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Feb. 25, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Penn State men's swimming & diving team finished its time at the Big Ten Championships in sixth place after another night of exciting performances. One of the best was Nick Anskosko's (East Brunswick, N.J.) mile swim, breaking the Penn State school record time of 15:05.32, smashing his personal best by 33 seconds and setting a new Penn State 1,000 freestyle record (9:04.51). Another freshman had a great performance as Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) earned second in the 200 backstroke after a 1:42.56 swim in the 200 backstroke. Savoy was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year.
Anskosko kicked off Saturday's proceedings, finishing seventh in his Big Ten debut in the event as the second-fastest freshman behind Minnesota's C.J. Smith (15:02.57), who finished fourth. Another freshman long distance swimmer, Kurt Ratcliff (Centerville, Va.), finished in 16th place in the third-fastest time in PSU history (15:17.97).
Savoy followed Ankosko's showing with a terrific performance himself, finishing second in the 200 backstroke. Savoy swam the second fastest time in PSU history after NCAA champion Patrick Schirk (1:40.22), finishing in a time of 1:42.56. Savoy had the best individual finish for Penn State this week, adding to two medley relay showings on Wednesday and Friday.
In the 100 freestyle, two Nittany Lions, Brian Alden (Lansdale, Pa.) and Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.), finished in 11th and tied-13th, respectively. Alden swam a 44.06 in the finals after a season-best 44.01 in the prelims, while Austin went 44.20 in the finals with a life-time best swim of 43.85, the fifth best time in PSU history.
Senior Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.) finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke (1:56.78), narrowly missing his Penn State record of 1:56.63 set last year. Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.) finished 12th in the B Final, swimming 1:59.74, fourth all-time, while Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.) was 14th (2:00.08).
Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.) swam 1:46.46 in the prelims, finishing in 1:46.84 for the 200 butterfly to earn 12th-place points. Penn State wrapped up the four-day event with a seventh-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay (2:56.72).
Penn State finished sixth with 332 points behind host Iowa in fifth place. The Nittany Lions placed five on the All-Big Ten Second Team with Savoy, Scherer, Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa), Alden and Austin representing Penn State.
BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR