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Feb. 2, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 19 Penn State men's swimming and diving team closed out the home season in style on Saturday, topping Towson 186-101 for Senior Day. The Nittany Lions (5-2, 0-1 Big Ten) recorded the top times and scores in all sixteen events against the Tigers (3-8, 0-5 CAA). In front of a packed McCoy Natatorium, the final home meet of 2013 served as a special recognition of seniors Jeff Gomez (Morristown, N.J.) and Alex Marchinski (Shillington, Pa.), and welcomed the extraordinary athletic performances of the Wounded Warriors Project.
Gomez had a banner day in his final competition at the McCoy Natatorium, winning the 100 back with a time of 51.00 seconds and swimming the top time in the 200 IM with 1:55.05. The senior led a Penn State sweep in the 100 back, followed by junior Thomas Mershon (Malvern, Pa.) in second place (51.06), sophomore Kyle Madley (Madison, N.J.) in third (51.40) and sophomore Ryan Magee (Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.) in fourth (52.02).
The Lions started out the day with a dominating sweep of the Tigers in the 200 medley relay. The squad of sophomore Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.), junior James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.), junior Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) and junior Andrew Sideras (Philadelphia) took first place with a commanding time of 1:28.62, followed by Gomez, junior John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.), junior Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.) and sophomore Jeff Young (Hershey) in second place with 1:32.11. Earning third place, the team of Madley, freshman Max Byers (Glen Carbon, Ill.), junior Peter Fittin (Sea Girt, N.J.) and freshman Matt Grillo (Montreal, Quebec) swam a collective time of 1:36.01.
Claiming the top times in both of his events, sophomore Nick Ankosko (East Brunswick, N.J.) won the 1,000 free with a time of 9:21.27 and swam the 500 free in 4:30.10. Ankosko was followed in the 1,000 free by junior Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.) in second place with a season best time of 9:33.89 and followed in the 500 free by freshman Andrew Eiken (Naperville, Ill.; 4:39.04) and freshman Will Lee (Hersey; 4:40.75).
Wilson also dominated two events against Towson, first leading a Penn State sweep in the 100 breast with a time of 57.18 for first place. The junior captain was followed by Hauser in second (57.34), Young in third (59.36) and Byers in fourth (59.88). Wilson then went on to swim the top time in the 100 fly (51.29), followed by Sideras (51.35) and Gomez (51.98). Sideras claimed a victory of his own in the 100 free, earning first place with a time of 45.64 seconds. He was followed by Grier in second place with a personal best time of 45.75, as well has Hauser in third (45.78) and Savoy in fourth (45.85).
Topping the competition over at diving, junior Lucas Kachurick (McKeesport, Pa.) tallied his first two wins of the season on both boards, recording a season best score of 308.10 on the three-meter dive. Kachurick won the one-meter board with a score of 288.37, as well. Freshman Calvin Morris (Keller, Texas) also had his best showing of the season, recording personal best scores of 267.97 on the one-meter dive for second place, and 288.60 on the three-meter dive for third. Marchinski earned second place (290.32) on the three-meter board and fourth (247.57) on the one-meter board, while sophomore T.J. Schenkel (Richboro, Pa.) took third (255.37) on the one-meter and fourth (274.05) on the three-meter.
Racking up the wins for the Lions, Savoy claimed the 200 free with a personal best time of 1:41.67, while junior Seth Wensel (Christiansburg, Va.) took first in the 200 fly with a time of 1:53.87. Magee recorded his first win of the season in the 200 back (1:51.35), leading a Penn State sweep ahead of freshman Kevin Glenn (Matthews, N.C) in second place (1:52.75), Mershon in third (1:53.66) and Madley in fourth (1:53.84). Also leading a sweep, Grier topped the 50 free with a time of 20.98 seconds, with Fittin following in second with a season best time of 21.20, Grillo in third (21.25) and sophomore Larry Virgilio (Pine Bush, N.Y.) taking fourth with a season best 21.30 seconds. Additionally, Cipolla took first place in the 200 breast with a time of 2:04.87, followed by sophomore Jonathan Ekstrom (Silver Spring, Md.) in second (2:09.69) and Byers in fourth (2:11.50).
Rounding out the top performances of the day, Austin posted a second-place showing in the 200 free with a time of 1:43.54, leading freshman Jon Seiferth (Allison Park, Pa.) in third with 1:43.96. Seiferth went on to claim second (1:55.81) in the 200 fly, while freshman Chase Schell (Tacoma, Wash.) followed in third (1:56.53). Competing in the 200 IM, Wensel and Cipollo followed Gomez with second- and third-best times of 1:55.26 and 1:56.59, respectively.
Penn State took control of the final event of the day, with the team of Young, Sideras, Austin and Grier swimming the top time of 1:22.18 in the 200 free relay. They were followed by Hauser, Savoy, Fittin and Grillo with a time of 1:23.24 and the squad of Virgilio, sophomore Emre Acar (Istanbul, Turkey), Mershon and freshman Alex High (Reading, Pa.) with 1:26.92.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, Feb. 9 when they travel to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State Invite. This will be the final regular season competition, as the Big Ten Championships begin in Bloomington, Ind. on Feb. 27.
Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates during the 2012-13 season. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/PennStateSWIM and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/pennstateswimminganddiving.
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