UConn men's swimming and diving heads to Philadelphia this weekend
The UConn men's swimming and diving team will return from their week off to travel to Philadelphia on Saturday to compete against Pennsylvania in a dual competition.
When Sandy swept through the northeast last weekend, the annual Big East Quad Meet was immediately cancelled, as Rutgers' pool was converted into what Coach Bob Goldberg described as "a barracks of sorts." Instead of traveling, the UConn swimming and diving team spent the weekend in what Goldberg described as a "really hard practice," preparing for the challenge ahead of them-Penn.
"Two years ago we beat them," Goldberg said. "We got a couple of breaks in the point totals. Last year they beat us. They got a couple of breaks in the point totals. Both years we swam really well, though. They're a good team. They're very much like we are, so it's a very competitive meet up and down the line."
In last year's meet, the Quakers defeated the Huskies in a close 177-123 finish. The Quakers walked away having won 11 of 16 events, a major feat in what proved to be another competitive contest between the two schools. UConn has only competed against Penn twice in history, with the Huskies winning the first meet 175-125 in 2010. This weekend's match will give one school a 2-1 advantage over the other in its all-time record.
The UConn team is feeling confident heading into the weekend, currently holding a 2-1 record this season. Multiple members of the swimming unit reported seeing their race times decrease in each of the meets and practices. The divers also expressed a similar confidence as the precision of their dives continues to increase. Goldberg expects strong performances from all of his competitors except one, freshman Mike Lennon, who is currently nursing an injury to his leg that will keep him out of the pool for at least another week.
"I think everyone's gonna swim fast," senior Nick Cerra said. "We've been putting in a lot of hard work in the pool lately. Even that with that hurricane, we managed to come back and really swim a good amount of yardage and get our endurance and speed back up to play. And I think we're gonna do really well."
Goldberg expressed some concern that the cancellation of the Big East Quad Meet could impact the competitors, with the storm being "disruptive" to their routines. However, Cerra stated that he did not think it would impact the team's performance, citing race simulations in practice as being effective in helping the team stay in rhythm.
The team will travel to Philadelphia today to compete in the dual meet that will be held in Penn's Sheerr Pool on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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