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Senior Lia Thomas competes in the 1000-meter freestyle event against Brown at Sheerr Pool on Nov. 13.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn swimming found its groove and was ready to fight, winning against both Villanova and Brown this week on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively.

Both teams narrowly lost to Columbia last week but were able to come back with a strong performance at Villanova’s Pavilion Pool on Wednesday and Sheerr Pool on Saturday.

Against Villanova, the women decisively won 169-120, winning a total of 11 events. The freshmen came out especially strong, with Hannah Liu finishing first in the 100-yard breaststroke and second in 200 breast, Anna Boeckman finishing second in 100 breast and first in the 200 breast, and Vanessa Chong finishing first in both the 100 and 200 butterfly. Senior Hannah Kannan also gave a strong performance, placing first in the 100 and 200 backstroke.

Senior Lia Thomas came out of the Villanova meet with an impressive three first-place events in 100, 200, and 500-yard freestyle. Thomas clinched the first place title in the 100 free by less than two-tenths of a second ahead of Villanova’s Millicent Routledge. Sophomore Jenessa Schwarz, along with previously mentioned Kannan, Chong, and Thomas won their second straight 200-yard medley relay of the season as well. 

On the men’s side, the Red and Blue led with a wider margin against the Wildcats, 174-118, winning 11 events and defeating Villanova for a sixth straight season. The quartet of Jason Schreiber, Neil Simpson, Ben Feldman, and Will Kamps once again demonstrated the team’s ability to combine strengths in medleys, winning their second straight 200 medley relay of the season. Sophomore Ben Feldman also went on to win individual events, taking gold in 50 free and 100 fly. Feldman's teammate, junior Neil Simpson, placed first in both 100 and 200 breast, while senior Will Kamps gained the gold in the 100 free. 

Other individual event first-placers include senior Zachariah Althoff in the 200 free, sophomore Peter Lee in the 200 fly, and senior Jack Loveless in the 1000 free. Freshman Cody Hopkins made a splash as well, scoring 315.67 points for the one-meter diving.

With stellar performances in the Villanova meet, the Quakers continued their winning streak back at home against Ancient Eight rival Brown. The women once again won with a comfortable lead, 179-121, winning 11 events. For the third straight meet, the women dominated the 200 medley relay, thanks to Schwarz, Kannan, Chong, and junior Margot Kaczorowski. 

Liu and Boeckman once again placed first and second, respectively, in the 100 breast, with Boeckman gaining an additional gold for the 200 breast event. Chong had a decisive win in 200 fly but lost to Brown freshman Jenna Reznicek by .04 of a second in the 100 fly. 

Thomas took the gold with 200 free, 500 free, and 1000 free, the last of which she cruised through with a solid 19-second margin against second-place junior Anna Kalandadze, with senior Grace Giddings not far behind at third. 

The women also racked up wins in 50 free and 100 free, thanks to Kaczorowski, while Boeckman led the 200 breast and the 200 IM.

That is not to say the Quakers weren’t given a challenge, with the women shut out in the one-meter diving. Olivia Francella was able to squeeze in a second-place finish at the three-meter event, but Brown overtook the Red and Blue in women’s diving.

On the men’s side, they narrowly inched a win against the Bears, 152-148. The men trailed the women, winning only nine events, but it was still enough to inch out a victory. The team of sophomore Jaden Olson, freshman Matthew Fallon, sophomore Ben Feldman, and freshman Nick Malchow gained an early victory with the 200 medley relay. Fallon later on placed first in the 100 breast, 200 breast, and the 200 IM as well.

Malchow continued adding to the Quakers' wins with a gold in 50 free, while junior Mark McCrary won the 100 back with a time of 50.08, two-tenths faster than second-place Olson.

Hopkins had a great day with diving, securing the Quakers two wins in both the one-meter and three-meter events. Junior Trevor Nelson also secured the runner-up slot in the one-meter event.

Kamps did some heavy lifting at the home meet, placing first with 1000 free and helping the men’s team to secure a second-place spot on the 400 freestyle relay — with teammates Malchow, McCrary, and sophomore Peter Lee — after trailing in third place. Despite Brown taking first in the relay, it was not enough for them to overtake the Quakers, giving the men’s team its second win of the season.

Both the men and the women will face off Cornell and Princeton in a tri-meet next Saturday.