Penn women's swimming coach Mike Schnur expects his team to break 90 percent of its school records this season. The Quakers are confident of this because of their freshman class. Boasting the best times of any recruiting class ever to enter Penn, the freshmen are considered to be the strongest incoming group in the history of Penn swimming. As a result, the team believes it will be able to drastically improve on its 6-6 overall record from last year. "Everyone's really excited about our team this year," junior Jennifer Travaglini said. "We've got a great new class with a lot of talent." The freshmen have a lot to live up to, but have already begun to prove their worth. In two practice meets, they have impressed the old guard. They will get their first real shot tomorrow morning in a tri-meet at Cornell with Princeton. The Quakers snapped a 42-meet Ivy League losing streak last year when they beat the Big Red in their season opener. "The freshmen have swum incredibly well in the past few weeks," captain Cathy Holland said. "They are so well prepared. They know how to swim fast and get the job done." Although this new group of youngsters will undoubtedly improve the team drastically, they cannot do it on their own. Just as important to the Quakers' fortunes are the experienced upperclassmen. "This is a very young team," Schnur said. "When you have basically 90 percent of your team made up of freshmen and sophomores, you still need them to be directed." The freshmen are led by a strong group of seniors and juniors. Tri-captains Holland, Devin McGlynn and April Fletcher are all solid contributors to the Red and Blue. Holland is the varsity record holder in the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. McGlynn holds the varsity record for the 200-freestyle, also contributing in the shorter freestyle events. Fletcher is a notable two-time Ivy consolation finalist and varsity record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke event. "What the freshmen have brought to this team is an incredibly positive attitude and a willingness to work hard," Holland said. "But I know that they look to the upperclassmen for how to act and how to respond to situations." The enthusiasm and excitement that surrounds the Quakers is their most obvious strength. The team is confident about its upcoming season, and very optimistic about future success. By continuing to improve individually and as team, the Quakers are hoping to prove to their opponents that they are no longer a team to be taken lightly. "We are focusing on getting a few more wins and eventually getting up higher on the board at the Ivy championship," senior Patty Walshaw said. "The new freshmen combined with our current great squad is just going to be amazing." The expectations are high for the Penn women's swimming team, both individually and collectively. Each woman has her own personal goals to achieve, as well as those of the team. The Quakers are a well-rounded squad this year, with talented swimmers in every event. In addition, the diving aspect of the team has improved considerably. "Diving was, shall we say, not our strength last year," Schnur said. "This year we have gotten a lot better. That helps the swimmers a lot. Going into a meet we know that we have a chance and we won't lose points to the other team during the diving competition." The Quakers hope for success in tomorrow's meet, and throughout the winter season. "It's a great feeling going into a meet and being able to say, 'We're going to win,'" Holland said. "We're hoping to go in and show our opponents that we are not what they had been expecting."Comments powered by Disqus
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