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Ryan Claims B1G Gold in 100 Back

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Feb. 24, 2017




Wed., Feb. 22-Sat., Feb. 25

McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion | Columbus, Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Penn State senior Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) won a Big Ten Championship in the 100 backstroke in record fashion and sophomore Hector Garcia Boissier (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) set a school record in the 3-meter springboard to lead Penn State Friday on the third day of competition at the 2017 Big Ten Men's Swimming & Diving Championships in Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

Through 14 events, the Nittany Lions rank seventh with 405.5 points. No. 4 Indiana leads with 999 points while No. 18 Ohio State (939.5) and No. 11 Michigan (923.5) are also contending for the overall title heading into the final day.

Penn State enjoyed a strong day in which all but three of 25 swims were lifetime bests, and the Nittany Lions were represented in each finals event.

"It was a very big day for us," said head coach Tim Murphy. "Everyone contributed."

Ryan's third 100 backstroke Big Ten Championship and fourth career Big Ten gold was the highlight. His time of 44.65 seconds was not only an NCAA A-cut, but the Big Ten record (2008), meet record (2016), pool record (2010) and it broke his own school record (2014). Also scoring in the event were Liam Veregin (Ottawa, Ontario), who placed 15th in 48.05 seconds after setting a personal best of 47.59 in the preliminaries, and Tomer Zamir (Gesher Haziv, Israel) who won the bonus heat in a personal-best 47.76 seconds. Veregin and Zamir's times both surpassed the NCAA B standard, were their first individual points at the meet and they now rank sixth and seventh, respectively, all-time in the event at Penn State.

Garcia set a school record in the 3-meter dive with a finals total of 465.00 that placed him fourth. Connor Scanlon (Laurel, Md.) also scored with an 18th place finish (331.60).

The Lions were best represented in the 100 breaststroke with four finalists, led by Gunther Cassell (Huntington, N.Y.) in the championship final, who placed eighth in 54.38 seconds after swimming a personal best of 53.41 in the prelims. It was his first Big Ten championship final appearance. Kaelan Freund (Lethbridge, Alberta) placed 11th in a personal best 53.59, while Andrew Schuehler (Camden, N.J.) was 15th in 54.33 seconds after swimming a season-best 53.64 in the prelims. Senior Michael Kwasnik (Shelby Twp., Mich.) won the bonus final in a personal best 53.73. All of those times were NCAA B-cuts as well, while Cassell (3rd), Freund (4th) and Kwasnik (6th) join Schuehler (2nd) on Penn State's all-time list in the event.

Penn State also had a trio of bonus final qualifiers in the 400 IM, 100 butterfly and 200 free. Nathaniel Bledsoe (Carmel, Ind.) scored for the first time after swimming a B-cut and personal best time of 3:52.89 to place 19th in the 400 IM and rank sixth all-time in school history. Schuehler and Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.) reached the 100 fly and 200 free finals, respectively, with B-cuts and top times of 47.90 in the fly and 1:36.29 in the free. It was Schuehler's first time scoring in the 100 fly at Big Tens and he now ranks seventh all-time in the event.

Ryan, Zamir, Freund and Bob Bantley (Maple Glen, Pa.) finished the night with a seventh-place finish in the 200 free relay in a season-best 1:19.00.

It was Ryan's second consecutive night rewriting record books. Ryan broke his own 50 free school record of 19.36 seconds Thursday, which he had previously set at the 2014 Big Ten Championships. The time was also the first NCAA A-cut by a Penn State swimmer this season.

It was not Ryan's only A-cut on the night though, as he led off the 400 medley relay with a 100 backstroke of 44.95 seconds. As they did Wednesday in the 200 medley relay, freshman Freund, Zamir and Bantley followed Ryan, and they earned a fifth-place finish in a season-best and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:08.04 for the fourth fastest time in the event in program history.

Freund also reached a final individually, placing 20th in the 200 IM in a personal-best and B-cut time of 1:46.52.

Garcia led a trio of divers that all scored. Garcia just missed out on advancing to the main final, scoring 347.90 in the preliminaries to place ninth, but he scored 364.50 in the consolation final to maintain his ranking. Jack Crow (Bethesda, Md.) placed 20th in 299.20 and Scanlon followed in 21st at 296.35.

The Nittany Lions missed out on the 500 free finals, as Stasiunas swam a season-best and NCAA B-cut time of 4:23.61, but it was only good enough for 25th.

The meet will continue with 11 a.m. preliminaries and 6:30 p.m. finals Saturday. Both sessions will be streamed live via BTN Plus on BTN2Go. The Big Ten Network will also televise Saturday's finals Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET. Complimentary access to BTN2Go is available to viewers connected to the internet network of a Big Ten university. Fans elsewhere can sign up for the pay-per-view webcasts.

Saturday, Feb. 25
Day Four Prelims: 11 a.m.
200-yard Backstroke
100-yard Freestyle
200-yard Breaststroke
200-yard Butterfly
Platform Diving (Prelims & Consolation Finals, 1 p.m.)
1,650-yard Freestyle

Day Four Finals: 6:30 p.m.
1,650-yard Freestyle
200-yard Backstroke
100-yard Freestyle
200-yard Breaststroke
200-yard Butterfly
Platform Diving
400-yard Freestyle Relay




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