Saturday in Ithaca, New York.
In two tri-meets, the Quakers will take on Princeton, which has yet to swim a meet on the young season, and Cornell. The Cornell men (1-2, 0-2) have struggled a bit to start the year, while the women (2-1, 1-1) have been a bit stronger.
Coming off a close loss to Columbia, Penn’s women’s squad has proven that it has a strong core of swimmers and may be a force in the Ivy League.
“We have a very competitive team,” coach Mike Schnur said. “Hopefully what they’ll do is take some confidence [from the last meet] and know that we can compete with anybody.”
The Quaker women will have a challenge on their hands facing these two rivals. Sophomore Jenna Immormino is a short-distance swimmer on the Cornell team who is having an incredible start to her individual season. Schnur briefly commented on the sprinter, calling her “awesome.”
Immormino set two pool records at the team’s meet at Dartmouth last weekend. On the Princeton side, a name to look out for is junior Shirley Wang , who took third in the 200-meter backstroke at the Ivy League championships last season.
Schnur commented on what areas the team would need to do well in to overcome these challenges.
“We’ve got to take care of where we’re good,” he said. “We’re going to try to stay away from [Immormino] as best as possible and we’re going to have to dominate them in the other events.”
The 400 individual medley is likely to be a key event, especially since Penn does not swim that race in meets very often. Penn freshman Ellie Grimes, sophomore Megan Alexander and sophomore Katherine Ashenfelter will have the chance to get the meet started off strong for the Quakers.
The men’s meet also looks like it will be a tight competition, as Penn is coming off a nice win against Columbia last week, while Princeton would like to get its season off to a strong start and Cornell is looking to bounce back.
“You’re going to see a battle of terrific breaststrokers on Saturday,” Schnur said. “So our guys [sophomore] Kyle Yu, [freshman] Cole Hurwitz, and [sophomore] Bobby Francis really have to step up and win those breaststroke races.”
On the Cornell side, a swimmer to watch is sophomore Victor Luo , who has been a force in the 100 and 200 breaststroke for the Big Red since his strong freshman season. For Princeton, sophomore Byron Sanborn is also a strong Tigers breaststroker.
Since swim meets are based on matchups between one team’s swimmers to the other, the Quakers will look to play to their strengths in both the men and women’s competitions. If they are able to do this, then it should make for an exciting couple of tri-meets on Saturday in New York.
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