The Quakers will surely be anxious to get back into competition after wrapping up their last event - the Total Performance Invitational - way back on Dec. 1. To get his team prepared for this meet and beyond, Head Coach Mike Schnur and the team embarked on a 10-day training trip to Florida over the winter break.
One of the most competitive fixtures on the Ivy League schedule, Penn downed Dartmouth by a score of 157.5-142.5 last year in Hanover, N.H., but were defeated by Yale, 188-112. The three teams then finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, at the Ivy League Championships, with the Big Green edging out the Quakers by less than 10 points for the fifth spot.
Though everyone who won events for Penn at this meet last season has moved on, the Quakers still retain a number of top finishers. Sophomores Sam Ruddy, Konner Scott and Alex Porter came in second, third and fourth in the 200 Freestyle against the Bulldogs and Big Green last season, while Rhoads Worster recorded a second-place finish in the 100 Butterfly and a third-place finish in the 200 Butterfly. Porter added a third-place showing in the 100 Freestyle.
Dartmouth is led by one of the top individual swimmers in the Ivy League this season, junior Nejc Zupan. Zupan currently holds the top times in the Ivies in both the 200 Breaststroke and the 400 IM. Adding to the depth of the team, freshmen James Verhagen and Aaron Athanas rank among the top ten in the league in both the 100 Backstroke and 200 Backstroke.
Yale has had a big year thus far, winning the Bucknell Invitational in November, and adding dual meet victories over Columbia, UMass and Cornell. Like Penn, the Bulldogs have a talented young core that includes sophomores Alwin Firmansyah, Rob Harder and Mike Lazris. All three have produced times this year that rank in the top ten in the Ivy League.
Following Saturday's action, Penn wraps up the month of January with a meet against another Ivy League opponent, traveling to Providence to take on the Brown Bears on Jan. 19.