Heading into a weekend full of demanding meets, Penn athletes have the chance to ramp up their early-season performances in some tough cross country, wrestling, and swimming events. Here's a look at some of the key players to watch for each of the three teams.
Anthony Russo — Cross country
All eyes will be on two-time All-Region junior Anthony Russo this weekend, as he is the only Penn athlete competing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Russo’s ninth-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional ensured him one of only four possible individual bids for the region.
This will be Russo’s second time competing in the championship, and he will be looking to top last year’s 187th-place finish.
Catherine Buroker — Women's swimming
Heading to New Jersey this Saturday, Penn women's swimming will be competing in a dual meet against Cornell and Princeton. With the Tigers’ women’s team ranked in the top 50 nationally, the Red and Blue will need its top athletes to perform well to have a chance at a team victory.
Continuing to prove her supremacy in the 1000-yard freestyle, sophomore Catherine Buroker will be key to the Quakers' success this weekend. After Buroker set the program record for the event and won at the Ivy League Championships last year, she will be working to grab a second consecutive NCAA showing this season. Since she is only the second Penn woman ever to qualify for the competition, it would be an impressive achievement for both her and the team.
Although the women’s team has yet to win a meet this season, several other Quakers are also worth noticing. Sophomore Hannah Kannan has won the 100 back in two of her last three meets after coming in fifth at the Ivy Championships last year. Senior Serena Xue also seems to be gaining momentum, picking up two of the seven wins for the team last week in its meet against Brown.
John-Michael Diveris — Men's diving
Penn men’s diving programs has had a solid start to the season. Along with men's swimming, they have won two of their first three meets. Senior John-Michael Diveris is performing well early on, winning the three-meter dive in every meet this season.
If he continues to rack up these victories, Diveris will likely qualify for the Ivy Championships for the third consecutive year, making him a particularly interesting player to watch this upcoming Ivy League dual meet.
Anthony Artalona — Wrestling
Rounding out the weekend, the Palestra will host the Keystone Classic, where Penn wrestling will go toe-to-toe with nine other teams. This is the perfect opportunity for the Quakers' underclassmen to continue their dominance on the mat.
Sophomore Anthony Artalona, a defending Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association champion, has arguably been Penn's best performer. The No. 7 Quaker will be tested this Sunday in a matchup against the No. 8 ranked wrestler from Rider.
Other Quakers to keep an eye on are freshmen Michael Colaiocco, Lucas Revano, and Cole Urbas. Colaiocco already sits at No. 11 in his weight class, and Urbas and Revano are looking to prove themselves after being top 100 recruits this past year.
An interesting aspect of Sunday’s meet is the potential for even more athletes to stand out. Three of the 10 weight classes have no ranked wrestler, making them essentially anybody’s game. Penn’s squad includes 12 competing athletes, so the Keystone Classic is a prime chance for these Quakers to earn some acclaim.
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