Penn’s Lia Thomas Breaks 200/500 Free Records in Meet with Princeton, Cornell

Penn University vs. Cornell University vs. Princeton University Tri-Meet

  • November 20, 2021
  • Sheerr Pool, Philadelphia, PA
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Full Results (PDF)
  • Team Scores
    • Princeton 162-Penn 138
    • Penn 208.50-Cornell 91.50
    • Princeton 221-Cornell 78

Penn’s Lia Thomas blasted the number one 200 free time and the second-fastest 500 free time in the nation on Saturday, breaking Penn program records in both events. She swept the 100-200-500 free individual events and contributed to the first-place 400 free relay in a tri-meet against Princeton and Cornell in her home pool. Penn split for the day, beating Cornell 219 to 81 but losing to Princeton, 106 to 194.

Thomas began the day with a 1:43.47 (24.6/26.2/26.4/26.1) to win the 200 free. Only half a second off the NCAA A cut, it is the second-fastest women’s 200 free time in the nation so far this season, and it would have scored in the A final at 2021 NCAA Championships. She came to the wall 6.1 seconds ahead of her teammate, Bridget O’Leary (1:49.56). Next, Thomas clocked a 49.42 to win the 100 free with the only sub-50. She then went 4:35.06 to win the 500 free by 12.9 seconds, with Penn’s Anna Sofia Kalandadze finishing second in 4:47.93. Defending Ivy champ Ellie Marquardt of Princeton was third (4:48.64). Thomas wrapped up the day anchoring Penn’s 400 free relay with 49.01; the Quakers won by 2.4 seconds over Princeton with 3:22.70.

Kalandadze and teammate Grace Giddings went 1-2 in the 1000 free with 9:48.15 and 9:58.45. The Quakers also swept the top two slots in the 100 breast with Hannah Liu (1:02.37) and Isabella Pytel (1:02.87).

Penn women broke pool records in the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free, 100 breast, and 400 free.

Thomas broke the Ivy records in the 200 free (previously 1:45.15, set by Harvard’s Samantha Shelton in 2019) and 500 free (previously 4:36.37, set by Princeton’s Marquardt in 2020).

Princeton went 1-2 in the 100 back with Margaux McDonald (55.10) edging teammate Alexa Pappas (55.79). In the 200 back, Nikki Venema (1:59.64) beat Tiger teammate Liza Whitmire (2:00.42) by eight-tenths. Pappas and teammate Jess Yeager were 1-2 in the 100 fly with 54.81 and 54.85. And Venema beat teammate Amelia Liu in the 50 free, 23.09 to 23.51.

Other Princeton wins went to Yeager in the 200 fly (1:58.95); Venema in the 200 IM (2:01.62), McDonald in the 200 breast (2:16.52), Maddie Seltzer in 1m diving, and Julia Fidanza on the 3m board. Princeton also won the 200 medley relay.

Cornell went 1-2 against Penn in the 50 free with Priscilla Wongso (23.69) and Melissa Parker (23.74). Also, in diving, the Big Red finished 1st and 2nd ahead of Penn (and were 2nd and 4th against Princeton) on both boards with Elise Jendritz and Demetra Williams.

Princeton swimmers set Sheerr Pool records in the 200 medley relay, 200 back, 200 IM, and 200 fly.

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1 year ago


Last edited 1 year ago by K C
1 year ago

Why can’t there be separate record and swims for transgender swimmers. How is this not doping?

Eli Family
1 year ago

This issue transcends college swimming. The NCAA has tried to define who is a woman, and who can compete as a woman, and has come up short. This is a clear Title IX violation as it discriminates against the vast majority of female competitors. It will be litigated as such. In the meantime, I think Lia Thomas should look within and ask herself the question, is this really fair?

1 year ago

What did female athletes do to earn the contempt of Penn, the Ivy League, and the NCAA?

1 year ago

is there video of this meet anywhere?

1 year ago

Unfair. Period. or is that, no period. Wake up girls. Walking out on future ‘competitions’ will help return the level playing field. Bring new meaning to the term ‘boycott’.

Big mac #1
Reply to  Dan
1 year ago

Firstly, boycotting a meet just because you are competing against a transgender person has a high probability of being perceived as transphobic and secondly, lia is probably gonna have to go through the rest of her life on an uneven playing field, transgender women are demonized unfairly for something that is not a choice just like race and sexuality

Former D1 Ace
1 year ago

So the athlete in question went from 3 years of being a good male swimmer (second team Ivy League) to 1 year of being a NCAA leading swimmer and the NCAA thinks their process is fair?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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