This weekend, a number of winter sports teams wrap up their seasons with Ivy League championships. While women’s swimming and men’s squash finished up last week, their opposite-gender counterparts along with gymnastics and indoor track & field all compete this weekend for postseason glory.
Without further ado, here are some of our bold predictions for what could happen this “Championship Weekend”:
Will Snow, Senior Sports Editor:
Reeham Salah will finish her women’s squash season for Penn without dropping a single set in team competition.
That’s right — up until now, the sophomore sensation has not just won every match she’s played in for Penn, but every single set, too. She even swept her arch-rival, Harvard’s No. 1, Sabrina Sobhy, when the sport’s top two programs met earlier this year. The Crimson pulled away with a 7-2 victory on the day, but Salah beat Sobhy 3-0 in convincing fashion.
And her dominance this season will only continue. The No. 1 woman in collegiate squash will finish team competition on Sunday having swept every single opponent that has dared to come before her. “The Hammer” will come down again with extreme prejudice, knocking to the side anything in her pursuit of a perfect season.
Cole Jacobson, Sports Editor:
Led by the historic dominance of Salah, Penn women’s squash certainly is capable of making snagging its first national championship since 2000, but there’s another Red and Blue program with a strong chance to bust into the record books this weekend.
Operating quietly behind the scenes, both Penn men’s and women’s track and field have been crushing indoor season. Despite losing superstars Sam Mattis and Thomas Awad, the men have arguably gotten better behind distance runner Chris Hatler — who just broke four minutes in the mile — and thrower Noah Kennedy-White. On the women’s side, we’ve seen Maura Kimmel already break the school’s shot put record as a freshman, with additional records coming from sprinter Taylor McCorkle, pole vaulter Molly Minnig and thrower Rachel Wilson.
History hasn’t been too kind to either squad, with the men’s most recent Indoor Heps title coming in 1997 and the women’s a year prior. But considering these epic recent performances, don’t be surprised if at least one of these squads finally breaks the barrier.
Jonathan Pollack, Sports Editor:
Penn gymnastics is going to take home its first Ivy title since 2015.
The Quakers have everything they need to win the championship this weekend. They have a perfect mix of front end talent and depth that will consistently earn individual scores in the mid to high 9’s. They have newborn star and sophomore captain Caroline Moore, who has put the team on her back more than once this year. They topped 193 points, which is usually right around where the Ivy champ finishes, for the third time this season last weekend.
But most importantly, they’ve already proven they can handle their Ivy opponents, with a 2.450-point margin over Cornell and an exhilarating comeback win against Yale. They’ve got what it takes, all they need to do is to perform to their potential.
Tommy Rothman, Sports Editor:
Penn men’s swimming will need a miracle to win the Ivy championship over Harvard, but a second-place finish would be impressive and is certainly a possibility. However, a disappointing slip to third or fourth could also happen, as Columbia and Yale have very solid squads. The IM group should be quite good, and the team could get some individual championships--- possibly out of Mark Andrew or Thomas Dillinger. This team is as deep as ever, but doesn’t have the star power it did last year. And while the suspension of Princeton’s team clears up the field a bit, this is a sport in which the Quakers are gunning for silver.