In the final dual meet of the season before the highly anticipated Ivy League Championships, the Penn swimming and diving teams came out and secured two crucial wins over the West Chester Golden Rams.
It was a big night for the West Chester program for whom this meet served as its senior night. However, despite both Penn teams suffering tough losses to Harvard last week, the Quakers were able to bounce back and have some successes at West Chester on Friday.
Against the Chester County, Pa. university, the women had a slightly tougher match than the men, narrowly beating the Golden Rams by a 155-145 margin. The women were able to win six events, but it was their overall refusal to allow the Rams to secure many second or third-place finishes that garnered the win.
Junior Anna Kalandadze set the pace for the meet, edging out the Rams in the first event and winning first place in the 1,650 free. Her strong showing was met by a daunting performance by West Chester senior Ann Carozza, who won three individual events and took part in a winning relay. However, the stiff competition of the Rams was not enough to deter the Red and Blue, who found a way to victory. Senior Hannah Kannan won both the 100 and 200 back, and junior Olivia Francella also took first in two events, winning both the 1M and the 3M dives. Freshman Anna Boeckman took another win in the 200 breast.
In this particular meet, second place was dominated by Quakers, with Boeckman and other freshmen Amelia Girotto, Joy Jiang, Izzy Pytel, and Vanessa Chong placing second in an astounding number of races including the 400 IM, 1,650 free and 500 free, 200 free, 100 breast, and 200 fly, respectively. Seniors Grace Estabrook and Caroline Dobbs both took second place in the 200 breast and 1M, respectively, with Dobbs’ strong performance breaking her 1M diving record by only 0.59. Finally, juniors Margot Kaczorowski and Camryn Carter both notched second in the 50 free and 100 free, respectively.
On the men’s side, the Quakers dominated the meet 203-95, winning 14 events against the Rams. The quartet of junior Mark McCrary, freshman Matthew Fallon, sophomore Ben Feldman, and freshman Nick Malchow opened the meet with their first 200 medley victory together. McCrary continued his streak of taking first in the 100 back, while Matthew Fallon proved his versatility by winning a pair of individual events in the 100 breast and 400 IM. Senior Billy Fallon, Matthew Fallon’s brother, also took first place for the Quakers in the 1,000 free. The Red and Blue’s Trevor Nelson and Cody Hopkins swept the diving events, winning the 1M and the 3M, respectively. Most notable, however, was powerful senior William Kamps who dominated the free events, seizing first place in the 200, 100, and 500 free.
Other notable first-place winners included sophomore Peter Lee, who won the 200 fly, freshman Daniel Gallagher in the 200 back, sophomore Jason Schreiber in the 200 breast, and sophomore Andrew Dai in the 100 fly. Schreiber and Lee were also among the multitude of Red and Blue competitors who registered a second-place finish, with strong performances in the 400 IM and the 100 fly, respectively.
Both the men and the women will be preparing to face off with the other Ivy League teams at the Championships in Princeton, N.J. starting on Feb. 23.