At this time in the year, most of Penn’s winter sports have wrapped up their regular seasons, and now it's time for championship competition.
Swimming and diving
Starting this Wednesday, Penn men’s swimming and diving will compete in the Ivy League Championships hosted by Harvard. Last weekend, the women competed in their own Ivy League Championships in Providence, R.I, finishing fourth and breaking two program records, despite not winning any individual titles. Sophomore Catherine Buroker placed second and broke her own program record in the 1000-yard freestyle, with a time of 9:39.60.
The Quakers’ (5-4, 3-4 Ivy) last competition came nearly a month ago against West Chester, where they recorded a meet win. There, junior Boris Yang broke the pool record in the 100 breast, with a time of 54.52. Last year, Yang placed third in the 100 breast at Ivy League Championships, as well as second in the 200 breast. Junior Sean Lee is also poised to contribute to Penn swimming's success, holding the program record for the 200 fly, with a time of 1:45.20.
With the assistance of the two juniors, Penn men’s swimming and diving hopes to take advantage of time off to find success against its Ivy League counterparts.
Track and field
Penn track and field will be heading to the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships this weekend, hosted by Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., in hopes of continuing their indoor season dominance. Last weekend, the Quakers competed at the Princeton Invitational, where sophomore Mayyi Mahama not only obliterated the program record, but also set a new Ivy League best in the weight throw with a mark of 21.43 meters.
Another athlete to watch is senior Nia Akins, who ran the second-fastest indoor 800-meter time in NCAA history two weeks ago, with a time of 2:00.71. On the men’s side, seniors Colin Daly and Sean Clarke look to continue their impressive performances in the mile run and pole vault, respectively. Heading into Ivy Heps, Penn has seven individuals ranked in the top 30 nationally.
At the end of a record-setting regular season, Ivy Heps promises to be a meet to watch as the Red and Blue hope to bring back a title.
This weekend, Penn men’s squash will compete for the Potter Cup in the CSA Team Championships, in Cambridge, Mass. Last weekend, the women’s team placed eighth while competing for the Howe Cup in New Haven, Conn.
The Quakers received multiple first team all-Ivy selections, including unanimous selections for junior captain Andrew Douglas and sophomore Aly Abou Eleinen. Coach Gilly Lane spoke highly of their performances heading into the tournament.
“[Andrew and Aly] have definitely stood out as two of the top players in the country in college squash, and it was great that they received that reward and recognition,” Lane said. “I couldn’t pick two better people to represent our team and our university.”
The last time the Red and Blue competed was on Feb. 9, against Cornell. The nearly three-week gap between then and this weekend marks the longest break in play Penn has had since the start of the new year. Lane views the extended time off as a boon to the team.
“I think the two weeks provided us with a good time to train, get healthy, and have a good amount of time to prepare for the nationals,” Lane said. “Sometimes we only get three or four days after the end of the season, so to have these two weeks has been great, and I think that The Boys™ are ready.”
This weekend, the No. 3 Quakers (12-2, 6-1) will first look to beat No. 6 Yale (9-6, 4-3).
“Our first match is against a tough Yale program that historically has always been tough to play. We are only looking at Friday and that match,” Lane said. “It’s always tough to play a team twice in the same season, so we’re preparing one day at a time.”