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Jessica Anders and the Penn women's swimming team are on the rise. (Jacques-Jean Tiziou/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

The Penn women's swimming team was ready to show off its skill this past weekend. After six solid weeks of training, the Quakers were more than ready to face some real opposition. Rigorous workouts, determination and enthusiasm have the team expecting its best season in years. The Quakers, excited to show the Ivy League their vast improvement from last year, drove to Ithaca, N.Y., with high hopes. The results were even better than the Quakers had thought they would be. The Red and Blue stormed past Cornell, winning by a wide margin of 70 points. They also put up a formidable resistance to Princeton, losing to the defending Ivy League champions by only 31 points. "This meet turned out even better than I expected," Penn coach Mike Schnur said. "We just swam really well." Last year, Penn squeezed out a narrow eight-point victory over Cornell by winning the final relay. This past weekend, the Quakers dominated the meet, creating a large margin of victory well before the last races. "This year, we came in with confidence, knowing we could beat them. But there is always that doubt in the back of your mind," junior Devin McGlynn said. "It was a really good feeling to win without a doubt." The improved result says something about the new Penn squad. The Quakers, comprised of many noteworthy veterans and a stellar freshman class, are out to prove that they are a changed team. "I think this is a really good indicator of how far we've come since last year," Penn tri-captain April Fletcher said. "We were really expecting to go in there and beat them by a lot. We did exactly what we wanted to do." The Quakers began the meet confidently, taking first and second in the medley relay. Penn not only beat Cornell's team, they also drastically bettered their times from last season. "Our B-team, which is our second best relay, went faster than our A relay from last year," Schnur said. "And our A-team this year went even faster." The relays were indicative of the rest of the meet. Success followed for the Penn women's swimmers individually, too. The Quakers exceeded their expectations in many events. Tri-captain Cathy Holland performed well for the Quakers, winning the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.90. She also placed third in the 200 breaststroke. "Everyone in general had really good swims," Schnur said. "They swam great times, raced really hard and did what they had to do." Deemed the quickest recruiting class in the history of Penn swimming, the freshman squad had a lot to prove in the pool. Linda Fescoe, Rachel Zappalorti and Kathleen Holthaus shed their first-meet jitters and swam well. Holthaus won the 500 freestyle and place third in the 1,000 freestyle. Zappalorti dominated the butterfly events, placing first in both the 100 and 200-yard distances. Fescoe won the 50 sprint freestyle with a time of 24.26, and finished second behind teammate Jessica Anders in the 100 free. Penn junior Adriana Pentz stole back any momentum Cornell hoped to gain when she beat all Cornell swimmers in the 100 backstroke. Her freshman teammates Edyta Szczepankowska and Carly Wilson followed right behind. These Quakers already seem far removed from the ones who only last year snapped a 42-meet Ivy League losing streak.

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