Penn Defeats West Chester in Final Regular Season Meet; Lia Thomas Doesn’t Swim

West Chester vs. Penn

  • January 28, 2022
  • West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Results
  • Team Scores:
    • Penn M defeat West Chester M, 203-95
    • Penn W defeat West Chester W, 154-145

West Chester hosted in-state opponent the University of Pennsylvania on Friday, falling significantly to the Penn men but only narrowly losing to the Penn women.

This meet against Division II West Chester was Penn’s last meet of the regular season. Their top woman swimmer Lia Thomas didn’t appear in results of the meet – she is ranked #1 in the NCAA in the 200 and 500 freestyles this season.

Thomas a transgender athlete making international headlines as a subject of the debate regarding transgender participation in sports.

“Friday had long been a planned rest day for Lia and a number of our other top swimmers as they prepare for championship meets next month,” a Penn Athletics spokesperson told The Washington Times in a Saturday email.

It’s unclear what other top swimmers they were referring to, as several of Penn’s top-performing women athletes, like Anna Kalandadze, Grace Giddings, Hannah Kannan, Joy Jiang, and Margot Kaczorowski were all present.

The meet was also West Chester’s senior night.

Men’s Meet

Penn scored an overwhelming victory over West Chester, leading by over 100 points. The Penn men won 14 events.

Senior William Kamps was Penn’s top performer, winning the 200 free (1:40.86), 100 free (46.67), and the 500 free (4:37.71). These times aren’t Kamps’ season bests, but they kept West Chester from winning one event–the 100 free, where West Chester’s Devin Metzger came in 2nd. Kamps led a 1-2 sweep for Penn in the other two events.

Freshman Matt Fallon also continued his successful season, winning both the 100 breast (55.12) and the 400 IM (3:59.37). Fallon has the team’s top times this season in both events, but those times are 51.45 and 3:46.43, respectively.

Fallon was also a part of the winning 200 medley relay on the breaststroke leg (25.59), along with Mark McCrary on back (23.31), Benjamin Feldman on fly (22.80), and Nicholas Malchow on free (20.53).

On the diving side, Penn also swept–Trevor Nelson won the 1-meter board with a score of 289.20, and Cody Hopkins won the 3-meter board with a score of 299.55.

West Chester sophomore Nolan Benner was the sole individual event winner against Penn, leading a 1-2 sweep of the 50 free in 21.17. Metzger came in 2nd with a time of 21.32. Benner’s time is just about .30 off his season best time of 20.88, which is also the team’s best time this season. Metzger’s time is his season best.

West Chester also won the 200 free relay, helmed by Tyler Hall (21.46), Dalton Fink (21.09), Joel Dunnigan (20.71), and Benner (20.21). The team swam a cumulative time of 1:23.47, compared to Penn’s 1:24.09.

Women’s Meet

The women’s meet was a lot more exciting, with Penn only posting six event wins against the Rams.

Senior Hannah Kannan won two individual events, the 100 back (56.42) and 200 back (2:02.59). Her 100 back time was her 4th-best time this season, and the 200 back time is her 3rd-best time this season. Kannan currently holds the fastest times of the season from previous meets.

The only other Penn swimmer to win double individual events was Olivia Francella, who won the 1-meter board (263.85) and the 3-meter board (275.10).

Penn ultimately used depth to its advantage, as West Chester won seven events.

Senior Ann Carozza won three individual events: the 200 free (1:50.70), 100 fly (54.53), and 200 fly (2:00.82). Carozza has been a star swimmer for West Chester for a while now. During the 2019-20 season, she was an All-American in the 50 free and the PSAC champion in the 100 free. Her 2020-21 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sophomore Mikayla Niness won two events, the 50 free (23.77) and the 100 free (51.40). Niness’ 50 free time is just .30 off her season best time, and she was just over a second slower than her season-best 100 free time. Carozza holds the season-best times for the team.

Both teams will now prep for their colleges championships, to take place in mid-February.

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Bobo Gigi
7 months ago

Why opposing that a trans athlete is allowed to compete in women’s sports is considered by some people as transphobic? It’s just a question of fairness. Nothing more. I’ve nothing against Lia Thomas. I’m mad at people and organizations letting her compete. That’s really different. Nothing transphobic here. It’s just a common sense view.

KSW
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
7 months ago

Agreed however some people cant see that. To them, if your not with them youre against them and to be against a trans person if transphobic.

Taa
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
7 months ago

You want her to put on mens speedo and compete with the men? She is a women so she wants to swim with women. That is a common sense view also. If she wins you can mentally put an asterisk by her result to satisfy yourself. Is that so hard to do?

Anna Nguyen
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
7 months ago

You’re casually and simplistically dismissing trans women in women’s athletics because… why? You addressed a challenge requiring drafting rulers and mechanical pencils with crayons in one hand and a paint roller in the other.

What you’re saying is not far removed from “Blacks are superior athletes because…” or “Asians have unfair advantage in academics because…” or “Jews are…” or “Latinos are…” Come back after you have put some cerebral back bone into your position.

COFLO
7 months ago

As unfortunate as it might be that Lea at this point might be choosing not to swim at this meet because of the mixed opinions, on her opportunity to be able to compete against biological women. I have to believe, when she made this choice to compete on the womens team, that she had to consciously know that she might receive both positive and negative attention. We all have choices but also understand that sometimes they might have consequences and will have to be prepared to navigate them.

Chrispybuttah
7 months ago

That Benner kid is cold🥶

Jimbob
7 months ago

She’s an inspiration. It’s a shame she couldn’t swim bc of bigots.

Swamererer
7 months ago

“Penn defeats West Chester” as the headline would be sufficient. Are we really mentioning athletes that don’t compete in every headline now?

Let’s give the UPenn Women’s team some credit here please.

Barbossa Andrew 🐍
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

Agreed! Let’s give Lia some peace and quiet too.

M d e
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

Isn’t she the among the top few swimmers in the country in multiple events.

The fact she didn’t swim is of note, just as it would be if a different top ranked swimmer sat out a meet.

Don Megerle
Reply to  M d e
7 months ago

Exactly

Jimbob
Reply to  M d e
7 months ago

Going to win multiple national titles.

She’s worth mentioning. Inspiring to a lot of people.

Oldswimdad
Reply to  Jimbob
7 months ago

Seems to me that the fundamental issue here is about fairness. Is it fair that an individual who was a male through puberty and subsequently undertook testosterone suppression therapy for a period of time should compete against females. I can’t rationalize that it can be. I can however rationalize that they should be able to swim at whatever meet they want and can be mentioned in headlines of articles provided their results and achievements are reflected in either a separate category or in an open category. I am also able to rationalize a scenario where an individual who changed pre puberty is also able to swim and be included in the female category. If Fina and the ioc can prioritize… Read more »

Chad
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

To be fair, regardless of what anyone’s opinion on the matter are, she is a large point scorer at this moment. Mentioning that she isn’t competing isn’t a total attention grab.

Jimbob
Reply to  Chad
7 months ago

She’s going to outscore some entire Power 5 conference teams. Not including Lia Thomas would be like not reporting on Dressel sitting out a meet back in 2017.

swimapologist
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

I would venture to guess that every time a swimmer ranked #1 in the NCAA in two events misses a meet, it will be mentioned prominently in that story.

Coleman Hodges
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

If you are a top swimmer in the NCAA… then yes, we mention it every time.

Carson Foster sits out? We mention it.
Gretchen Walsh sits out? We mention it.
Lia Thomas sits out? We mention it.

It’s not meant as commentary, that’s just how news works. Not taking anything away from the Penn women, just stating that their top point-scorer (and top-ranked athlete in the NCAA) did not compete.

Barbossa Andrew 🐍
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
7 months ago

Point taken! Thanks for the perspective. In many ways I worry about the hateful comments the headline might draw but I appreciate the consistency on swimswam’s end. Also appreciate their efforts to remove harmful comments.

RMS
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

I mean they beat a Divison 2 team by 9 points. Whether you like it or not, clearly Lia is a major factor to the teams’ success.

Mott
Reply to  RMS
7 months ago

West Chester were suited, Penn were not

Jimbob
Reply to  Mott
7 months ago

WCU is also not a bad team. They regularly sign PIAA state medalists and have a great location. Routinely one of the better teams in PSAC conference

Jimbob
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

Penn has one (1) female swimmer who will score at NCAAs. Why wouldn’t she be mentioned? If it wasn’t for Lia, no one would care about the Penn girls team.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jimbob
Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Jimbob
7 months ago

That is a hurtful hateful comment. Not sure why you got to put the girls on the team down like that.

Just because you support Lia, that doesn’t give you pass to put the girls team down like that. Put a little more love in your heart.

swimapologist
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
7 months ago

Bro have you read the things that Lia’s teammates have been saying about her in the news?

I agree that everyone should be nicer. But the only person in this situation that I haven’t seen say one negative thing about a Penn swimmer is Lia, and yet she seems to get the absolute worst crap dumped on her.

(Also, didn’t a Penn swimmer say this exact same thing to OutKick? Can’t be mad when it comes back to bite you).

Maybe we should all stop telling Lia what to do and learn from her instead.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  swimapologist
7 months ago

I’m not telling Lia what to do. I’m sure everyone is learning something from this situation and I’m sure we are all looking for some positive change as we navigate forward.

Whether Lia has said something bad or not is not a relative argument. Actions speak louder than words and Lias actions have cause great concern for fairness in sport amongst other things.

Hopefully there is a positive solution for ALL parties moving forward.

swimapologist
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
7 months ago

Okay but your whole ass comment was about “words,” right?

You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth in a desperate attempt to make Lia look like a bad person and her teammates look like martyrs. Should we all read into your actions there, the way you’re reading into Lia’s?

I’m honestly way more concerned about the culture that would cause her teammates to say such awful things about her to the media. I mean, one of them literally made up a fairytale about her colluding with another swimmer to lose a race in an effort to make her look like some kind of scheming evil wicked-witch character. She admitted that it was made up. In the very same… Read more »

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  swimapologist
7 months ago

Incorrect. First off, try using less emotion. Don’t kick my shins and draw to some off based conclusion that clearly doesn’t align with what I said. Look at what I stated and we can have a healthy and productive dialog.

Second, I said what I said. There is only one side to my mouth. “Hopefully there is a positive solution to all parties” means everyone. Even Lia.

You attacking me by manipulating emotions and avoid what I actually said isn’t helping anyone.

Last edited 7 months ago by Coach Macgyver
Wayne Hanley
Reply to  Swamererer
7 months ago

As someone who once swam Div. II, actually let’s give the WCU women credit (oh, and I’m a WCU prof!). Coming that close to a Div I team under any circumstance speaks volumes on the quality of the team!!

Barbossa Andrew 🐍
7 months ago

Hope Lia is holding up okay and able to stay safe. Sending solidarity

Barbossa Andrew 🐍
Reply to  Barbossa Andrew 🐍
7 months ago

No need to misgender someone and spread negative energy into the universe.

Scotty P
Reply to  Barbossa Andrew 🐍
7 months ago

Out of line.
Targeted negativity is not cool.
Also it’s “she.”

wow
Reply to  Scotty P
7 months ago

You should have stated SHE goes as “she”. NEVER refer to a transgender individual as “it” – that was just as bad, if not worse, as the original statement.

Last edited 7 months ago by wow
swimfan27
Reply to  Barbossa Andrew 🐍
7 months ago

I hope the women who have to swim against her are holding up okay and able to stay safe. Sending solidarity.

Mr Piano
Reply to  swimfan27
7 months ago

They aren’t swimming up against her, because she didn’t compete…way to dodge the point.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Barbossa Andrew 🐍
7 months ago

Saddened by the dislikes. Although I do not agree with her competing on the women’s NCAA team, she has gone through a lot of bullying in the last month.

SwimWomenMatter
Reply to  Mr Piano
7 months ago

As to be expected Mr. Piano.

Mr Piano
Reply to  SwimWomenMatter
7 months ago

Yea, the transphobia is disheartening. Humans can be bad at empathy sometimes.

Last edited 7 months ago by Mr Piano
Swimfan
Reply to  Mr Piano
7 months ago

Just because someone wants fair competition doesn’t mean they hate people.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Swimfan
7 months ago

The fact that someone got massively downvoted for saying they hope she’s mentally holding up well doesn’t inspire confidence. The fact that I got massively downvoted for pointing this out, even though I mentioned that I do not agree with her competing, inspires even less confidence.

Joe
Reply to  Mr Piano
7 months ago

You forgot the “sending solidarity” part. It appears most people are not in solidarity with what ” she” is doing.

Virtus
Reply to  Mr Piano
7 months ago

Yeah people are weird I don’t want her to compete but I hope she’s doing ok