mswimming-andrew

At the Tennessee Invitational, senior Mark Andrew set a personal best in the 100m breaststroke and won two other events.

Credit: Chase Sutton

For the second year in a row, Penn men's and women's swimming took a trip to Knoxville, Tenn. to compete against some of the nation’s best teams in the Tennessee Invitational.

After three days of competition, the men placed second with 728 points, almost 500 points behind Tennessee, which is ranked No. 15 in the country. On the women's side, the Quakers finished in fifth place with 288 points.

Penn started off on the right foot on Thursday, with seven swimmers in the 200-yard individual medley final. Senior Mark Andrew finished first in the prelims and went on to win the A final, setting his fastest time this season at 1:45.08. Senior Mark Blinstrub also finished first in the B final, with sophomore Sean Lee placing fourth.

The Red and Blue had a strong start in the relay events as well. In the 200 freestyle relay, Blinstrub, Andrew, senior Thomas Dillinger, and sophomore Nathaniel Cunnan finished fourth overall with a time of 1:19.40. Later that day, the group placed second in the 400 medley relay.

On the women’s side, juniors Wendy Yang and Mollie Westrick teamed with freshmen Tara LaRusso and Hannah Kannan to win the B final of the 200 free relay (4:49.00). The Quakers finished in second place in the 400 medley relay B final with an all-freshman team composed of LaRusso, Kannan, Monika Burzynska and Rachel Maizes.

Penn continued to improve over day two, when 19 athletes set their career bests. Andrew set his personal-best in the 100 breaststroke and went on to win another event, the 400 IM, with a time of 3:46.79, while Dillinger and freshman William Kamps finished second and fifth, respectively.

Blinstrub and Lee achieved great results on Friday as well, with the second and third best times in the 100 butterfly. Both times were Penn’s season bests. Alongside Andrew and Dillinger, they also finished fourth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:26.48.

The men’s team closed the day out with seventh, eighth, and ninth place finishes in the three-meter dive. This group featured senior Andrew Bologna, who finished 12th in the one-meter dive earlier, freshman James Hopper, and junior John-Michael Diveris.

The women's team also had impressive results on Friday, with 10 career-best times. In the B final of the 100 fly, Burzynska finished fourth and Kannan finished seventh. Both times were personal bests.

The two freshmen continued to improve their times in the 100 back, when they finished in sixth and eighth place in the B final respectively. In the same event, LaRusso also set her personal best and finished fourth.

The Quakers started the last day of the meet with the 1650 freestyle, which they had not swum before this season. Despite this relative inexperience, sophomore Will Thomas finished in fourth and freshman CJ Hinckley placed in fifth. Freshman Catherine Buroker took third for the women in the same event. 

Dillinger also had success on Saturday with a second place finish and career-best in the 100 free. Sophomore Boris Yang also finished second in the 200 breast while Andrew finished two places behind. Lee recorded another second place finish for the men in the 200 fly. On the women’s side, LaRusso set another personal best by finishing in third in the B final of the 200 back while Burzynska placed sixth in the A final of the 200 fly.

The Quakers closed out the competition with a third place finish in the men's 400 free relay while the women placed 13th in the same event.

Penn’s next meet is on Jan. 5, when it welcomes Yale and Dartmouth for a tri-meet.

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