Swimming Dominates First Day of Quad Meet
Jan. 16, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After over a month off from major competition, the Nittany Lions haven't lost a beat as the No. 15 women's team and the No. 19 men's team are holding comfortable leads over the competition at the Maryland quad meet. The women cruised to six first place finishes of nine events while the men collected six medalist finishes of their own.
"We got off to a slow start today, but we looked better towards the end of the day" said head coach John Hargis. "It feels a little rushed coming out of Christmas. They just spent 24 hours on a bus coming back from training in Florida only to turn around and get on that same bus five days later."
The quartet of Kaitlyn Ferguson, Lyndsey Smith, Michelle Myers and Lindsey DeForrest got things started for Penn State as they claimed first place in the 200 medley relay in 1:45.36 which was over a second ahead of second place Maryland. Myers and DeForrest teamed up again, this time with Sarah Baker and Kelly Nelson in the 200 free relay dominating the event in 1:33.61.
Nelson got back to work in the 100 free touching the wall first in 51.26 and DeForrest wasn't far behind taking second place in 51.34. Karie Haglund and Caitlin Meehan went one and two in the 100 breaststroke with times of 1:02.91 and 1:03.27 respectively after Haglund easily claimed the top spot in the 1650 free. Her time of 16:31.68 is less than .2 seconds away from the NCAA "B" qualifying standard.
Kaitlin O'Brien improved her previous time of 4:15.19 by over two seconds in the 400 IM as she outpaced the competition in 4:13.14. Kailey Morris led the remainder of the pack and placed second in 4:21.41.
On the one-meter springboard, Courtney Adlam earned third place with a score of 239.60 while Megan Marco checked in at sixth with 222.35.
"Karie (Haglund) swam a very good mile and Caitlin (Meehan) had her best swim all year in the 100 breast," said Hargis.
On the men's side, Patrick Schirk, Brian Alden, Tim Williams and Vincent Reydams made quick work of the 200 medley relay in 1:31.79. Alden and Reydams then teamed up with Basil Kaaki and Jason Goldner and took first place in the 200 free relay in 1:22.30.
Distance specialist David Kraft left the competition in his wake as he cruised to another win in the 1650 free touching the wall in 15:44.16. Kaaki and Williams tore up the 100 fly taking first and second respectively with times of 49.95 and 50.07 while Schirk remains dominant in the backstroke adding another first place to his resume in the 100 with a time of 50.55. Alden and Mitch Scherer had another impressive showing in the 100 breaststroke. The top three finishers touched the wall within one second of each other as Alden and Scherer checked in at second and third with times of 57.36 and 57.59 respectively.
"The freshmen are swimming a lot better and are showing signs of life," said Hargis.
Dito Calderon outswam a determined Andrew Relihan from Maryland to claim the top spot on the podium in the 400 IM touching the wall in 4:01.41.
In the diving well, Justin Bonner claimed third place in the three-meter springboard with a score of 306.05 while twin brother Josh was right on his heels taking fourth with 301.90 points.
The Nittany Lions will return to Eppley Recreation Natatorium Saturday at 10 a.m. for the final rounds of competition.