Swimmers Split with Texas A&M in Battle of Ranked Teams
Nov. 1, 2008
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - In a hotly contested battle, the No. 16 Penn State men's swimming and diving team upended the No. 17 Texas A&M, 140-102. A three-year-long winning streak came to an end Friday as the No. 13 Penn State women's swimming and diving team fell, 153-88, to No. 6 Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Patrick Schirk (Pottstown, Pa.) and David Kraft (Vienna, Va.) each won two events as the Nittany Lions defeated one of the top aquatic programs in the country at the future site of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships this March.
Schirk took the 400 medley and finished first in the 200 backstroke. Kraft hit the wall 11 seconds faster than any other swimmer in the 1000 freestyle, finishing with a time of 9:27.65. Chris Sullivan (Naples, Fla.), Josh Wakeley (Egg Harbor, N.J.) and Colin Quirk (Pittsburgh) followed Kraft with top four finishings. Kraft also owned the 500 freestyle, coming to a close at 4:37.86.
Basil Kaaki (Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia) came in second in two dramatic freestyle events. After being behind by at least two seconds in both events, the Aggies' Balazs Makaki swam past Kaaki to barely get the victory.
In the 400 IM, Dito Calderon (Bowie, Md.) and James Capparell (Bridgewater, N.J.) led the way for the Nittany Lions, tapping the wall in first and second, respectively.
Penn State found success in the 400 free relay. The team of Jonathon Cochrane (Boalsburg, Pa.), Ryan DeWeese (Midlothian, Va.), John Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Jason Goldner (Allentown, Pa.) secured the win with a first-place finish.
On the women's side, the Aggies won nine of 13 events, including both relays. Kaitlin O'Brien (Caldwell, N.J.) turned in two first-place and one second-place swims.
O'Brien won the 1000 free and was 2.5 seconds faster than her competition in the 400 IM, swimming the latter event in 4:15.60.
Penn State struggled against the quick sprinters of Texas A&M. The Aggies, which have Estonian and American Olympic swimmers on its roster, took all but one of the freestyle events. A&M's Christine Marshall and Codie Hanson, which ranked third and fourth nationally in the 200 free, dominated the pool. Marshall swam the nation's fastest time this season in the 500 free, an event she rarely competes in.
Courtney Adlam (Ambler, Pa.) continued her impressive senior season by winning the three-meter springboard. Adlam edged the Aggies' Emily Watson by .75 as she recorded a 245.93.
Penn State's other first came in the 200 butterfly, which Kailey Morris (Baltimore) tagged a 2:00.70 time.
Penn State travels across the Lonestar State to Dallas at 4 p.m. Eastern Time to take on Southern Methodist, ranked 21st and 14th in men's and women's, respectively.