ANNAPOLIS, Md. The Penn men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams fell to the Naval Academy on Saturday. The women dropped a heartbreaker with Navy taking a narrow two-point victory, 151-149, while the men fell 164.5-116.5.
Although the women did not earn their first victory until the fourth event of the day, they were able to rack up points. In the 800-free, Sara Ernst took second place with a time of 9:15.52, while Nicole Malgeri (9:19.20) and Lauren Brandes (9:21.66) finished third and fourth. The next event, the 200-free, also saw Penn take the two-through-four spots as Andrea Balint swam a 2:06.47, Lauren Bergstrom registered a 2:09.50 and Genevieve Fleming finished in 2:10.86.
Penn earned its first victory of the day when Sara Coenen took the 100-back, swimming a 1:06.55. Ainsley Cookingham finished right behind her with a 1:08.06.
The next two events also went to the Quakers, as Kelby Zimmerman won the 100-breast (1:15.10) and Stephanie Nerby took the 200-fly (2:18.87). The Quakers swept the podium positions in the 100-breast as Lindsey Gottschalk took second place (1:17.46) and Megan Barron finished third (1:18.24).
Sara Coenen remained perfect for her career in backstroke events when she won the 200-back in 2:20.65. Kelby Zimmerman added her second victory of the day in the 200-breast, swimming a 2:41.36. She was followed by Carey Stauder, who took second in 2:41.51.
The meet, as close as it could possibly be, came down to the final event. In the 400-free relay, Penn’s A-team of Andrea Balint, Lauren Brandes, Amy Reams and Sara Coenen needed a victory to help the Quakers take the meet. As the entire day had been, the two teams swam neck-and-neck down to the finish, but Navy managed to touch the side milliseconds in front of Penn, defeating them in the event 3:55.77 to 3:55.82. The difference between third and fourth place was not much different, as Penn’s B-team of Stephanie Nerby, Naomi Delphin, Lauren Bergstrom and Megan Barron recorded a 4:02.26, coming in just .08 seconds behind Navy’s B-team.
Although the meet as a whole was not as close on the men’s side, there was no race closer than the men’s 100-free, in which Patrick Gallagher and Navy’s Alex Oldenkamp swam to a rare tie at 52.29. The race was the first victory of the day for the Quakers. Kyle Loughran (53.10) and Chris Weitekamp (53.76) took third and fourth.
The next victory came in the 100-fly, as Ben Gan swam a 57.28 to take the event. Brad Farris came in second with a 58.30, while Devon Carr took third in 58.47. The men also took the 200-IM as Kyle Yeager swam a 2:12.68 to take the event. He was followed by Mike Tompkins (2:13.86) and Patrick Buck (2:13.90).
The meet closed out with the 200-free relay team of Devon Carr, Patrick Gallagher, Chris Weitekamp and Kyle Loughran swimming a 1:34.45 to take the event, but it was not enough to overcome the Navy lead.
Penn got several other strong performances in the match that were not quite good enough for a victory. In the 200-medley relay, Chris Weitekamp, Chaz Maul, Brad Farris and Patrick Gallagher took second with a time of 1:45.02, just .3 seconds off the pace. Farris also finished a close second in the 100-back, swimming a 59.09. In the 400-free, James Fee took second with a time of 4:02.28, just .46 seconds behind the first-place finisher.