PHILADELPHIA - The men's swimming and diving team returns to Sheerr Pool on Friday and Saturday after two inspired performances last week netted the team a narrow loss to Columbia and a resounding 54-point win over Connecticut. The Quakers now face a tall order as they play host to Ivy rivals Cornell and Princeton. A year ago in Ithaca, N.Y., Penn fell to both schools at a tri-meet, 172-120 to the Big Red, and 220-67 to the Tigers.
Princeton, the defending Ivy League champions, returns a large pool of talent to its first official meet of the season. The Tigers competed last weekend at the Princeton Open in a non-scored meet. The individual battle between Jon Christensen and Brendan McHugh will be one to keep an eye on. At the 2011 Ivy Championships, the two staged a personal battle as McHugh won the 100 Breaststroke with Christensen finishing second, while Christensen won the 200 IM and 200 Breaststroke with McHugh placing a slot behind him. The 200 Breast in particular came down to the wire, as Christensen edged out McHugh to the wall by .44.
Cornell finished in sixth at the 2011 Ivy Championships, just behind Penn. The Big Red has already faced two Ivy opponents early on this season, losing to both Harvard and Dartmouth in a tri-meet last weekend. Sophomore Taylor Wilson will challenge Cam Hood in the distance freestyle events.
Besides McHugh and Hood, individual winners for Penn last weekendwere Sam Ruddy, Rhoads Worster, Konner Scott and Jeff Cragg. Cragg will help kick-start the competition on Friday night when he competes in the diving portion of the weekend, slated to begin at 7 p.m. The swimmers will leap into action on Saturday at 3 p.m.