Women's Swimming Heads To Ivy Championships

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's swimming team travels to Harvard this week, as the team takes part in the Ivy League Championships held Thursday through Saturday.

The Quakers finished with a 3-4 record in the Ivy League this season, with victories over Dartmouth, Brown and Cornell. To match its fourth place finish from a season ago, however, Penn will have to beat a Columbia squad which beat the Red and Blue 173-127 earlier this year.

This season the Quakers have had a variety of swimmers step up in different meets. One area which could garner Penn some points is diving, where the Quakers' Melissa Gardel has three first place finishes in the 1-meter and four first place finishes in the 3-meter. In a home meet against West Chester, the senior also broke a 20-year-old school record in the 1-meter diving event with a score of 316.65.

Fellow classmates, Andrea Balint, Lauren Brandes and Ainsley Cookingham could also make an impact. Balint's specialty this year has been the 200 I.M., an event she has won or come in second, in each of the last three meets in which she has swam the event. Brandes has racked up multiple firsts and seconds in the 50 and 100 free, while Cookingham had three top eight finishes in last year's Ivy Championships. She took third in the 200 back, sixth in the 100 fly and eighth in the 100 back.

Sophomore Laura Klick will also look to repeat her performance from a season ago, when she took fourth in both the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke. Junior Kelby Zimmerman finished behind her in fifth in both events.

To get access the official meet site with live updates and a schedule of events, click here.

Cambridge won't be the only place the women's team swims this weekend, as the portion of the Quakers will travel to the ECAC Championships in Pittsburgh. The ECAC's run from Friday through Sunday, so only those not swimming in the Ivy Championships will be able to attend, however head coach Michael Schnur does anticipate that Penn could win a few events while in Pittsburgh.