Women's Swimming Prepared to Sink the Competition in 2003-04.

All-Ivy selections Kathleen Holthaus and Katie Stores lead the Quakers in their quest for Ivy League glory.

Aug. 22, 2003

The 2003-04 team may be the most talented squad in Penn women's swimming history. The Quakers return 13 school-record holders, two All-Ivy selections, nine individual Ivy finalists and one Ivy champion. In addition to the returning upperclassmen, the Red and Blue are adding a tremendous group of newcomers, a class that includes eight swimmers and three divers. With this group of student-athletes, Penn swimming has the potential to compete for an Ivy title this season.

Freestyle

Leading the team every day in practice will be a superb group of distance swimmers, anchored by senior co-captain Kathleen Holthaus. Holthaus is a two-time second-team All-Ivy selection and has finished in the top five at the league championships in each of the past two seasons in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyles. She is a U.S. Senior National qualifier and finished the 2002-03 season ranked 30th in the country in the 1000 free. The distance group will also feature juniors Maureen Schriver and Julia Russack, and sophomores Lauren Weinstein and Kristen Kelly, all of whom are Ivy consolation finalist, as well as senior Ashley Kemezys. Cammie Villarreal, a four-time Connecticut state finalist and YMCA national finalist, is the lone freshman in this group, and will be looked upon to contribute heavily in these events. In the sprint and middle distance events, Penn looks to continue its tradition of excellence. Junior 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 a six-time Ivy finalist in her first two years. Joining Stores in the sprint events will be U.S. Senior National qualifier Laura Hotaling, the Penn record holder in the 50 free (23.5), and senior Nicole Wake, who finished sixth in the 200 free (1:53.0) at the 2003 Ivy Championships. Hotaling won the 50 free in six dual meets last season as a freshman and won both the 50 and 100 freestyle in the dual meet against Dartmouth and Yale. This group will be bolstered by two talented freshmen Jessica Aiello and Stephanie Colson. Both will be heavily relied upon throughout the dual and championship seasons, as they boast best times that make them solid Ivy contenders in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events.

Breaststroke

The Penn breaststroke group will again challenge for league supremacy. Senior Ivy League finalists Jennifer Block, Ashley Rader and Anne Tudryn are the three fastest breaststrokers in Penn history and combined to win virtually every 100 and 200 breaststroke event in dual meet competition last season. Sophomore Sara Jaggi, junior Katie Coxe and freshman Laine Litman will give Penn tremendous depth in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.

Backstroke

The backstroke events will be carried by an outstanding group of athletes. Leading the way will be school-record holders senior Megan Daney and junior Katie Frazee. Daney established a new Penn mark in the 200 backstroke last year while going undefeated in that event during the dual meet season. She combined for 12 wins last season in her multiple events and was a two-event winner four times. Frazee, the 100 backstroke record holder, will look to contribute in both events again this year. Senior Edyta Szczepankowska will concentrate on the 100 back, while the 200 back will be handled by sophomore Ivy consolation finalist Erica Gentilucci. The future of the Penn backstroke group is in the very capable hands of incoming freshmen Margot Newcomer and Hayley Wolfgruber, both of whom should contribute immediately.

Butterfly

The butterfly events will again be a huge strength for the Quakers. Leading the way will be school-record holder and co-captain Rachel Zappalorti. A three-year Ivy scorer in the 200 fly, Zappalorti will look to continue her improvement from last season and contend for an Ivy title this year. Juniors Alexis Underwood and Erin Tompkins, sophomores So Young Kim, Robyn Harm and Weinstein along with incoming freshmen Sarah Jeffers and Alison Bretherick will all contribute heavily the fly events.

Individual Medley

The 200 and 400 individual medleys will also be strong events for the Quakers. Leading the way will be 200 IM school-record holder and Ivy consolation finalist Gentilucci. Joining her in the individual medley events will be Tudryn and Daney, junior Maureen Schriver and freshmen Bretherick and Jeffers.

Diving

The diving events will be handled by junior Chloe Bryson-Cahn and sophomore Kelly Tek. The veteran duo will be joined by freshmen Beth Ambrosetti, Janis Scanlon, and Kate McArdle. The duo of Tek and Bryson-Cahn finished one-two in the dual meet against La Salle in both the one-meter and three-meter springboard events last year. Although this group is young, they are talented and dedicated and will continue to improve throughout the season.

Overall

With a tremendous group of returning swimmers and divers, and with the addition of one of the top freshmen classes in the Ivy League, the possibilities for the 2003-04 Penn women's swimming team are limitless.

Written by Heather Palmer