PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will hit the pool for the first time in 35 days this weekend. Fresh off their annual training trip to Florida over New Year’s, the Quakers will welcome conference foes, Yale and Dartmouth, to Sheerr Pool as Ivy League play begins in full force. The tri-meet will span over two days, with both diving events to be held on Friday and all other other events to begin at noon on Saturday.
The Quakers have been strong on both the men’s and women’s sides so far this season, and will look to keep it going in 2016. Both teams have fallen just once in a dual-meet setting (Princeton), and are each coming off a victory at the Total Performance Invitational in early December. In addition, the men’s team earned their highest-ever ranking by CollegeSwimming.com at No. 13, as well has their best position in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Poll at No. 24.
Virginia Burns and Rochelle Dong have led the way for the women’s team, while the trio of Eric Schultz, Chris Swanson, and freshman Mark Andrew have impressed on the men’s side.
Swanson and Dong were each named Ivy League Swimmers of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com following the team’s wins at the Performance Invitational. Swanson broke his own school record in the 1650 with a time of 14:41.54. Not only was that time fast enough to make an NCAA ‘A’ cut, but it also currently ranks as the third-best mark in the country. In addition, Swanson nabbed the title in the 500 free -- clocking a time of 4:18.64.
Not to be out-done, Dong broke three school records over the three days at Kenyon. Dong snapped her own 50-free mark with a time of 22.75. She also upped her own record in the 100 fly, swimming to a mark of 53:65. In addition, she raced to a Penn record in the 100 back (54.50).
Schultz was also superb at the Performance Invitational, breaking a pair of a school marks. He topped his own time in the 100 free (42.83), while also being a part of a record-breaking 800-free relay team (6:31.98). Joining Schultz on the relay squad were Andrew, Kevin Su, and Wes Thomas.
Andrew also swam to a Penn record at the Total Performance Invite, breaking teammate Grant Proctor’s mark in the 400 IM (3:47.67). In addition, he posted the fastest 200-IM time at the event, racing to a mark of 1:46.72.
Like Dong, Burns also holds a conference swimmer of the week accolade (11/30) this season after fueling the Quakers to season-opening wins over Columbia and UMBC. Burns began the weekend with three triumphs against the Lions, notching wins in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyles. She followed that up with three more wins on against UMBC, capturing both the 200 (1:51.95) and 500 free (5:00.93) for the second-straight day. Burns also swam anchor for a first-place 400-free team composed of Carter Orth, Dong and Mary Whiting.
For those unable to make it to Sheerr Pool this weekend, all results can be found by downloading the MeetMobile App on your mobile device. Results will also be found at www.PennAthletics.com at the conclusion of Saturday’s events.