Matthew Haigh, who currently trains a scant thirteen miles from the home pool of the University of Pennsylvania, has committed to swim for the school starting next fall. Haigh swims for Ridley Area YMCA and recorded a 4th place finish at last year’s YMCA Short Course National Championship in the 1650, his strongest event. He was also sixth in the 500 freestyle and 10th in the 200 freestyle at the same meet:
- 200 freestyle: 1:39.36
- 500 freestyle: 4:26.98
- 1000 freestyle: 9:09.04
- 1650 freestyle: 15:26.47
It’s worth noting that the 1000 freestyle is a conference championship event in the Ivy League, so pure distance swimmers can compete in the 500/1000/1650 event lineup instead of attempting a 200 freestyle or 400 IM. This gives a swimmer like Haigh extra value in the league. Haigh attends Haverford High School, where he finished second in the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming Championship in the 500 freestyle. While Princeton and Harvard typically battle for conference supremacy, Penn has made a name for itself with distance swimmers under coach Mike Schnur.
Senior Chris Swanson was Ivy Champion in the distance treble last year on his way to a 10th place 1650 finish at last year’s NCAA Championship which ensured that the Quakers would be the top Ivy men’s team on the national level. Rising sophomore Taylor Uselis finished in 6th in 15:14.11. Penn built on that success with a strong incoming class of 2019 that earned an honorable mention in our 2015 recruiting class rankings. Haigh could team up with current freshmen Uselis and Junior National Team member Mark Andrew as the next generation of Penn distance.