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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s swimming & diving team hung in tough with Virginia Tech Friday in the team’s home opener in McCoy Natatorium, but the Hokies ultimately prevailed, 178.5-118.5.
Freshman Rory Lewis (Kensington, Md.), the season’s inaugural Big Ten Freshman of the Week, continued his strong collegiate debut. He led a 1-2 Penn State (1-2) finish in the 200 butterfly, followed by captain Jon Seiferth (Allison Park, Pa.) (1:51.88). Lewis also led the Lions in the 100 butterfly, touching the wall second in 50.52 while being followed by classmate Tomer Zamir (Gesher Haziv, Israel) (51.02) and Andrew Schueler (Camden, N.J.) (51.17) in third and fourth, respectively.
The Nittany Lions were able to sweep second, third and fourth in two other instances. Grillo led the feat in the 50 free (20.94), followed by Zamir and Kantz (21.03), and the 100 free (45.66), followed by O’Neill (49.98) and Kantz (46.21).
Penn State closed the meet on a winning note, winning the 400 freestyle relay with the team of Zach Kantz (Mount Bethel, Pa.), Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.), Ryan O’Neill (Howell, N.J.) and Matt Grillo (Montreal, Quebec) finishing in 3:02.03.
“I told the team at the end, if they take what came out of the relays … then we’re making progress,” said head coach Tim Murphy. “There were a lot of close races, and we beat some people to the wall. I think we took a good step forward.”
O’Neill was the only other Nittany Lion to win an individual swimming event, doing so in the 200 freestyle (1:39.40).
Another freshman, Hector Garcia, continued to lead Penn State in the diving events, winning the 1-meter (349.20) and placing second in the 3-meter (376.95).
Additionally, Stasiunas earned a pair of runner-up finishes, doing so in the 1000 freestyle (9:21.56) and the 500 free (4:30.88), in which John Nunez trailed in third (4:36.03). Schueler added a runner-up finish 56.80 in the 100 breast, while Guenther Cassell (Long Island, N.Y.) followed in third (57.98). Tim Maurer (Hershey, Pa.) placed third in the 200 IM.
“We had some breakthroughs, so we got a lot out of this meet,” said Murphy.
The meet was the season opener for Virginia Tech (1-0).