Men's Swimming & Diving Finishes 6th at Big Tens
Feb. 27, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Penn State swimming & diving team concluded its time at the Big Ten Championships hosted by the University of Minnesota with a 6th-place showing. Junior Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.) earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors at the meet.
Scherer continued his excellent swimming into Saturday as he qualified 4th from the 200 breaststroke preliminaries with a school-record 1:56.63. Scherer went on to place 5th in the event with an A Final time of 1:57.09. In the B Final, Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.) was 14th following an 11th place showing in the prelims with an NCAA B cut time of 1:58.23.
Freshman Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.) maintained his 6th place showing from the prelims in the 200 fly as he swam a 1:45.11 in the A Final to earn Penn State 13 crucial points in the event.
Penn State qualified two swimmers in the 200 backstroke event as Thomas Mershon (Malvern, Pa.) and Jeff Gomez (Morristown, Pa.) each notched B Final places. Mershon swam 1:45.98, while Gomez went 1:46.04 for 13th and 14th place, respectively in the prelims. Mershon matched 13th place in the finals, while Gomez was 15th. The duo each posted NCAA B cut times with their initial preliminary swims. Freshman Sean Grier finished 17th overall in the event as he swam 1:45.62 in the C Final to earn an NCAA B time.
In the 100 freestyle, Brian Alden (Lansdale, Pa.) qualified 11th from the preliminaries with a season-best time of 43.99, good for an NCAA B cut. In the final, the junior freestyle specialist notched 14th.
For Penn State in the 1,650 freestyle event senior Josh Wakeley (Egg Harbor, N.J.) swam the team's best time in 15:31.28, an NCAA B cut, which was good for 23rd place.
Shane Austin's brother, John, was named Penn State's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, given to one member of each team at the conclusion of the event.
Michigan won its 35th Big Ten title with 678 points, followed by Indiana with 604 and Ohio State at 593. PSU improved one spot off its 7th-place showings from 2009 and 2010 into 6th with a score of 250.5. Many of Penn State's members have qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championship set for March. Announcements on the qualifications will be set for a later date.