Left off the podium again

In familiar turn of events, Penn finishes fourth at Ivy Championships

· March 1, 2010, 5:14 am   ·  Updated March 1, 2010, 12:00 am

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Penn junior Naomi Delphin was part of the 800-yard freestyle relay team that brought the Quakers their highest relay finish during Ivy Championships. Delphin also finished second in the consolation final of the 200-yard fly.


With two championship meets over four days and 600 miles of traveling behind them, the Penn swimming team had quite a busy weekend.

But even with such a chaotic slate, the Quakers managed to finish in the top half of the field in both the Ivy League and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships.

The women’s top 17 swimmers captured fourth place at Ivy League Championships at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool in Boston. The remaining swimmers placed ninth at the ECAC meet held at the University of Pittsburgh, while the men’s ECAC team finished tenth.

Though the Quakers had their sights set on third for Ivies, head coach Mike Schnur was pleased with the team’s overall performance. Penn (5-4, 3-4 Ivy) finished with 904.5 points, behind Yale, Harvard, and champion Princeton.

“I think sometimes people take for granted beating certain teams in our league,” Schnur said. “[But] we have to give everything we have to [stay in] fourth.”

Sophomore Laura Klick broke the school record in the 200-yard individual medley on Thursday with a time of 2:02.78, which brought her a sixth-place finish. Senior Andrea Balint, who held the previous record of 2:03.00, finished fifteenth in the race.

And Klick wasn’t the only one to rewrite the record book.

Freshman Melissa Paratto broke junior Carey Stauder’s 400 individual medley record Friday morning in the preliminary session with a time of 4:24.46.

But that evening, Stauder finished fifth, one place ahead of Paratto and three spots ahead of freshman Blair Webb, who finished eighth.

Senior Melissa Gardel earned the Quakers’ highest individual finish, taking second in three-meter diving.

“We had a girl win [the three-meter event] in 1992, and other than that, Melissa’s was the best finish ever.” Schnur said.

The highest relay finish for the Quakers came from juniors Naomi Delphin and Sarah Ernst, and seniors Stephanie Nerby and Andrea Balint. They finished fourth in the 800 freestyle relay.

In spite of a low seventh-place finish in the 400 medley relay, the time that seniors Amy Cookingham and Lauren Brandes, and sophomores Klick and Jenny Claydon posted was less than a second away from the school record.

Klick, the team’s top point-scorer, also turned in seventh- and ninth-place finishes in the 200 and 100 breaststrokes, respectively.

Almost nine hours away in Pittsburgh, both men’s and women’s teams competed at the ECAC Championships.

Freshman Daniel Gutnayer earned sixth place in the 400 I.M. and sophomore Andrew Kaminski placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke.

On the women’s side, junior Terren Niethammer placed seventh in both diving events.

In the racing pool, sophomores Casey Barnes-Waychus, Amanda Ackerman, and freshman Tatiana McLauchlan scored fourth, sixth, and seventh, respectively, in the 1650 free.

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