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11-02-18-wswimvs-columbia-varun-83

Sophomore Hannah Kannan was one bright spot for the Quakers in the women's loss to Columbia, earning three of the team's four wins in the 100-yard backstroke, 200 back, and 100 butterfly.

Credit: Varun Sudunagunta

What happens at Percy Uris Natatorium stays at Percy Uris Natatorium. 

Penn swimming traveled to New York this weekend to open its season with a pair of dual meets at Columbia. The men's and women's teams were handed two losses by the Lions, as the women fell, 195-105, while the men lost by a score of 179-121.

The Penn women (0-1, 0-1 Ivy) dropped 12 out of 16 events to the Lions (1-0, 1-0) on Friday evening, but strong individual performances from a pair of sophomores bode well for the Quakers as their season kicks off. 

Three of Penn’s four victories were won by sophomore Hannah Kannan, including the 100-yard backstroke (55.81), 200 back (2:02.51), and 100 butterfly (56.35). One bright spot of the meet came with the Quakers’ sweep of the first three places for the 1,000 freestyle, with sophomore Grace Giddings posting a career-best time of 10:17.33 to take the top spot and notch an individual victory. Giddings also clocked 5:03.44 to take second place in the 500 free. 

The Red and Blue were edged out of both relay events on Friday by Columbia. Penn’s third-place 4x200 medley relay team included three of the four relay members that set a program record of 1:40.27 in the event at the Ivy League Championships last season. Kannan, junior Rachel Maizes, and junior Monika Burzynska were joined by freshman Margot Kaczorowski to clock a time of 1:46.40, enough to nab a top-three finish in the event for Penn. 

On the men’s side, the Quakers (0-1, 0-1) faced a Columbia team (2-0, 1-0) fresh off of a 166-134 win over Army the previous day. Penn notched six out of 16 victories, ultimately falling to the Lions.

The Red and Blue started off hot, with senior John-Michael Diveris winning the opening three-meter diving event with a score of 330.00. Diveris would also place second in the one-meter dive with a score of 282.00, followed by freshman Trevor Nelson in the third spot with a 280.95.

Junior Boris Yang earned two of Penn’s six wins, placing first in both the 100 breaststroke (56.70) and the 200 breast (2:02.82). Freshman Jason Schreiber was milliseconds behind Yang in the 200 breast with a time of 2:02.91. Schreiber’s collegiate swimming debut also saw him win the 200 Individual Medley, clocking in at 1:53.09.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling,” Schreiber said of his 200 IM victory. “I was just trying to do my best for my team and wanted to go as fast as I could to help score points, and I was pretty surprised to actually win at first. It’s actually not my best event, so I was surprised when I was actually in the lead, and I saw some of my other teammates in the pool racing hard too. … It was really cool for my first meet to be in that position.”

The Quakers were dominant in the distance events, sweeping the first four places in the 1,000 free and the first three places in the 500 free. The races were won by sophomore CJ Hinckley, with a time of 9:23.35, and freshman Matt Bonnell, with a 4:31.78.

Penn faltered in the 100 and 200 backstroke races, being swept out of the first four places in both events by Columbia. Freshman Mark McCrary posted times of 51.65 in the 100 back and 1:53.42 in the 200 back, securing him fifth place for each.

Despite the final score, the Quakers know that this is just the beginning. 

“I’m not worried at all about our team and our performance in the dual meet, because we didn’t rest at all coming into this dual meet,” Schreiber said. "We had a weight session and double practice on Friday, so we were tired coming into the meet — we didn’t rest at all. I know that as we start resting and as we start coming into our championship season — and even our midseason invitational meet — we’ll be doing really well when we rest.”

Both teams will now turn their focus to a pair of dual meets this Friday against Villanova, where the Red and Blue will open up this season’s nonconference action at Sheerr Pool. The Ivy matchups will continue on Saturday at home against Brown.

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