PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men's swimming and diving team is set to open its 2016-17 season Friday, heading to New York to take on Army West Point and Ivy League foe Columbia at 4 p.m in West Point, N.Y.
The Quakers enter the year coming off a historic run a year ago. At the Ivy League Championships, the Red and Blue finished third for just the second time in school history, amassing a program-high 1,213.5 points. It marked the third-straight year the Quakers topped the 1,000 point threshold. Penn took home six conference titles, also a school record, and earned its first national championship as Chris Swanson took home first place in the 1650-yd freestyle at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Ga.
Sophomore Mark Andrew took home the 400-yd individual medley title at last year's Ivy League Championship, setting a new meet and school record with a time of 3:43.53 in the process. Andrew also recorded a school-record mark in the 200-yd individual medley with a time of 1:45.15 and finished third in the conference meet in the event.
Alex Peterson, Kevin Su and Thomas Dillinger join Andrew as returning Quakers who competed in last year's NCAA Championships. Peterson swam in the 500-yd freestyle in Atlanta after clocking a personal-best time of 4:21.07 in the preliminary race at the Ivy League Championship. Andrew, Su and Dillinger teamed up with senior captain Eric Schultz in the 400-yd freestyle relay and broke a Penn record at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 2:53.10, coming in second place in the process.
Grant Proctor and CJ Schaffer also return for Penn after setting program records in 2016, as Proctor notched a time of 1:44.32 in the 200-yd backstroke prelims at the Ivy League Championships, while Schaffer's mark of 47:59 in the 100-yd backstroke entered Penn's record book during the regular season.
The Red and Blue captured nine victories in the regular season last year, a program-best, notching wins over UMBC, Columbia, Villanova, Cornell, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, West Chester, and La Salle.
Penn welcomes in eight freshman to the pool this season in Emilio DeSomma, John-Michael Diveris, Matt Haigh, Alec Hsing, David Hua, Christopher Nicholson, Jackson O'Dowd, and Will Schaffer.
Scouting the Lions
Scouting the Black Knights
Entering Friday's meet with a 1-0 record after defeating UMass 188-110 on Oct. 14, Army West Point is set for its first home competition of the year. Against the Minutemen, the Black Knights won first in the 200-yd medley relay, the 1000-yd freestyle, the 200-yd freestyle, the 100-yd breaststroke and the 100-yd backstroke. Last year, Army West Point went 10-1 overall and 5-1 in the Patriot League, finishing second at the conference championship.
Scouting the Lions
Similar to the Red and Blue, Friday's tri-meet will be the first dip into the pool for Columbia, who finished last season with a record of 4-6, including a 3-4 mark in the Ivy League. At the conference championship, the Lions came in sixth with 786.5 points. Columbia returns eight swimmers that finished last season with top-15 times in the Ancient Eight in addition to the league's top diver, Jayden Pantel.