Penn men's and women's swimming and diving had a packed weekend at the Ivy League Championships and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, respectively, and both squads saw the fruits of their hard work throughout the season.
Matching the women’s team last weekend, the men’s squad took home a third-place finish at the Ivy League Championships with strong performances in the individual events.
Freshman Matthew Fallon proved the most notable results of the weekend, taking second place overall in the 100-yard breaststroke and first place in the 200-yard breaststroke, the latter of which Fallon achieved a new meet and pool record time of 1:51.44.
He was also the only swimmer in the event to reach the NCAA A cut time, securing his spot at March’s NCAA Championships. Already earning his first Ivy League title as a freshman, Fallon only has room to grow and will no doubt be a swimmer to watch for this March.
Also of note was freshman Daniel Gallagher, who placed second in the 200 backstroke event in the A Final with a time of 1:43.10. Gallagher also earned second team All-Ivy honors for the event. Freshman Michael Foley finished 10th in the 1650 free. Both swimmers reached the NCAA B cut time in their respective events, cementing the dominance of freshmen talents in the men’s team. In fact, these freshmen have been appearing consistently near the top throughout the season.
Not to be completely outdone by the freshmen, the upperclassmen held their ground and produced well-rounded results. Not far behind Fallon were junior Neil Simpson, who finished fifth in the 200 breaststroke event, and junior Jason Schreiber, who finished sixth.
In the freestyle events, sophomore Ben Feldman placed seventh in the A Final of the 100 freestyle event, clocking 44.03. In the 1650 freestyle event, senior William Kamps finished ahead of Foley at eighth place with a time of 15:13.63, while senior Billy Fallon finished 12th at 15:25.15. Both Kamps and Fallon reached a personal best in the event, signaling that their training paid off despite a year out of the pool.
Diving saw better returns than the women last week, with three divers making the cut for the B final. Freshman Cody Hopkins led the pack, finishing in fourth with a score of 307.95, followed by sophomore Jack Williams in fifth with 292.45 and junior Trevor Nelson in seventh with 273.40.
Overall, the Red and Blue scored 1,066 points, securing a top-three Ivy League title behind second-place Princeton at 1,492 and first-place Harvard at 1,596.
While the men’s team was camped in Princeton, the women’s team traveled to Annapolis for the ECAC Championships, where they saw another third-place finish following last week’s historic results. Notably absent from the meet, however, was senior Lia Thomas, who broke three records in many of the freestyle events.
Sans Thomas, the women continued their momentum from last week and dominated the freestyle events once again. Junior Catherine Buroker placed first in the 200 and 500 freestyle events, while junior Anna Kalandadze came in second for the 500 freestyle and placed first in the 1650 freestyle. Buroker and Kalandadze have each had standout performances throughout the season, and their performances these past two weeks have continued that trend.
The women’s team also placed fifth, fourth, and third in the 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, and the 800 freestyle relay, respectively. Across the board, the women notably showed their strength in these freestyle events.
In other individual events, freshman Anna Boeckman clinched a first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, clocking in at 2:14.75, while also placing second in the 200-yard individual medley event and fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Ellen Holmquist and freshman Kiani Morisi placed third and fourth in the 400-yard IM, respectively, both within less than a second of each other. For what is essentially their first year competing at the collegiate level, these swimmers show promise of improvement in the future.
While most of the men’s team were in Princeton, some traveled with the women to compete at ECAC as well, gaining some notable results. Sophomore Peter Lee placed second overall in the 200-yard butterfly at 1:49.02, with a difference of just .81 seconds between him and the first-place finisher. Lee placed first in the preliminary round of the event, hinting at his future potential in dominating the event. Freshman Tate Park placed fourth overall in the 100-yard breaststroke event with a time of 55.00.
Overall, both the men and women concluded the swimming season with a bang, and with some freshmen on the rise, it’s likely that the swimming and diving team will see more wins under its belt in the future.