PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's swimming team will face off with the rest of the Ancient Eight this week at the Ivy League Championships. The three-day event will begin Thursday morning and run through Saturday night at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool. Preliminary swims will get going at 11 a.m. each day, with the finals set for 6 p.m. each evening.
The Quakers went 2-5 in Ivy League dual meets this season, tying with Brown while finishing ahead of both Cornell and Dartmouth. However, the dual meet format is far different than what the eight teams will face at the Championships. Junior Shelby Fortin has excelled at this end-of-year meet in her first two seasons wearing the Red and Blue. She already has five Ivy League titles to her name, winning and repeating in both the 200 and 500 Freestyles the last two seasons, while adding one more in the 1000 Freestyle as a freshman. Last season, she placed second in the 1650 Freestyle despite swimming it for the first time all season. The other Ivy League champion on the roster is Kristi Edleson, who won the 1650 Freestyle in her freshman season in 2011.
There is no doubt that Fortin will play a major role for the team again this year. She enters the event already with Top 10 times in the league this season in five freestyle events as well as the 200 Backstroke. Her 50.39 in the 100 Freestyle at the Total Performance Invitational in December is a school record. Another school record set this year came from freshman Lauren Church, who swam a 55.14 in the 100 Backstroke at the same event. Finally, the 400 Freestyle Relay team of Fortin, Emily Baturka, Emma Siewert and Christina Hurley cobbled together a time of 3:24.61, breaking yet another program mark.
Penn will look to improve on a sixth-place finish from a year ago when they ended the Championships with 767 points, ahead of Brown (688.5) and Cornell (630.5), but behind Dartmouth (846.5) for fifth place by nearly one hundred points. Harvard was last year's team champion with 1,478.5 points.
The Championships are comprised of 22 events over three days, consisting of five relay races, 14 individual swims and three diving events - the 3-meter competition is divided into two nights based on qualifying.
Those interested in attending the Championships will be able to buy tickets at the door. All-session passes are $30, while single-session tickets for adults are $4 (preliminaries) and $6 (finals). Children and students (with valid ID) can get tickets for $1 (preliminaries) and $3 (finals). Live results will be posted here as they become available and the Ivy League will have video of each night's finalsavailable online.
Full recaps of each night's action will be available on PennAthletics.com.