Penn Freshman Matthew Fallon Hits ‘A’ Cut with 51.45 100 Breast in Prelims

2021 Zippy Invite

Team Standings

Women

  1. Akron – 1450
  2. Penn – 1082
  3. Buffalo – 1017
  4. Oakland – 826.5
  5. Cornell – 593
  6. Toledo – 346.5
  7. Keiser – 339
  8. Clarion – 304
  9. Niagara – 264
  10. Bloomsburg – 167

Men

  1. Penn – 1625.5
  2. Cornell – 1219
  3. Oakland – 983.5
  4. Keiser – 801
  5. Clarion – 496
  6. Bloomsburg – 405
  7. Niagara – 351

Through the 2nd day of the Akron Zippy Invite, host Akron has solidified their lead in the women’s standings, while Penn has done the same in the men’s meet. Buffalo has narrowed Penn’s lead in the women’s standings as well.

Sarah Watson again led the Zips, breaking the meet and pool records in the 100 fly. Watson swam a 52.20, touching just under half a second off her personal best of 51.73 from 2019. Watson also led a 1-2-3 charge for Akron in the event, with Paulina Nogaj touching 2nd in 52.50, and freshman teammate Abby Daniel taking 3rd in 53.16.

Penn’s Lia Thomas shattered the meet and pool records in the women’s 200 free. Thomas, a swimmer who is a transgender woman, spent the first 3 seasons of her collegiate eligibility swimming for the Penn men’s team, clocked a 1:41.93, touching first by almost 7 seconds. Much like Thomas’ 500 free on day 1, the 200 was well-split, as she went out in 50.66 on the first 100, and came home in 51.27. Thomas would later go on to lead off Penn’s 800 free relay in 1:45.46.

Men’s records were falling in bunches yesterday. First, Penn’s Matthew Fallon clocked a meet and pool record in prelims of the men’s 400 IM. Fallon swam a 3:46.43, turning in the fastest time of the morning by over 5 seconds. He then scratched finals in the event to focus on the 100 breast. Coincidentally, Fallon’s older brother, Billy Fallon, went on to win the event in finals with a 3:51.32. Billy Fallon came in 9th in prelims of the race, meaning he only made the A final because his younger brother scratched finals.

Matthew Fallon went on to swim a blistering personal best of 51.45 in the 100 breast, shattering the meet and pool records. He swam the time in prelims, after his 3:46 400 IM, then backed it up with a 51.46 in finals. Fallon picked up an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the event, automatically qualifying him to compete at this year’s NCAA Championships. That also means that Penn now has an individual ‘A’ cut, so if they swim an ‘A’ cut in any relay this season, they’ll be able to compete in any relays at NCAAs, provided they have ‘B’ cuts in the relay.

Penn did go on to win the 800 free relay, swimming a 6:32.47 to beat Oakland by 3 seconds. Both Fallon brothers were on the relay, with Billy splitting 1:36.46 on the 2nd leg, and Matthew 1:36.90 on the 3rd. William Kamps led the team off in 1:38.05, and Peter Lee anchored in 1:41.06. The swim marked new meet and pool records, taking down the previous records, which were held by Oakland from 2019.

Keiser picked up a win in the men’s 100 fly, with Alberto Garcia touching the wall first with a 47.59. The junior got out to the early lead on the first 50, and never looked back, roaring into the wall to break new pool and meet records.

Another record fell in the 100 back, where Oakland’s Marko Khotynetskyi swam a 47.08 to narrowly beat out Penn’s Mark McCrary. McCrary was out a touch faster than Khotynetskyi, splitting 22.67 on the first 50, to Khotynetskyi’s 22.80.

Bloomsburg’s Andy Thomas won the men’s 200 free in 1:36.43, clipping the meet and pool records.

 

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Honest Observer
1 month ago

What happens if Lia Thomas wins NCAAs in the 500 and 200? What will the reaction be? Those in positions of power in the NCAA and at Penn will be probably be afraid to say anything for fear of being canceled and losing their jobs. But the overall public reaction will likely mirror the reactions that have been recorded so far in these comment sections: that this doesn’t strike anyone as fair.

And what happens if Lia Thomas makes the Worlds team, assuming she tries out? What will the reaction be among foreign governing bodies?

Jimbob
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

“if?”

These times are untapered and in early December. Thomas is going to win the 100, 200, and 500 at NCAAs almost certainly.

I think the 800 free relay could also make NCAAs. I think they beat Princeton’s 800 team a few weeks ago.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

Well it’s their mid season invite so I’d assume she’s at least suited and maybe half tapered

Distance Per Stroke
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

I’d think this is a tapered December meet no?

Either way, I hope Thomas dominates like Ledecky at NCAA so people are forced to stop denying reality.

Jimbob
Reply to  Distance Per Stroke
1 month ago

Penn times were faster 2 weeks ago vs Princeton. Maybe a light practice Wed and travel day Thursday for this invite, but I can’t see them tapering for this meet–Princeton would’ve been much better matchup than these schools. Maybe things have changed, but back in 2000s, our only real in season taper was for HYPs.

Ivies have large walk-on numbers and we used to do invites so everyone would get the experience of swimming in a meet. It was fun to see everyone swim in prelims, get to travel, etc.

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

I believe Lia’s best event is the 1650.

Dan-O
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

You go girl!!

Beverly Drangus
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

I’m having a hard time finding good info on any of these issues in swimming, but it appears that as of now, FINA doesn’t have any position on the matter. The IOC used to have a testosterones limit of 10nm/L, but it looks like they got rid of that in the last few weeks. USA Swimming used to defer to the IOC, but I don’t know what they’re doing now that IOC removed its rules. NCAA requires 12 months of test suppression meds. As far as I can tell, after NCAA’s Thomas could even stop the test suppression meds and go on to Worlds, Olympics, etc. Also unclear whether the NCAA even checks whether the athletes are actually taking the… Read more »

matt
1 month ago

lia thomas should not compete.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  matt
1 month ago

She has the right to compete as much as you do, tiger. If transgender people can serve in the military and defend your right to breathe air in freedom (which they can) — and doubt you’ve served, lower case matt — they sure should be able to swim in the Akron Zippy or whatever this is, FFS.

Tabitha
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Because Lia is not a female- We don’t divide our military into Male/Female categories-your argument of “if transgender serve in the military” is apples to oranges. By your position then there is only 1 category for sports.

Coach
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

This a completely ridiculous comparison. The NCAA has all kinds of requirements to compete that are different than the military. By all means, make your case, but do it better. Way better.

HJones
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Does she really have as much of a right to compete with female athletes, though? Science says no.

IMO
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

She had the benefit of testosterone for 20 years. She is taller, with more muscle mass, wider shoulders, and larger hands and feet than she would have had she not been born male. I do not know what the answer is, maybe another gender category for trans females, but it is in no way fair for her to compete against women born female.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

I agree with you in that she has the right to compete as a woman as much as I do.
I really wonder how many female swimmer’s careers the NCAA will allow to be disrupted in the name of preserving one person’s sense of self esteem.

Jimbob
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

There’s a female swimmer at Penn who would be one of the greatest distance swimmers in Ivy history and would have the Penn (Sheer) pool record and team record in a few events… But she finishes 15+ seconds behind Thomas in the 500.

So that’s one example right there.

Diane Kaiser
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Just not in the category meant for biological women.

Last edited 1 month ago by Diane Kaiser
Swimmer Steve
Reply to  matt
1 month ago

I think she should be able to compete at Meets like this, but Ivys and NCAAs not until they figure out a better or any system for transitioning athletes.

Tabitha
1 month ago

As well as another shattered record by Lia Thomas….Not sure how the NCAA can condone this? NCAAs will be interesting

Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Pretty zippy that Fallon guy.

Aflyer
1 month ago

Matthew Fallon just swam a 1:50.53 2Breast.

Jimbob
Reply to  Aflyer
1 month ago

This is a good example of what’s going to happen this year. Penn has several great swimmers. They’re going to make a lot of noise at Ivy’s. But it’s going to be impossible to just ignore Thomas beating very good female swimmers by 7 seconds in the 200, 30 seconds in the 500, and dropping the pool records everywhere by significant margins.

college swimmer
Reply to  Jimbob
1 month ago

.

Last edited 1 month ago by college swimmer
Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

Matt Fallon is a force to be reckoned with

Saying the truth
1 month ago

As a female athlete, it is so unfair to see Lia Thomas compete and potentially break ncaa records (she probably will) in multiple events. Biological males are stronger and faster than women. It’s not a level playing field.

Tide
1 month ago

Fallon with a 1:50.5 200 breast in prelims this morning

Jimbob
Reply to  Tide
1 month ago

Insane to do that time as a freshman in December, good for him! Seeing the Minn invite times yesterday must’ve been motivation for him.