Even though the basketball season is coming to a close, other winter sports teams still have competition ahead. Here's a look at six impressive athletes who can make a big impact this upcoming weekend in their respective events.
Jordyn Mannino - Gymnastics
Sophomore Jordyn Mannino has made strides in her second season for the Red and Blue. She has set new career highs this season, posting a 9.725 mark in the vault in March. She has also been remarkably consistent for the Quakers this year, and her efforts have been recognized — she was named Eastern College Athletic Conference Specialist of the Week for the first week of February following a 9.675 score on the bars and a 9.800 floor score at a dual meet at Yale. She was also named ECAC Coaches Choice Award winner on Jan. 23.
Natalie Yang - Gymnastics
Freshman Natalie Yang has excelled all season long on the beam in her first season with Penn. She has posted a minimum score of 9.700 in all meets this season, including four scores of at least 9.800. Yang earned a career-high 9.875 — the top score of the meet — against Southeast Missouri.
Along with Mannino, she was honored as ECAC Specialist of the Week for the first week of March. Despite being just a freshman, Yang has emerged as one of the Quakers' top performers this season.
Mannino and Yang will certainly be crucial to the Quakers' success at the ECAC Championship in Ithaca, N.Y. this weekend.
Anthony Artalona - Wrestling
Anthony Artalona has quickly become a freshman sensation — and for good reason. He's 26-5 this season and has been competitive against some of the top wrestlers in the nation. He dropped a contested 5-2 match to Duke's Mitch Finesilver and a 7-5 match against Matthew Kolodzik, both of whom are ranked in the top 10 nationwide.
The star freshman posted two 20-point wins this season despite battling injuries. The Florida native has been resilient in matches this year, and that could play to his advantage this weekend in Pittsburgh.
Carmen Ferrante - Wrestling
Artalona has garnered a lot of hype during his freshman season, but freshman Carmen Ferrante has quietly amassed an impressive record of his own. Ferrante, who is ranked No. 18 in the country at 132 pounds by InterMat, had an accomplished high school wrestling career before coming to Penn this year.
Ferrante has compiled a 24-8 record this season, and has the fastest takedown on the team this season — a 1:04 takedown of Notre Dame's Kyle Quinn. He was the runner-up at the Keystone Classic in November and put up a fighting effort in a 9-4 loss to Princeton's Patrick Glory, who is ranked No. 9 in the country. He also leads the Quakers in team points this season with 44.
Artalona and Ferrante will both represent Penn this weekend at the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships. It's the first time in program history that the Quakers' only qualifiers are freshmen.
Sean Wilson - Men's Fencing
Men's fencing has struggled for the most part to fill the big shoes of senior Justin Yoo, who announced his intention to take time off to prepare for the Olympics. Sophomore Sean Wilson, though, has put up impressive numbers as an epée this season. He has posted the fourth-highest winning percentage on the team (.604) behind Yoo, freshman Emon Daroian, and junior Conor Mills.
Wilson has struggled as of late — especially in Ivy League play — dropping his last three matches against Princeton, Yale, and Columbia after starting the year 2-1 against Ivy squads. If Wilson wants a shot at a high NCAA Championships finish this weekend, he will need to get back on track.
Nicole Vaiani - Women's Fencing
Junior Nicole Vaiani dropped only one match in Ivy League play and is just one season removed from finishing ninth last season at the NCAA Championships, where she became an honorable mention All-American. Additionally, she went 13-5 at the Philadelphia Invitational earlier this season. She'll need to keep up those strong performances to be successful this weekend at the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.
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