2021 Zippy Invite
- December 3-5, 2021
- Ocasek Natatorium, Akron, OH
- SCY (25 yards)
- Day 1 Results
- Day 2 Results
- Day 3 Results
- Akron – 2005
- Penn – 1452
- Buffalo – 1355
- Oakland – 1079.5
- Cornell – 832
- Toledo – 459.5
- Keiser – 458
- Niagara – 351
- Clarion – 344
- Bloomsburg – 205
- Penn – 2304.5
- Cornell – 1674
- Oakland – 1420.5
- Keiser – 1162
- Clarion – 684
- Niagara – 525
- Bloomsburg – 503
Akron racked up over 2000 points to win the women’s title at their own invite, while Penn won the men’s meet by over 600 points. Freshman Matt Fallon was a huge reason for Penn’s dominance on the men’s side of things.
The freshman made waves in the prelims session, swimming a blistering personal best of 1:50.53 in the men’s 200 breast to establish new meet and pool record. He wasn’t done there, however, as Fallon went on to roar right past the 1:50 barrier, swimming a 1:49.71 in finals. With the swim, Fallon is still the 2nd-fastest freshman of all-time, behind only Minnesota’s Max McHugh (1:49.41). Fallon is also now the top 200 breaststroker in the NCAA this season.
While Fallon is the biggest story here, we can’t overlook the excellence displayed by Penn in the event. The Quakers went 1-2-3-4 in the A final, with Jason Schreiber taking 2nd in 1:55.96, a new best time by 1.26 seconds. Neil Simpson came in 3rd with a 1:56.35, and Benjamin Feldman took 4th in 1:59.99.
Fallon’s older brother, Billy Fallon would also grab a victory on the day, clocking a 15:22.72 to win the men’s 1650 free. The swim marked new pool and meet records in the event, and a season best for Fallon. It was also a good mid-season time for Fallon, coming in just 6 seconds off his personal best of 15:16.31 from the 2020 Ivy League Championships.
Penn also grabbed a win in the men’s 200 back, as Mark McCrary swam a new meet and pool record of 1:43.26. The swim was a lifetime best for McCrary by 1.6 seconds as well. He took the race out hard, flipping in 49.74 at the 100 mark, 1.41 seconds ahead of the field.
Cornell freshman Joseph Gurski won the men’s 200 fly in 1:46.99, breaking the meet and pool records. The swim was a massive personal best for Gurski, who entered the meet with a best time of 1:49.64 from April of this year.
Oakland picked up a pair of victories on the day as well. Christian Bart, who won the 50 free in record fashion earlier in the meet, won the men’s 100 free, swimming a 43.70. The swim marked, you guessed it, new meet and pool records, as well as a lifetime best by 0.04 seconds for Bart.
Bart would then go on to lead off the Golden Grizzlies’ A 400 free relay, swimming a 43.94. Marko Khotynetskyi went 2nd, splitting a 44.29, Mack Flowers swam a 44.19 on the 3rd leg, and Rudy Aguilar anchored in 44.16, for a final time of 2:56.58. The performance by Oakland marked new pool and meet records.
Lia Thomas had another record-breaking performance yesterday, winning the women’s 1650 free in 15:59.71. Thomas, a swimmer who is a transgender woman, spent the first 3 seasons of her collegiate eligibility swimming for the Penn men’s team, didn’t pace this race quite as well as her 200 and 500 freestyles earlier in the meet. She started out splitting high-28s on her 50s through the first 600 yards, but her pace then slipped up to low 29s, and kept creeping up, all the way to a 29.88 for her slowest split, which came on the 28th 50 of the race.
Akron’s Sarah Watson continued to be a force at this meet, taking the women’s 100 free in 48.76. The swim was just off her personal best of 48.63, and the meet and pool records, which stand at 48.55 from Buffalo alum Megan Burns from 2016. Watson posted the fastest splits in the field on both 50s last night, swimming a 23.59 on the first 50, and 25.17 on the 2nd 50.
The Zips also grabbed a win with Paulina Nogaj, who won the women’s 200 fly in 1:58.05. She was the only swimmer in the field to crack 2:00, but was a bit off her meet record and personal best of 1:56.49, which she swam in 2019. Andrea Fischer also won an event for Akron, taking the women’s 200 breast in 2:12.36. It was a tight race between Fischer and Oakland’s Taylor Bailey (2:12.54). Bailey went out a tick faster, splitting 1:0373 on the first 100, to Fischer’s 1:04.14.
Oakland’s Susan LaGrand won the women’s 200 back in 1:54.58, leading the race wire-to-wire. LaGrand is coming off a highly successful 2020-2021 season, where she qualified for NCAAs in the event, and ultimately made the B final at NCAAs. LaGrand has a personal best of 1:53.48 in the 200 back, a time which she swam at NCAAs last year.
Buffalo won the women’s 400 free relay in 3:16.95, touching just 0.60 seconds off the NCAA ‘B’ cut. Jillian Lawton led the team off in 49.19, Ellie Duley went 2nd in 50.00, Sawyer Bosley split 49.48 on the 3rd leg, and Toni Naccarella anchored in 48.28.