2003-04 Women's Swimming Season Review

The women’s swim team ended the 2003-04 season with a bang, recording four straight victories. With an overall winning record of 7-5, the ladies proved they could continue their winning streak and bring pride and victory to the Penn swimming program.

Despite a valiant first effort, the Quaker women dropped their home opener to non-conference rival and three time Atlantic 10 Champion-Richmond. Senior Anne Tudryn started the season strong, taking first place in the 200-yard breaststroke, something she would do four times throughout the season. In her first meet as a Quaker, freshman Sarah Jeffers started the ball rolling for the new class, taking first place in the 200-yard butterfly.

Penn split its Ivy League opener with Princeton and Cornell, falling to the Tigers, but dominating the Big Red. It was the freshmen again in this meet, proving they had what it took to bring victory to the Quaker squad. Building on her prior week’s performance was Jeffers, who again took first place in the 200-yard butterfly, while freshman Margot Newcomer took third place in the 400 IM.

With their second win of the season, the Quakers dominated Philadelphia foe, La Salle, 154-94. The Red and Blue went one-two-three in the 200-yard freestyle, as freshman Jessica Aiello finished with a time of 1:56.75, followed by fellow freshman Stephanie Colson and sophomore Erica Gentilucci. The Quakers also took the top-three spots in the 1650 freestyle as senior Kathleen Holthaus led the Red and Blue with a first-place finish. She was joined by junior Maureen Schriver, who finished second and freshman Cameron Villarreal, who captured third. In the 400 IM, Jeffers continued to dominate, as she captured her third-consecutive first-place finish with a time of 4:34.70. Also scoring in the event for the Quakers were seniors Rachel Zappalorti and Anne Tudyrn, who finished second and third, respectively.

In their defeat of the Columbia Lions, 197-103, the Quakers managed to break four Columbia pool records. Colson set a school record in the 50-yard freestyle, by posting a time of 23.55 in the event, breaking the existing record set by Laura Hotaling in 2003 by one-hundredth of a second. In addition to her performance in the 50, Colson swam on both the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay, which set Columbia pool records with times of 1:46.28 and 3:29.3, respectively. Joining Colson on the 200 medley relay were senior Ashley Rader and sophomores Robyn Harm and Hotaling, while Aiello, junior Katie Stores and Hotaling comprised the 400 free relay. The Quakers' fourth pool record of the meet came in the 100 freestyle, where Stores posted a 51.42.

In their first meet of 2004 against Ivy League foe Brown, Holthaus posted two first place finishes. Holthaus’ first victory came in the 1000-yard freestyle where the Quakers went one-two-three. Here she was followed by Villarreal, and Schriver. Holthaus’ other first place finish came in the 500-yard freestyle. Tudryn topped the list once again, as she took first in the 200-yard breaststroke.

With seven first place finishes, the Quakers split the Yale-Dartmouth meet, easily defeating Ivy League rival, Dartmouth 232-68, while losing to Yale, 150-149. Tudryn led the girls with three first place finishes in the 200-yard Medley Relay, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke. Proving to be tough competition for all, there was not one swimming event in which the Quakers didn't record a first or second place finish.

With a big win at home, the Quakers defeated Rider, 134-98. Starting the meet strong, the Red and Blue recorded first and second place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the 1650-yard freestyle, Penn took first and second with Holthaus finishing a full 15 seconds sooner than her closest opponent. In the 200-yard freestyle, the girls continued to show strength as they took the top three places with first going to Villarreal, second place to Newcomer and third to Hotaling. In the 50-yard freestyle, Aiello took first with a time of 25.38. The Quakers then captured the top three spots in the 400-yard IM with Alison Bretherick, Katie Coxe and Gentilucci placing first through third, respectively. The Red and Blue finished the day with Jeffers and Colson taking the top two spots in the 200-yard backstroke, and Gentilucci and Aiello placing first and second in the 500-yard freestyle.

The Quakers captured both first and second place in six of the day’s 14 swimming events, and first in both the one-meter and three-meter dives, as they defeated Navy, 183-116, in their last away meet of the season. The women were unstoppable as they also finished second and third in both the 200-meter medley relay and the 400-meter freestyle relay to begin and end the meet. Schriver touched the wall first in the 800-meter freestyle, with Holthaus finishing a close second. Following their teammates' lead, the Quakers continued to show strength as they took the top three finishes in the 200-meter freestyle. Villarreal took the lead, followed by Aiello and Stores. Freshmen Alison Bretherick and Jeffers went one and two in the 200-meter butterfly as the Quakers continued to make waves. In the 50-yd freestyle, the Quakers again captured the top three spots with Hotaling, Stores and Colson finishing one-two-three respectively. The Midshipmen did not stand a chance as Penn took the top four places in the 100-meter butterfly, led by sophomore Lauren Weinstein. The Quaker women were also able to capture first in both diving events as freshman Janis Scanlon recorded the top score in the one-meter springboard event, and fellow freshman Kate McArdle took first in the three-meter.

In the final farewell for the seniors at Sheerr pool, the women captured eight first place finishes en route to their victory over Army, 138-101. Setting the pace for the Quakers were Villarreal and Newcomer, who each captured two first place finishes. Villarreal took the 1000-yard freestyle and also the 200-yard backstroke. Newcomer placed first in the 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard freestyle.

The Red and Blue had 12 top-ten finishes at the Ivy League Championships, and they finished in sixth place. Holthaus showcased her talents one final time as she recorded three top-eight finishes during the three-day meet. Holthaus took fourth in the 500-yard freestyle event, followed by Villarreal in a close fifth. On the second day of the three-day meet, Holthaus took second place in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:02.53. Villarreal took fifth in this event also, and was followed by Schriver. In the 400-yard IM, it was Bretherick taking the lead for Penn with a sixth place finish. Gentilucci captured eighth in this event. It was again a freshman leading the Quakers in the 100-yard backstroke as Colson was able to take eighth place for the Quakers, while Stores took seventh in the 200-yard freestyle. In the final day of championship competition, three seniors recorded top finishes for the Red and the Blue. Holthaus finished the meet with a sixth place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle, while fellow seniors Tudryn and Block recorded a third and a seventh place finish, respectively, in the 200-yard breaststroke.

The Quakers finished sixth out of 29 teams at the ECAC Vhampionships with a total of 235 points. The women were led by the efforts of their relay teams which managed to finish in the top-ten of every event they swam in, including a fifth-place finish to end the meet. In the 500-yard freestyle, the Quakers had two top finishers. Sophomore Kristen Kelly took third while junior Alexis Underwood was able to take the eighth place spot. Another strong showing came from Weinstein who took eighth in the 100-yard butterfly. Penn ended the weekend strong, taking fifth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay as Melissa Miller, Kristen Kelly, Katie Frazee and Alexis Underwood finished in fifth place with a time of 3:38.47.

For the third straight year, Holthaus earned Academic All-Ivy honors as she ended her collegiate swimming career with a bang. Holthaus is just the 11th Penn female student-athlete to be honored with three academic all-ivy awards. She will graduate from Penn as the school’s all-time leading scorer at the Ivy League swimming championships as she competed in nine finals over the last three seasons. As the seniors showcased their talents for the final times, many underclassmen, including a very strong freshman class, proved they have what it takes to continue to bring victory to this Red and Blue team.

Written by Meghan Goddard C'05