The 2004-05 Penn women’s swimming and diving team looks to be an extremely talented, dedicated squad. The Quakers return six school record holders, seven individual Ivy finalists and one Ivy champion to the pool to begin the new campaign. In addition to the returning upperclassmen, the Red and Blue are also adding a tremendous group of eight newcomers; a class that includes numerous senior and junior national qualifiers. With this group of women, Penn swimming has the potential to compete for an Ivy title this season.
“With the drive of our upperclassmen and the energy of our freshman, Penn women’s swimming is hungry for continued success,” disclosed Schnur.
Leading the team every day in practice will be a superb group of distance swimmers, anchored by sophomore two-event Ivy finalist Cammie Villarreal (4:55, 10:11) and six-time Ivy consolation finalist Maureen Schriver (10:16, 17:07). These two women have a superb work ethic and will set the tone in practice everyday. The distance group will also look towards freshman Erica Stutius (1:55, 5:01) and Katherine Donahue (5:04, 10:18) to contribute heavily in these events.
The Penn breaststroke group will challenge for league supremacy, despite being almost entirely made up of freshmen. Newcomers Megan Carlin (1:03, 2:20) and Stephanie Yoshimura (1:05, 2:19) are the two fastest high school breaststrokers the Quakers have ever recruited, and will team with freshman Sydney Sher (1:07, 2:23) and sophomore Laine Litman (1:06, 2:26) to give the Quakers an imposing breaststroke group this season.
In the sprint and middle distance events, Penn will look to continue its tradition of excellence. Senior Katie Stores, the 2002 Ivy champion in the 200 freestyle, will lead an amazing group of sprint freestylers. Stores is the Penn record holder in the 100 (50.7) and 200 (1:49.9) freestyles, and is an eight-time Ivy finalist in her three years at Penn. Joining Stores in the sprint events will be sophomore Stephanie Colson, the Penn record holder in the 50 free (23.5), junior Laura Hotaling (23.5), sophomore Jessica Aiello (23.4 split, 51.6 split) and senior Melissa Miller (24.1 split). Bolstering an already deep and talented sprint group will be two freshmen from Illinois Amy Ottensmeyer and Michelle Cohen, who both boast personal-best times that make them solid Ivy contenders in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events.
“Our sprinters are talented,” Schnur said, “but the keys to their success are their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm.”
The backstroke events will be carried by an outstanding group of student-athletes. Leading the way will be school record holder Colson, who established herself as one of the top sprint backstrokers in the Ivy League last season with 26.5 and 57.0 backstroke times. Joining Colson in the 100 back is former Penn record holder Katie Frazee (57.5). The 200 back will be handled by sophomore Ivy consolation finalists Sarah Jeffers and Margot Newcomer, as well as sophomore ECAC finalist Hayley Wolfgruber. While it will be tough to break into the returning backstroke team, the future of the Penn backstroke group is in the very capable hands of incoming freshman Sarah Bargmann, who has achieved best times of 57 and 2:05.
The butterfly events will again be a huge strength for the Quakers. Leading the way will be sophomore Ivy consolation finalists Alison Bretherick (2:05) and Sarah Jeffers (2:06). Seniors Erin Tompkins (2:05), Katie Coxe (2:07) and Alexis Underwood (2:07), along with junior Kristen Kelly (2:07), will also be huge contributors in this event. The sprint butterfly events will be handled by Stores (56.6 split) and sophomore Robyn Harm (58.2).
“The butterfly group,” Schnur relates, “is an invaluable asset, contributing significantly to our dual and championship meet success. We look to the strength of this group to help carry the team.”
The 200 and 400 Individual Medleys will also be strong events for the 2004-05 Penn women. Leading the way will be 200 and 400IM school record holder and Ivy finalist Bretherick (2:07,4:26). Erica Gentilucci (2:07, 4:29), an Ivy finalist in the 400IM this past season, and Newcomer (4:30) will join with Bretherick and Gentilucci to give the Quakers a tremendous 1-2-3 punch.
The diving events will be handled by senior Chloe Bryson-Cahn, junior Kelly Tek, sophomores Beth Ambrosetti, Janis Scanlon and Kate McArdle, and freshman Hannah Fuerstein.
“Although this group is young, they are talented and dedicated, and will continue to improve throughout the season in hopes of recording some points for our team at the Ivy Championships,” Schnur said.
With a tremendous group of returning swimmers and divers, and with the addition of one of the top freshman classes in the Ivy League, the possibilities for the 2004-05 Penn women's swimming team are limitless.