PHILADELPHIA – Since the end of the Ivy League Championships last season, the University of Pennsylvania women’s swimming & diving team had been preparing for the opening home meet of the season with Ivy League rival Columbia. All of the preparation paid off as the Quakers took the Lions by storm, winning all 16 events and breaking five Sheerr Pool records for a 215-85 win on Friday evening. The victory was the first defeat of the Lions at home since the 2010-11 season when the Red and Blue won by 30 points, 165.5.-135.5.
Penn saw a number of young swimmers and returners produce stellar races to begin the season, including sophomore Rochelle Dong, who broke two individual Sheerr Pool records in the 100 Back and the 100 Fly and helped the two relay teams also break pool records.
The 200 medley relay was the first event of the meet and was the first record to fall. Senior captain Lauryn Brown, sophomore Haley Wickham, Dong, and freshman Kim Phan lowered the pool recorded by almost two seconds with their time of 1:42.73. The “A” team earned 11 team points and beat out Columbia’s “A” team by 0.32.
After freshmen Carolyn Yang and Virginia Burns went on to win the 1000 free and 200 free, respectively, Dong took first place in the 100 back with a new pool record of 54.77, besting the previous record by 1.3 seconds.
Wickham and freshman Sydney Tan gave the Quakers another 13 points with their one-two finish in the 100 breast, before another pool record was broken by senior captain Taylor Sneed in the 200 fly with her time of 2:00.31.
As the Red and Blue continued to rack in the first place finishes, Dong added another new pool record in the 100 fly with her time of 54.08.
Penn closed out the evening by taking a one-two-three finish in the 400 free relay. The “A” team – Dong, freshman Meagan Dollard, Phan, and Burns – clocked in at 3:25.45, 3.22 seconds faster than the pool record.
The women will return to Sheerr Pool on Sunday for a combined meet with the men against UConn at noon.