Penn men and women’s swimming and diving competed against West Chester at Sheerr Pool on Saturday afternoon.
The meet was in high attendance from both Quakers and Golden Rams fans paying close attention to their respective teams. Ultimately, both the men and women prevailed for the Quakers by scores of 183-106 and 178.5-116.5, respectively.
Notably during the meet, the Quakers broke a couple of records. Early on, Penn junior Boris Yang broke the pool record for men’s 100-yard breast with a time of 54.52, which was previously held by Red and Blue alum Brendan McHugh.
Yang attributes his success to working closely with McHugh to beat the record.
“Brendan McHugh always trains with us for morning practice, so I’ve been talking to him about breaking it for the past two weeks, so it was definitely fun when I actually broke it,” Yang said.
When speaking about specific advice that McHugh has given him and the impact that he has had on the team since leaving, Yang can point to key instruction from the Penn veteran.
“He told me to work on my pullouts. He’s huge to this team and he’s one of the legends to this team, so we always learn a lot," Yang said. "He always comes in during morning practice to train with us and teach me and the other breaststrokers how to fully form to the levels that he set or would like to set.”
Freshman Bridget O’Leary took home the women’s 200 free title with a time of 1:51.91 and the women’s 500 free with a time of 4:59.88. She attributes her success to the energy from the crowd.
“Being our last home meet, there’s a lot of energy and excitement and everyone is pumping each other up. That definitely helped when I was swimming, so I wanted to go out there and swim fast,” O’Leary said.
Following the swimming events, the Quakers also dominated diving. Freshman Olivia Francella came in first for the 1-meter women’s diving with a score of 271.13. Senior John-Michael Diveris came in first in both the 1-meter dive and the 3-meter dive with scores of 303.75 and 325.06, respectively. The Quakers held first, second and third place in the men’s 3-meter dive.
Although Diveris is a senior, he put his all into the meet to continue the team's legacy.
“As a freshman, it was amazing coming onto a team of 30 guys that were automatically like brothers. I looked up a lot to the seniors as a freshman and I’m still very close friends with them,” Diveris said. “Ever since then, I’ve wanted to continue diving to be in that role again to help lead the team at the end. The seniors help to corral the team and organize the culture and lead the drive; it has a big impact on the team spirit and energy”.
In the last event of the meet, the women also beat the pool record for the 200 free relay with a time of 1:33.13. The record was beaten by seniors Molly Westrick, Meredith Newman, and Emily Layne, along with freshman Margot Kaczorowski.
As far as moving on to the Ivy Championships, coach Mike Schnur is ready to do the hard work moving forward.
“Momentum is only as important as how hard everyone is working," Schnur said. "We have a month until the men’s meet and three weeks until the women’s meet, so we have a lot of work ahead of us."
Men’s swimming and diving competes in the Ivy Championship from Feb. 26-29 in Cambridge, Mass., while the women compete Feb. 19-22 in Providence, R.I.