PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers strive for their third straight top-four finish at the Ivy League Championships when they travel up to Princeton for the second consecutive year. Swimming begins on Thursday and runs through Saturday evening.
Following the Action
Penn fans can follow the action through the league's Championship central, which features a live blog, live updated results and meet record book (click here). A webstream of all the events is also available here.
Last Time Out
The entire team was last in the water to face La Salle on February 1. Against the Explorers, the Red and Blue swam to a 163-131 victory. Penn won nine events and had multiple second-place finishes as three different swimmers had multiple victories. Freshman Julia Anderson took the top spot in the 1000-yard free, in 10:19.00, and finished first in the 500 as well with a time of 5:09.22. Classmate Shelby Fortin won a pair of shorter freestyle events, touching first in the 200-yard freestyle, in 1:53.37, and also the 50 with a time of 24.74. Sophomore Melissa Parratto was the third Quaker to win multiple events, swimming to first in the 200 and 100-yard butterfly and finishing in 2:06.06 and 59.57.
Sizing up the Competition
The Quakers are 3-4 versus their Ancient Eight competition this year, with victories over Cornell, Columbia and Yale. Penn beat Cornell 156-144 in November, Columbia 165.5-135.5 in December and then took down Yale179-211 in January. Additionally, two of the Quakers' Ivy losses were tight decisions against Brown (165.5-135.5) and Dartmouth (164-136), where a few events made the difference. The Red and Blue also suffered defeats to Princeton (171.5-120.5) and Harvard (195-105). The Tigers finished the regular season with a perfect 7-0 Ivy mark while the Crimson were right behind them with 6-1 record versus league opponents.
Freshmen have been Penn's top swimmers in freestyle events and that trend will likely continue into the Ivy Championships. Shelby Fortin has the Quakers' fastest times in the 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,650-yard freestyle events thus far this season and has already one of the leagues five fastest times in both the 200, the 500 and the 1,650. In the 1,000-yard free, first-years Kristi Edleson and Julia Anderson also have a chance for a top-eight finish.
Fortin also is expected to compete in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events In addition, classmate Katherine Ashenfelter has consistently been one of the Quakers' top finishers in both events, including a fourth-place finish in the 200 at the Kenyon Invitational.
Sophomore Melissa Parratto has already recorded the two fastest 200-yard butterfly times in school history this year and will look to continue that in the championships. Parratto sent the record of 2:02.59 in the Kenyon Invitational earlier this season. Senior Naomi Delphin will also look to score some points in both fly events as she has been Penn's second fastest swimmer in both events and held the 200 record before Parratto.
Junior Laura Klick had a top-eight finish in the 200-yard breaststroke last season and will also look into break into the final eight in the 100, as she has consistently been the Red and Blue's top breaststroker. Senior Kelby Zimmerman also could reach the top-eight having done so in the past. Klick will also be expected to swim in both IM events after finishing sixth in the 200 last year.