PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's swimming team will face a tough challenge on Saturday, as the Quakers host Yale and Dartmouth in an Ivy League tri-meet at Sheerr Pool. Diving begins at 10 a.m., with swimming to follow starting at 1 p.m. The last home meet of the season, Saturday will serve as Senior Day for the Red and Blue, who are coming off a 10-day training trip to Florida.
There is little doubt that last year's result in this same meet will be on the minds of the Quakers as they get set for action. Penn was dealt two setbacks a year ago in Hanover, N.H., falling by the narrowest of margins to Dartmouth (150-149) and Yale (161-138).
Hoping to help even the score for the Red and Blue this time around are Shelby Fortin and Taylor Sneed - each of whom won at least one event for Penn at this meet last season - and a number of talented freshmen who have put up some of the top times in the Ivy League this season. Lauren Church leads the way for the Quakers in the backstroke with a school record time that ranks fourth in the Ancient Eight this season (55.14). In the distance freestyle events, Sydney Stinner has recorded a 4:52.69 in the 500 Free (6th in the Ivies), while Annie McCotter has posted a 10:09.62 in the 1000 Free (8th in the Ivies).
Despite the talent on Penn's roster, victory is far from a guarantee. Dartmouth comes in with a 2-1 record in dual meets, with a win over Cornell and a loss to Harvard to its credit in the Ivy League. Danielle Kerr is among the top distance freestylers in the league, while freshmen Charlotte Kamai and Emily Holt are making an impact of their own.
Yale has proven to be one of the teams to beat in the Ivy League this season, claiming dual meet wins over Columbia and Cornell, a win at the Boston University Inviational, and a second-place showing at the Brown Invitational. Senior Alex Forrester is a threat to win multiple events at the Ivy League Championships and she will likely clash with Fortin on Saturday in one of the sprint freestyle events. Elsewhere, freshman Eva Fabian has produced the top times in the Ivy League in both the 1000 and 1650 Freestyle.
Saturday is just the first of two Ivy League tri-meets for the Quakers in the month of January. After wrapping up against Yale and Dartmouth, Penn will travel to Brown on Jan. 19 to face the Bears and the Harvard Crimson beginning at 12 p.m.