Records are made to be broken, and the Quakers certainly took this old saying to heart this weekend.
Penn swimming hit the road for Gambier, Ohio, and dominated in the Total Performance Invitational hosted by Kenyon College this weekend. Both teams had strong performances in a meet that has generally been kind to the Red and Blue. Both the men’s team (2-2) and women’s team (1-3) each took first place.
“They were unbelievable,” coach Mike Schnur said. “We broke 16 school records over the last two and a half days. The men’s team broke 11, and the women’s team broke five.”
For the men’s team, on the first day of competition, the Quakers broke two Kenyon pool records, and at the end of the day, they were in second place, only four points behind the hosting team.
Sophomore Chris Swanson started things off nicely for the Red and Blue, breaking the pool record that he set last year in the 1,650-yard freestyle. A group of four Quakers — including junior Dillon McHugh, sophomore Eric Schultz, freshman Kevin Su and senior Rhoads Worster — broke the pool record in the 800 free relay.
The women also started off strong on the first day of the Invitational, finishing the day in first place. The Penn 800 freestyle relay A and B teams finished second and third, giving the Quakers crucial points. Senior Kristi Edelson also took first place after a strong swim in the 1650 freestyle.
Day two was more of the same for the Quakers’ men, as they shattered four more pool records. This time, the men dominated in the 200 freestyle and 400 medley relay to earn two more records.
Team captain Worster then earned himself a pair of the pool records in the 100 backstroke and butterfly. All of this was enough to earn Penn sole possession of first place at the close of the day.
The women pulled away from the pack on the second day of the competition with strong all-around performances in all of their events. In the 200 freestyle relay, senior captain Shelby Fortin, sophomore Lauren Church and freshman Rochelle Dong got the day started off strong with a first-place finish. Two other important Quakers wins came in the 400 individual medley from senior Katherine Ashenfelter and Dong in the 50 free.
Worster and Dong specifically earned praise from coach Schnur for their extremely strong performances this weekend.
“Rhoads Worster had his best Kenyon meet by a mile. He broke a pool record just about every time he swam. On the women’s side, Rochelle Dong was unbelievable. Her 53 [seconds] 100 fly tonight is probably one of the top 25 times in the country right now.”
After the dust had settled after the third day of competition, the women’s team won its meet comfortably, and the men also won by over 200 points.
Since this three-day meet is very similar in format to the Ivy League Championship at the end of the season, the performance from each Penn squad is encouraging for the team’s prospects in the middle of the season.
“It shows we have a lot of ability,” Schnur said. “Actually, the format here is much more difficult than the Ivy Championships. We swim a lot more events here. The training they’ve done has paid off beautifully.”
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