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Senior Mark Blinstrub helped Penn men's swimming cruise to wins over Yale and Dartmouth this weekend, picking up individual wins in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke.

Credit: Son Nguyen

Not even winter break was able to stop the activity at Sheerr Pool as Penn swimming hosted their second Ivy League — and last home — tri-meet of the season against Dartmouth and Yale. And they were not disappointed. 

The men swept the Big Green and the Bulldogs by scores of 227-73 and 191-109, respectively. On the other side, the women clinched an important win against Dartmouth by a score of 161.5-131.5, but ultimately fell to undefeated Yale, losing 237-63.

The men (6-1, 4-1 Ivy) got off to a good start on Friday, with junior diver John-Michael Diveris finishing second in the one-meter dive, only behind Dartmouth’s (1-4, 0-4) Justin Sodokoff. A 1-2 finish in the three-meter by freshman James Hopper and senior Andrew Bologna cemented the Red and Blue's advantage.

On Saturday, the Quakers continued to impress, as seniors Mark Andrew, Mark Blinstrub and Thomas Dillinger and sophomore Sean Lee won the 200-yard medley relay and sophomore Will Thomas earned Penn’s first individual victory in the 1000 freestyle, followed by Yale’s (3-1, 2-1) Liam Bogart and freshman Jacob Furlong.

In the third event of the day, the 200 freestyle, the Red and Blue failed to secure a spot on the podium, with freshman Luke Snyder clocking in at 1:40.45, only one-hundredth of a second behind third place.  

Later, the Quakers started a streak of first-place individual finishes. Blinstrub came up with two victories in the 100 and 200 backstroke, while Lee picked up two first-place finishes in the 100 and the 200 butterfly. Additionally, sophomore Will Thomas finished first in the 500 free and Dillinger earned two solo wins in the 50 and 100 free, also joined on the podium by third-place finisher sophomore Nathaniel Cunnan in the latter.

Penn displayed a dominating performance in the breaststroke events, with Andrew and sophomore Boris Yang taking two 1-2 finishes. The senior won both the 100 and 200 breast, followed very closely by Yang.

The men closed out with their 14th win in the 400 free relay. Andrew, Blinstrub, Dilling and Lee set a time of 2:58.31, a new Sheerr Pool record, and guaranteed the Quakers’ victory on the meet.

On the women’s side, the young squad continues to show improvement. On Friday night, sophomore Juliette Pozzuoli took third in the three-meter dive with a total score of 228.40.

In the swimming events, Penn (2-6, 1-4) also started strong, with junior Wendy Yang and freshmen Hannah Kannan, Rachel Maizes and Monika Burzynska finishing second in the 200 medley relay, only behind the Yale (6-0, 4-0) squad.

The Quakers went on to have multiple top-three finishes. Freshman Catherine Buroker was the runner-up in the 1000 freestyle, while junior Serena Xue finished in third place in the 200 breaststroke. Kannan also took third in the 100 backstroke, setting a time of 57.00.

Penn’s only individual win came from Burzynska, who took first in the 100 butterfly, to secure the team's win against Dartmouth (3-3, 1-3). The women’s squad closed out the meet with a fourth place finish in the 400 free relay, led by juniors Emily Layne and Mollie Westrick and freshmen Tara Larusso and Katie Kiely.

The Quakers return to the pool next weekend for their final Ivy League tri-meet of the season against Brown and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.