Penn State Defeats Mountaineers in Season Opener
Oct. 18, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's swimming and diving program hosted West Virginia Friday night in its season-opening meet, which was also Tim Murphy's first competition as the head coach of the Nittany Lions. The Blue and White dominated the evening, touching the wall first in all 14 swimming events and claiming victory by a final score of 153-129.
Eight Penn State swimmers finished first in their individual events, with Nick Ankosko (East Brunswick, N.J.), Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.), Matt Salig (Downington, Pa.) and John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.) recording the fastest times in multiple events. Other Nittany Lion swimmers to complete their races first were Scott Heil (New Brunswick, N.J.), James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.) and Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.).
Hauser turned in the performance of the meet for the Nittany Lions, breaking the pool record in the 50 freestyle. The senior raced to a time 20.14, eclipsing the previous Natatorium record by .10 seconds. The previous record was set in 2003 by a Texas A&M swimmer. After winning the 50, Hauser went on to claim victory in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.39, nearly two seconds faster than the second finisher.
Another Lion who had a solid first meet was Ankosko. The NCAA Championship qualifier from last year won both the distance races of the evening, grabbing wins in the 500 and 1,000 freestyle events. The junior won the 1,000 freestyle by over seven seconds with a time of 9:31.54 and then was victorious in the 500 freestyle by an even larger margin, finishing in 4:30.72, more than 16 seconds faster than the second place finisher.
Grier picked up where he left off from last season as well. The second team All-Big Ten selection from last season showed his diversity by winning the 100 backstroke with a mark of 48.30 and then touched the wall first in the 100 butterfly in 48.10.
Not to be outdone by his teammates, Salig matched Hauser, Ankosko and Grier by completing his two individual races in the fastest time of everyone in the events. The senior's time of 1:50.51 in the 200 IM was nearly two seconds faster than all of his competitors. Salig also stood out in the 200 butterfly by winning the event in 1:48.65, being the only swimmer to finish the event in under 1:50.00.
All of the individual events were scheduled between two relays that acted as bookends for meet. Penn State claimed a win in the opening 200 medley relay, as Savoy, Wilson, Grier and Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.) teamed up to race to a time of 1:42.91 to notch the first event victory of the season for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State also claimed victories in the 200 backstroke, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and 200 breaststroke events.
In the diving competitions, the Nittany Lions' T.J. Schenkel (Richboro, Pa.) led the team in the 3-meter competition and Lucas Kachurick (McKeesport, Pa.) turned in the best performance in the 1-meter event. Schenkel placed third in the 3-meter competition with a score of 268.80 and Kachurick paced the team with a final tally of 270.44 on his way to a second place finish in the 1-meter event.
With the win, Penn State starts the season with a 1-0 record in dual meets this season. The Nittany Lions have now claimed a victory in their season-opener for three consecutive seasons and have also won their home-opener three-straight years.
The Blue and White is back in the water on Saturday, Nov. 2, as the team travels to New York to compete against the Buffalo Bison in a meet that is slated to begin at 2 p.m.
Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued coverage of the Penn State swimming and diving teams during the 2013-14 season. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/PennStateSWIM and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/pennstateswimminganddiving.
200 Medley Relay: 1:29.27 (Savoy, Wilson, Grier, Austin