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MINNEAPOLIS – The Penn State men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams were led by Hector Garcia-Boissier (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) and Ally McHugh (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the Minnesota Quad Duals Saturday in the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
McHugh led the way for the Penn State women (0-6) for a second-straight day, placing second in the 1000-meter freestyle in 9:50.52, while Garcia earned his second podium finish of the weekend to lead the Penn State men (1-5), placing second in the 1-meter dive with a score of 334.05. McHugh also led Penn State with an NCAA B-cut in the 500 freestyle Friday, placing second in 4:45.67, and Garcia earned a score of 356.60 in the 3-meter dive to place third in the event Friday.
“We got a lot accomplished this weekend,” said Penn State head coach Tim Murphy. “We had 11 lifetime-best swims and 33 season-best swims, so I think it gives us a little momentum going into the Ohio State Invite, which is in the Big Ten Championship format of trials and finals, and is kind of our marker for the midseason.
“We still have some work to do, closing the gap from a scoring standpoint, but what we did this weekend, the way the team handled the circumstances and the swims, I’m fairly pleased with that.
In team scoring, the Penn State men fell to Wisconsin 198.5-154.5, No. 7 Michigan 280-73 and Minnesota 239-114, and the Penn State women fell to No. 18 Wisconsin 215-138, No. 3 Michigan 280-73, and No. 17 Minnesota 239-114.
The Nittany Lion men opened Saturday with a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay to score a win over Wisconsin, as Liam Veregin (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), Kaelan Freund (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada), Tomer Zamir (Gesher Haziv, Israel) and Gabe Castano (Allentown, Pa.) combined to finish in 1:29.79. Castano also tied for a win with Wisconsin in the 50 free, tying with the Badger’s Jon Salomon for fifth overall in a personal-best 20.85 seconds, and Freund earned a win over Wisconsin in the 100 breaststroke, placing fourth overall in 55.33 seconds.
On the women’s side, Maddie Hart (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) joined McHugh with a top-five finish by placing fourth in the 200 backstroke in a personal-best 2:00.05 to earn a win over Minnesota.
“Ally McHugh’s two swims were both NCAA top-16 teams at this point in the year, so it was good to have her back in the pool,” said Murphy.
On Friday, Veregin led the men in the pool with a third-place finish in the 100 back in 49.55 to earn a victory over Minnesota. Other top-five finishes included top-five finishes included freshman Nate Schiffman (France) in the 500 free (4:31.52) to earn a win over Minnesota, and Freund in the 200 breaststroke in 2:00.65.
Additionally on the women’s side, Jane Donahue (Charlotte, N.C.) earned a win over Minnesota in the 200 IM, placing sixth overall in 2:04.11, and a win over Wisconsin in the 200 breaststroke, placing sixth again in 2:19.07. Hart earned a pair of fifth place finishes with personal-best times in the 100 back (55.66) and 200 fly (2:01.35). In the 100 free, Tommie Dillione (Newtown, Pa.) took fifth (51.17) and was followed by Katrina Kuhn (Piscataway, N.J.) in sixth (51.33), with both swimming season-best times.
Penn State will next compete at the Ohio State Invitational, Nov. 17-19, which will conclude the fall semester schedule.
Check GoPSUSports.com for coverage of the Penn State swimming and diving teams during the season. Follow the team on Twitter at @PennStateSWIM and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/pennstateswimminganddiving.