PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's swimming team welcome a new face as well as an old rival to Sheerr Pool on Saturday morning, as the Quakers dive in against the UMBC Retrievers and La Salle Explorers. The diving competition will begin at 10 a.m. with swimming to follow at approximately 12 p.m.
The Red and Blue shook off a mid-January loss to Yale by dismantling West Chester by 55 points last Friday. Four Penn seniors - Peter Amos, Jeff Cragg, Brendan McHugh and Robbie Shilton - won two individual events apiece to spur the Quakers on to victory. With one month left until the Ivy Championships, the next two weeks will play an important part in picking the championship roster.
A year ago, Penn defeated La Salle, 181.5-113.5, and have never lost to the Explorers under head coach Mike Schnur. Cam Hood joined McHugh and Cragg at that meet with multiple victories, while Stephen Carroll and Paul Maneri each won once.
Penn and UMBC have never met under Coach Schnur, but the Retrievers will bring the type of quality with them that the Quakers will have to contend with at Ivies. Sporting a 5-2 record in dual meets, as well as claiming the title at George Mason's Patriot Invitational, UMBC has won eight straight America East titles and are led by Pierre De Waal, a CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention honoree a season ago as a sophomore.
La Salle comes in at 4-4 on the season and has place third in two invitational meets, at Bucknell and Rhode Island. Winners of their last two, including last week at Loyola (MD), the Explorers follow the lead of senior Austin Thomas, a sprint specialist in the both the freestyle and butterfly. On the boards, Jordan Baker will provide a challenge for Cragg.
Following Saturday's competition, the men's team has one final dual meet at home, a Feb. 11 clash with Harvard. The Crimson, along with Princeton, will form Penn's biggest roadblocks at the Ivy Championships.