PHILADELPHIA - Despiteproducing the winner inten of thenight's sixteenevents, Penn men's swimming fell to Columbia 154-146 in the season opener for both squads.
Showing a massive improvement from last year's opener with the Lions, the Quakers entered the final event of the night, the 400 Freestyle Relay, with the slimmest of leads at 142-141. Rhoads Worster ripped through the final leg for Penn's 'A' team, but was edged to the wall by Columbia's John Wright, ensuring the victory for the visitors.
Picking up wherehe left off last season, Brendan McHugh led both teams with three event wins on the night, touching the wall first in the 100 (56.24) and 200Breaststroke (2:06.64), as well as the 200 IM. Worster added wins in the 100 and 200 Fly with times of 50.77 and 1:53.01while Cam Hood led the distance freestyle competitions withvictories in the 500 and 1000 Free. Jeff Cragg took home both the 1- and 3- Meter Divingevents.
The night started off well for the Red and Blue,capturing the 200 Medley Relay with a teamthat included a pair of freshmen, Dillon McHugh and Alex Porter, swimming the opening and closing legs. Hood followed with a time of 9:31.48 to defeat Columbia's Harry Stephenson by over three seconds in the 1000 Free.
Freshman Sam Ruddy couldn't have been any closer to an event win in his first collegiate race, falling by .01 to the Lions' David Jakl in the 200 Free, finishing in 1:42.06.
A dominating performance from Brendan McHugh and two newcomers in the night's second-to-last event put the Quakers in prime position. McHugh's final race of the night produced a timeof 1:54.87 and the win, but he was followed in close order by Chris Lyons and Konner Scott who finished in third and fifth, respectively, to put Penn ahead.
With the crowd on its feet, Columbia went ahead by over a full second through the first leg of the 400 Free Relay and proved too much to overcome despite Worster's attempted heroics over the final 100 yards.
Penn will have to recover quickly as they travel to Connecticut on Sunday to face the Huskies. The meet is set to start at 12 p.m.
Download: MSW Vs. Columbia.pdf