Penn swimming and diving has hit the ground running. Figuratively, at least.
On Tuesday, just before the holiday break, the Quakers decided to build on their already strong start to the season, sweeping La Salle’s men’s and women’s teams, 161-132 and 163-122, respectively.
For the Red and Blue men (5-1), fresh of an historic win over Princeton a few days earlier, the evening was a breeze, with 10 first-place finishes among the squad. They started things off with a bang, winning the 200-yard medley relay thanks to the efforts of junior backstroker C.J. Schaffer, sophomore Colin McHugh on breaststroke, senior Michael Wen on butterfly and senior Zach Fisher swimming freestyle.
Momentum built up, with Penn moving on to sweep the 1,000-yard free with sophomore Mark Andrew taking the top slot in 9:36.09. He was followed closely thereafter by teammates Taylor Uselis and Wes Thomas.
That wasn’t the only event the Quakers swept, either. In the 200-yard fly, junior Hunter Brakovec’s time of 1:51.88 topped the day with juniors Alex Peterson and Schaffer right behind him.
All told, the Penn men won every scored event on the day. This included the 200-yard free (senior Kevin Su), the 100-yard back (freshman Chris Nicholson), 200-yard back (Uselis), 200-yard breast (McHugh), 500-yard free (Peterson) and 100-yard fly (Wen).
Not to be outdone, the women (5-1) also won every scored event.
Things kicked off with a first-place finish in a time of 1:47.80 in the 200 medley relay, headlined by sophomore Libby Jardeleza on backstroke, senior Haley Wickham on breaststroke, senior Laine Higgins on butterfly and junior Kim Phan on the freestyle anchor leg.
Freshman Grace Ferry took home a pair of first-place finishes on the day, winning both the 1,000 free and 200 back. Her classmate, Meredith Newman, logged two victories for herself, both in the freestyle sprints (100 and 200).
As with the men’s squad, the women also had a pair of event sweeps. For the Quakers, the 100 breast and 100 backstroke were smooth sailing, as Wickham won the breast while freshman Wendy Yang took the back.
Junior Maggie Heller capped things off in the 1-meter dive with a winning score of 212.70.
Following the whirlwind start to the Quakers’ season, the Red and Blue have a little time off, getting about a week and a half away before returning to the pool on Dec. 1 for the Total Performance Invitational at Kenyon College in Ohio.
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