PHILADELPHIA - Following a three-day stretch at the Total Performance Invitational in which the team established five new school records, the women's swimming team returns to the pool one last time in 2012, taking on Columbia in a dual meet at Sheerr Pool on Friday at 4 p.m.
It was a weekend of great performances from the team, which won 13 of 18 swimming events (Penn didn't send any representatives for the two diving events) at Kenyon. Shelby Fortin alone set three individual school records, cutting one one-hundredth of a second off a record she already owned in the 1650 Freestyle. She later established school records in the 100 Freestyle and 200 Backstroke, casting aside previous records established in 2003 and 2008, respectively.
A group of underclassmen were heavily involved in the other two Penn school records. Freshman Lauren Church set a new mark in the 100 Backstroke, finishing in 55.14 to clip the previous time of 55.21. Later, the 400 Freestyle Relay 'A' team of Fortin, Emily Baturka, Emma Siewert and Christina Hurley eclipsed the school record, hitting the wall in 3:24.61. It's the first appearance in the Penn record book for Baturka and Siewert, both freshmen, and the only the second for Hurley, a sophomore who also appears as part of the 200 Medley Relay team from last season.
Columbia enters the weekend at 0-2 in dual meets, with losses to Yale and Harvard. The team split up last weekend, with select members of the squad going to the U.S. Winter Nationals in Austin, Texas or the ECAC Warm-Up Championships, while the diving team traveled to Brown for the Brown Invitational. The Lions are led by senior Katie Meili, who won five Ivy League titles in 2012 and was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Ivy League Championships.
Penn will be off the remainder of the month of December after Friday's meet. The team will re-convene inJanuary with a training program in Florida before coming back to compete in the final home meet of the season, taking on Dartmouth and Yale in an Ivy League tri-meet on Jan. 12. Competition will get underway at 10 a.m. from Sheerr Pool that day.