200 Medley Relay Sets School Record, Narrowly Misses Victory at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 22, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Penn State men's swimming & diving team missed winning the opening event of the Big Ten Championships by .03 in the 200 Medley Relay as the Nittany Lions swam to sixth place after the opening night. PSU set a new school record in a time of 1:25.58 behind champion Michigan, who leads the overall event after sweeping two events including the 800 freestyle relay.
In a nip-and-tuck race where first and fourth were separated by .21, Penn State's Brian Alden (Lansdale, Pa.) couldn't fend of Michigan's Evan Gregg in the final 25 yards. PSU was given a narrow .14 edge going into the final leg as Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) swam a 20.40 butterfly leg, the second fastest in the race next to OSU's Jason Schnur (20.22). The Buckeyes finished third behind PSU in 1:25.62, just one one-hundreth of a second back.
Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) led the Nittany Lions off with a 21.67 swim in the backstroke, putting PSU in fourth place. Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.) fought back with a 24.02 breaststroke leg, second fastest to Indiana's Cody Miller (24.01). From there Grier and Alden did their best to give Penn State its first Big Ten Championship relay victory since 2002. Only one Nittany Lion 200 Medley Relay team has captured gold (2000).
Penn State's 800 Freestyle Relay team didn't fare as well, finishing ninth in a season-best time of 6:28.99. Despite finishing ninth, Penn State nearly topped its school record of 6:28.11 set in last year's Big Ten Championships. Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.), Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Seth Wensel (Christiansburg, Va.) and Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.) comprised the relay squad.
Michigan leads after one day with 80 points trailed by Ohio State (66), Indiana (60) in third and two teams, Minnesota and Wisconsin, tied for fourth with 54 points. Penn State sits just two points back with 52 ahead of Northwestern (50), hosts Iowa (48), Purdue (32) and Michigan State (26).
Thursday's action kicks off at Noon ET/11 a.m. CT from Iowa's Campus and Recreation Center with the preliminaries of the 500 freestyle, 200 IM and 50 freestyle in the morning. The 1-Meter springboard trials are at 1:30 p.m., while the finals will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT with the above events including the 400 Medley Relay.