CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Over the past two seasons the University of Pennsylvania women’s swimming and diving team has certainly established itself in the Ivy League. With a fifth place finish and the programs best finish at the Ivy Championships last season, the Quakers rewrote the programs history books yet again.
The Red and Blue finished up the championships in fourth place with 947 points, both school records. It topped last year’s performance by 10.5 points and one spot better in the standings.
The first event of the final round was the 1650-yard freestyle. Penn had four swimmers in the first heat and were led by Margot Newcomer’s (17:05.33) fourth place finish. Freshman Theresa Altieri (17:10.98) placed seventh. Cammeron Villarreal, who had a strong weekend, finished 14th at 17:24.69. Lindsey Gottschalk (17:31.38) finished 18th.
Penn had a very strong showing in the 200-yard backstroke. Tara Gillies (2:04.78) took the top spot in the B-Final. Erica Gentilucci (2:06.82) finished two spots behind Gillies, and Sarah Bargmann (2:07.63) was 11th. Sarah Jeffers (2:09.52) competed in the C-Final and finished 23rd.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Jessica Aiello (53.01) and Stephanie Colson (53.20) finished 13th and 16th respectively. Amy Ottensmeyer (52.83) and Lauren Bergstrom (53.43) also competed for the Quakers.
Meghan Carlin (2:23.56) placed eighth in the A-Final of the 200-yard breaststroke. Gottschalk (2:24.94) finished 13th in the B-Final and Laine Litman (2:28.77) was 19th in the C-Final.
Alison Bretherick was Penn’s top finisher in the 200-yard butterfly, clocking at 2:06.61 in the A-Final. Lauren D'Erasmo (2:08.49) and Jeffers (2:10.43) placed 14th and 16th respectively. All three helped Penn maintain an 11.5 led on Columbia, but it would not last for long.
In the 3-meter diving, the Lions outscored Penn 24-7 to take a 904.5-899 advantage. The 400-yard freestyle relay was the final event of the evening. Columbia finished in first place, picking up 64 points to clinch third place over the Red and Blue. Ottensmeyer, Gillies, Colson and Aiello finished in sixth place at 3:29.45.
Notes: Columbia finished with 968.5 points. This marks the first time Penn has beaten Brown and Yale in the Ivy Championships. On Thursday, Gillies set the school record in the 200-yard IM. The Quakers 800-yard freestyle relay team set the school record on Friday.