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9th place - 357.5 points | Complete Results
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WEST LAFAYTETTE, Ind. – Penn State concluded competition at the Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, placing ninth as a team with 357.5 points.
The final day saw Penn State freshmen score in their first meet, while seniors capped Big Ten careers with personal bests. Senior Matt Grillo (Montreal, Quebec) was honored a Penn State’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.
BTN will air tape-delayed coverage of the Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 29.
Hector Garcia Boissier (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) led Penn State for the day with a 15th-place finish in platform diving with 314.50 points.
Four swimmers reached evening finals, two of which were in the 200 butterfly. Freshman Sterg Dikos (Mohnton, Pa.) placed 18th in a personal best 1:48.53, while senior captain Jon Seiferth (Allison Park, Pa.) also put points on the board in 22nd in 1:49.47 after touching in 1:49.16 in the preliminaries.
Freshman Gunther Cassell (Long Island, N.Y.) and senior Tim Maurer (Hershey, Pa.) both swam B-cut times. Cassell achieved a provisional qualifier in the 200 breaststroke, finishing 18th in 1:57.92, making him the third fastest Nittany Lion in the event in school history. Maurer did so in the 200 backstroke, touching in a personal-best 1:45.50 to place 22nd.
Michigan captured the 2016 Big Ten Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship. Michigan compiled 1,475.5 points throughout the four-day event. Indiana finished second after collecting 1,306 points and Ohio State was third with 1,294.5 points. Minnesota finished fourth with 919 points, while Wisconsin recorded 832.5 points to finish fifth.
“Overall, what I think is important now is moving forward,” said head coach Tim Murphy. “We’ve got a small group of seniors … and all four of those guys scored points at this meet. The guys at this meet that didn’t score now have a much clearer picture of what they have to do, and we need to make a lot of progress.”
On Friday, Jack Crow (Bethesda, Md.) and Garcia – both freshmen – placed sixth and eighth, respectively, in the 3-meter dive to lead the Nittany Lions. Crow totaled a personal best 359.85, while Garcia totaled 345.75 points.
Additionally, Connor Scanlon posted a personal best score of 341.85 to place 13th.
In the swimming pool, the Nittany Lions were strongest in the 200 freestyle, with four reaching the finals and three posting B-cut times. Bob Bantley (Maple Glen, Pa.) led the group placing 14th in a personal best 1:36.59. Joao Cervone (Sao Paulo, Brazil) placed 19th in 1:37.16 while Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.) followed closely in 21st in 1:37.53. Ryan O’Neill (Howell, Pa.) was 23rd in 1:38.03.
Michael Kwasnik (Shelby Twp., Mich.) led Penn State in the 100 breaststroke, placing 21st in a personal best and NCAA B-cut time of 54.94. Maurer also reached the evening finals in the 100 backstroke, touching in 48.87 after swimming a personal best of 48.33 in the preliminaries.
On Thursday, Garcia placed seventh in the 1-meter dive to lead the diving group with a score of 321.30 after reaching the top final with a preliminary score of 356.05.
Stasiunas placed 13th in the 500 freestyle in 4:25.86 after swimming a season-best and NCAA B-cut time of 4:24.70 in the preliminaries. Cervone swam the team’s fastest time in the event of the season, touching in 4:24.43 in the C-final to place 19th.
Grillo placed 14th in the 50 free in 20.07 seconds. He swam a personal best and B-cut time of 19.94 in the preliminaries.
Maurer saw a dramatic improvement in the 200 IM of over four seconds from his season best, winning the C-final with a personal best and NCAA B-cut time of 1:46.31.
On the opening night Wednesday the Nittany Lions saw their best performance in the 800 freestyle relay as the team of Stasiunas, O'Neill, Cervone, and Bantley finished in an NCAA B-cut time of 6:24.59 to place fifth, making the quarter the second fastest in Penn State history.