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Freshman Vanessa Chong competes in the 200-yard butterfly against Yale and Dartmouth at Sheerr Pool on Jan. 8.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Coming off losses in Sheerr Pool against Ivy League rival Yale, and with only two meets remaining until the Ivy League Championships in February, Penn men’s and women’s swimming looked to right their respective ships in Cambridge, Mass. this weekend. A formidable opponent stood in the way, however, in the form of the one-loss Harvard men’s team and the undefeated Harvard women’s team.

Of the two teams representing the Red and the Blue, it was the women’s team that had the closer match and stronger showing. The Quakers fell to the Crimson, 187-113, though they notched several impressive individual performances. Standout senior Lia Thomas finished in first place in both the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles, freshman Vanessa Chong won the 200-yard butterfly, and freshman Amelia Girotto secured a victory in the 500-yard freestyle. 

Additionally, junior Catherine Buroker finished with the fastest time in the 1650-yard freestyle in what would be an unscored event, while junior Anna Kalandadze, Buroker, and senior Grace Giddings finished in the top three spots in the 1000 freestyle. Other Quaker women on their respective podiums were senior Hannah Kannan at second in the 100 and 200 backstroke, freshman Hannah Liu at second in the 100 breaststroke, senior Rachel Maizes at third in the 100 breaststroke, freshman Joy Jiang at third in the 200 butterfly, and junior Margot Kaczorowski at second in the 50 freestyle.

The men’s team had a more difficult outing, losing its meet by a score of 211-86. Freshman Matthew Fallon was a bright spot, winning the 200 breaststroke by a wide margin, as well as placing third in the 1000 freestyle. Senior William Kamps, juniors Mark McCrary and Jason Schreiber, sophomores Andrew Dai and Jack Williams, and freshmen Daniel Gallagher, Cody Hopkins, and Tate Park all achieved places on the podium, though the Crimson controlled most of the first-place finishes.

Both the men’s and women’s teams sit at records of 4-4 following their trips to Massachusetts, and they will each set out to finish their regular seasons above .500 when they visit West Chester University this coming Friday. After that, the Ivy League Championships and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships loom large.