It’s the Quakers’ last chance to face their Ivy opponents.
This weekend, the women’s swimming team (3-3, 2-3 Ivy) heads to Providence, R.I., for its last conference meet against Harvard (4-0, 3-0) and Brown (4-1, 1-1). It will be the last Ivy test before league championships at the end of February.
More importantly, it’s one of the last opportunities for the swimmers to earn a spot on the Ivy championship team.
“We have probably four or five spots still open on the team,” coach Mike Schnur said. “We want to see how people are training and how they compete this weekend and again in two weeks against West Chester and La Salle.”
The championship team is sure to feature junior Shelby Fortin, who holds several records at Sheerr Pool and elsewhere, including five records at the Kenyon College Total Performance Invitational this season alone.
“Shelby’s been terrific from day one,” Schnur said. “We’ve had a lot of other women who are trying to follow her lead.”
And the rest of the girls have certainly stepped up.
Last weekend, Penn topped Dartmouth, 167.5-131.5. According to Schnur, the Quakers “beat them pretty easily this year, and that was a nice change,” since they avenged a loss from last year.
“We have a lot of good swimmers,” Schnur said. “I think our women’s team has a lot of depth and a lot of quality.”
Among those swimmers is Lauren Church. The freshman finished second in the 100 Backstroke at 56.86, which would have been good enough to set the pool record had it not been for one of the best short-distance backstrokers in the league, Yale’s Alex Forrester.
Church, along with the rest of the 200 Medley Relay ‘A’ team of freshmen Catherine Yee and Emily Baturka and sophomore Lauren Sneed, has aided a powerhouse relay team all season, finishing second at the last three meets.
Against the Big Green and the Elis, Sneed also came in a close second to Forrester in the 100 Butterfly with a time of 57.79.
But with a only a few positions locked up, according to Schnur, there are still many spots up for grabs.
“It’ll be fun to see who really steps up for the Ivy meet,” he said.
The Quakers are also looking forward to swimming in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, Brown’s brand new pool that just opened just in May.
“The Ivy championships will be up there a year from now, so it’s good to get up there and get in the pool,” Schnur said.
The team will go on to face West Chester and La Salle in back-to-back dual meets next weekend in preparation for the Ivy League Championships held at the end of February.