Aug. 22, 2003
The men's swimming and diving team was extremely successful in 2002-03. The Quakers collected 672.5 points at the EISL Championships, the third-highest total in program history, and the best since the 1988-89 season.
The Red and Blue had five top-10 performances at the league meet and set a new school record in the 50 freestyle.
A core of veterans and a slew of newcomers paced the Quakers throughout the season. In fact it was the rookie class who made a quick impression. The underclassmen won 26 times during the season, including an impressive 23 victories by the freshmen. Penn opened its 2002-03 season just before Thanksgiving by taking on Cornell and Princeton in a tri-meet. Despite great efforts, the Quakers finished third at the meet, falling to Cornell, 140-103, and Princeton, 168-75.
Freshman Pat Maloney started his collegiate career off on the right foot, earning the top spot in the 200 fly.
The following weekend another rookie won his first collegiate race. Neville Mitchell won the 200 backstroke, while the Quakers picked up another victory in the 50 free from junior Andrew Trout.
Senior Andrew Trout set a school record of 20.4 in the 50 free in 2003.
The Red and Blue were unable to secure a victory in the first half of the season, but after the annual winter-break trip to sunny Florida, the Quakers came back to win four-straight. In Florida, the combined men's and women's team earned a second-place finish at the Florida Atlantic University Holiday Invite, as the men's team placed eight swimmers in the top 10 of their respective events. Rookie-diver Tyler Markman won the three-meter springboard and placed second in the one-meter springboard.
The first victim for the Red and Blue in the second half of the season was the Black Knights of Army. The Quakers touched the wall first in six individual events en route to a 131-110 victory. Maloney won three events during the competition, taking the 200 fly and both the 500 and 1000 free. Meanwhile, the Red and Blue had four 1-2-3 finishes on the afternoon.
The following weekend the Quakers hosted three teams in three days and extended its win streak to four meets. The Red and Blue outswam Notre Dame, defeating them 181-116, in the first meet of the homestand. The Quakers won the first event of the day, touching the wall first in the 200 medley relay and continued the momentum throughout the rest of the meet. The Red and Blue grabbed 11 first-place finishes and went 1-2-3 in the 1000 freestyle and 200 backstroke. Senior Chris Miller was a multiple-event winner, placing first in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
The next day, the Quakers combined to win six individual events to top Navy, 138-104. The Quakers swept four events for the second time in 2002-03. Miller won his second 100 breaststroke race in two days.
On the last day of the homestand, the Quakers captured their first Ivy meet, routing Brown, 172-71. The Red and Blue won nine individual events, finished one-two in four events and swept the 500 freestyle. Trout won both the 50 and 100 freestyle, Markman grabbed victories in the one-meter and three-meter springboard events, while Miller turned in his second victory in the 200 breaststroke in three attempts.
The Quakers four-meet win streak came to an end when the Red and Blue faced conference rivals Dartmouth and Yale in Hanover, N.H. Penn pulled through with a victory over Dartmouth, 171-127, but fell to Yale, 170-124. Trout continued to dominate in the sprint freestyle events, claiming victory in the 50 and 100 free for the second consecutive meet. Miller returned to the top of the podium, winning the 100 breaststroke, while Kevin Pope touched the wall first in the 100 backstroke to win the Quakers fourth individual event.
The following weekend the Quakers returned to Sheerr Pool to battle with Rider. The Red and Blue sank the visiting BRonc on Penn's own turf, winning eight events en route to a 146-90 victory. The rookies, who had been making splashes all season long, hand delivered the victory for the Quakers, as the freshman class took first place in five of the eight events the Red and Blue won. Markman won both springboard events, while Trout grabbed his seventh win in a sprint freestyle event.
Heading into February, Penn traveled to cross-town rival La Salle. The Quakers edged the Explorers, 140-101. The Red and Blue won four events including a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke.
In the last dual meet of the season, Penn traveled to Harvard who had won six of the last seven EISL Championships. The Crimson topped the Quakers, who only mustered one individual event win.
The Quakers had several weeks to gear up for the EISL championships after finishing the season 7-5 overall and 4-5 in league action.
Highlighting the championships for Penn's swimming and diving team were five top-10 finishes. Miller finished eighth in the 200 breast with a time of 2:05.46 and finished sixth in the 100 breast, touching the wall in a time of 56.98.
Maloney grabbed fourth-place in the 200 fly with a time of 1:48.39 and fifth in the 400 IM in 3:58.50.
Trout's time of 20.43 in the 50 free earned him 10th-place at the championships and he also broke the Penn record set seven years ago by Ryan Kafer.
From there the Quakers went to the ECAC Championships in Pittsburgh, where the team combined to score 88 points and finished 14th overall. The quartet of Jason Oberman, Arthur Woodbury, Evan Jellie and Kevin Scott teamed up to finish sixth in the 200 medley relay. Oberman scored points for the Quakers in the 100 backstroke by finishing 13th overall, while Roman Petruniak took 10th in the 1650 freestyle.
Written by Heather Palmer