Men’s and women’s track and field
After splitting up and spreading out across the country last weekend, Penn track and field is ready to get the band back together and head to Virginia to compete in the Virginia Quad Meet.
Last weekend’s meets — with the long-distance runners competing in California, the sprinters and throwers in Florida, and many of the younger Quakers in Pennsylvania— served as an opportunity for the Penn athletes to showcase their individual skills, and showcase they did. Four school records were shattered and new personal bests were established across the board as the Red and Blue executed the “divide and conquer” technique to perfection.
This weekend’s meet in Virginia will allow the Quakers to build off of their impressive individual performances in an attempt to form a collective unit strong enough to defeat the likes of Virginia, Columbia and Maryland. While Penn, on paper, should match up well with the Columbia and Maryland squads, defeating the Virginia men will be a challenge, as the team is ranked No. 9 nationally according to the USTFCCCA.
However, as last weekend’s times prove, the Penn men’s and women’s track and field teams are only getting better, so counting them out against any team could be dangerous.
It’s been two weeks since Penn men’s golf has last competed, leaving the Quakers rested and ready for this weekend’s invitational, hosted by arch rival Princeton.
At Towson, the venue of the team’s last outing, the Red and Blue played solidly, finishing eighth in a field of 22 teams. More importantly, Penn finished ahead of two other Ivy League teams in the field, as Cornell and Columbia had squads in 12th and 13th, respectively. The Quakers were led by junior Carter Thompson, a sports reporter for the Daily Pennsylvanian, who individually finished 12th out of 120 golfers.
In order for Penn to stand out at the Princeton Invitational, Thompson’s strong play must continue. Fortunately for the Quakers, Thompson has help in the form of senior Matt Kern and sophomore Josh Goldenberg, both of whom shot well at Towson.
Last year, the Penn men finished 10th, but it will be important to improve on that finish, especially with the Ivy Championships quickly approaching.
While the men’s team enters the weekend with moderate, if any, fanfare, the women’s team is on fire, flushed with momentum after last weekend.
Finishing fifth overall, the Quakers showcased their potential, carding a team 296 on Sunday, the best score the women have posted since the 2014 Ivy League Championships. Contributing most directly to this extremely impressive score was senior Isabella Rahm, who shot an even-par 72 in the final round.
Heading into the 54-hole Hoya Invitational this weekend, Rahm and her teammates should be overflowing with confidence, ready to take on all comers in the last tuneup before the Ivy League Championships.
Men’s heavyweight rowing
The weather has not been kind to Penn men’s heavyweight rowing.
Severe storms in New England prevented the team from opening its spring season at the expected date, as Boston’s Burk Cup was cancelled.
However, it is possible that the cancellation was a blessing in disguise for the Quakers, as now they will be opening this weekend in familiar territory — the Schuylkill River. Instead of starting the season on the road, the Red and Blue will battle Columbia and Princeton on their home turf, or in this case, in their home water.
Men’s lightweight rowing
Like its heavyweight brethren, the lightweight squad will also make its spring debut, being thrown right into the mix of Ivy competition with a showdown against Cornell and Harvard. Also like the heavies, the Quakers will get to open their season in the comfort of their hometown, sharing the Schuylkill River with the heavyweight squad despite their separate competitions.
Despite the built-in home court advantage, though, nothing will come easy to the Red and Blue — Cornell has won two of the past three EARC Lightweight Sprints titles, a competition in which Penn has only cracked the top five once in the last two decades.
Though their counterparts on the men’s side are forced to deal with some rust, Penn women’s rowing has no such issue entering the weekend, as the Quakers are coming off two stellar performances at the Murphy Cup (including three champion boats) and the Doc Hosea Invitational, where .
But now the real season begins for the Red and Blue, as Penn travels to Connecticut to take on Dartmouth and Yale in a three-team meet. As impressive as the early spring season has been for the Quakers, these Ivy foes may be their biggest test yet, as Penn hasn’t finished in the top half of the Ancient Eight since the league began its own championship system in 2012.