By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the first home meet of the season, the Nittany Lion men's swimming team topped Villanova by 130 points, 211-81.
The dual meet followed a 16-event format featuring the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Freestyle Relay, 500 and 1,000 Freestyle, 200 Individual Medley, and 100 and 200 of each stroke for the swimming side. Diving included the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. The Nittany Lions dominated by winning all 16 of the events.
Head coach John Hargis was pleased with how the swimmers raced and looks forward to racing even faster next week against IU and UVa.
"As a whole, I thought we raced well today," Hargis said. "I thought we were looking forward a little bit too much and didn't fully embrace the opportunities. We swam through it too much. For
next weekend, we have to find a way to get a lot faster."
Hargis saw standout performances from sophomore Nick Ankosko and junior Sean Grier who helped contribute to Penn State's high score.
"Sean Grier and Nick Ankosko both had really good swims," Hargis said. "Nick was solid all the way through and that was his best racing since he's been here. Grier's backstroke was a really good race and he was a little bit upset about his fly but that goes to details."
Sophomore Nick Ankosko has been leading the distance events in the past two meets and won the 500 and posted a time of 9:16.50 in the 1,000 Freestyle, improving 9.85 seconds from the meet against WVU. Junior Sean Grier was also a standout for the men where he won the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke, setting a new pool record of 48.00. This time currently ranks Grier with the second fastest time in the country on collegeswimming.com.
"The atmosphere today was awesome," Grier said. "I love when people get into it and that makes it easier to get up and swim fast. I'm looking forward to racing Big Ten competition and to go against the top ACC team next weekend to see where we are at and where they are at and this will give us good perspective leading into mid-season."
When the freshmen enter college, the number of events they swim in one-day changes, there's shorter amount of time in between events, and there are numerous resources available to help the athlete's body recover. Hargis says that the freshmen are starting to understand these changes and are adjusting well to competing in dual meets.
"The freshmen are getting more used to it and improving meet to meet," Hargis said. "They are learning to understand how to warm up and how to swim as much as they do. These meets go on for three hours and they're learning how take care of their bodies through a long meet, and figuring out what it takes to be primed and ready to go."
Freshman Shane Ryan is new to the collegiate racing scene but uses being a part of a big team to his advantage.
"It's a lot of fun being up here with a big team," Ryan said. "I haven't had that before and it just makes it a lot easier mentally. I came here because I knew they would be a really really good team this year and wanted to be a part of that. I have some things to work on for Indiana but mentally I'm in the right mindset."
The divers swept both events with sophomore TJ Schenkel leading the way. The divers have added more practices, which sophomore Joe Spinelli says contributes to their success.
"I thought I did pretty well today," Spinelli said. "We've been practicing more than usual and I think that's paid off for everyone. We've had longer practices which let's us do more dives. We are just going to keep doing what we've been doing, do more repetitions to help get us more in control of the dives and help us finish them better."
The Nittany Lions will be back in action on Friday Nov. 16 in Bloomington, Ind. They will compete against IU, which will give them a preview of the Big Ten competition for this year and they will also compete against UVa.