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Jan. 25, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 25, 2013 -- The Nittany Lions swimming and diving programs return to the McCoy Natatorium to host Navy on Saturday (Jan. 26) for the first time in the New Year and both bring in Top-25 rankings from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. The women's squad (4-2) enters the weekend as the No. 14 team in the country, while the men's team (3-2) moved into the No. 19 spot in the latest CSCAA rankings.
Penn State will host a Code Blue Blast event, with students earning three points when they swipe in. Along with Code Blue points and a visit from B94.5, there will be a chance to win two Bon Jovi tickets for Feb. 23rd at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Remaining undefeated in the 100 back, junior Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) continued his win streak with a time of 48.65 seconds for first place. The All-American also claimed the 100 fly for the third time this season, clocking in at 49.29. Grier, a veteran leader for the Lions, has remained one of the most consistent performer, along with junior Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.), sophomore Jeff Young (Hershey), junior James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.), sophomore Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) and junior Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.).
On the rise for Penn State, freshman Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) has made one of the biggest impacts so far this season, notching seven NCAA B Cut performances at the Georgia Invitational and recording seven first-place finishes overall. Also adding depth to the Lions, freshman Will Lee (Hershey) has steadily improved in distance free events, while freshman Andrew Eiken (Naperville, Ill.) has recorded several top-three performances in the 100, 200 and 500 free.
T.J. Schenkel (Richboro, Pa.) continues to lead the pack for diving, boasting three NCAA qualifying scores and holding the top times on the one-meter (301.05), three-meter (332.92) and platform (212.60) boards. Against the Bears, Schenkel exceeded NCAA standards for the second time on the three-meter board with a score of 321.10 for a second-place showing, while junior Lucas Kachurick (McKeesport, Pa.) followed in third place (258.40). Kachurick went on to tally a season best score of 269.55 on the one-meter board for second place.
The women's squad also traveled to Arkansas to compete against the Razorbacks and Missouri State, winning 235-59 vs. Missouri State, but dropping a 146.5-151.5 tally against the University of Arkansas. On an individual level, Penn State won eight of the 16 events, with Amy Modglin (Fort Myers, Fla.), Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.) and Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) each claimed two wins for the Blue and White. The other two individual crowns were claimed by Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) in the 1,000 freestyle and Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) in the 200 butterfly.
After posting the only NCAA B Cut time of the meet for Penn State at Arkansas, Modglin now has nine total for the season. The senior missed the championship portion of the schedule last season due to illness, but is poised to return to the NCAA Championships for the third time in her career. She has done most of her provisional qualifying in the 200 backstroke, swimming the event five times and claiming qualifying marks in each of them, while adding two such swims in both the 200 and 400 IM.
Shishkoff has been among the top performers for the Blue and White this season, posting one relay and eight individual NCAA B Cut times. The junior was a part of the 800 freestyle relay squad that broke the school record at the Georgia Fall Invitational, teaming with Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec), Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.) and Caitlyn Karr (Reading, Pa.) to swim 7:08.26. Shishkoff ranks among the national leaders in all five events in which she holds NCAA B Cut marks, including three top-30 rankings. She enters the weekend ranked 14th in the NCAA in the 400 IM with a season-best time of 4:09.92, sits 24th in the 1,000 freestyle in 9:55.72 and is 29th in the 1,650 freestyle with a mark of 16:28.40.
Ackman is having a strong freshman campaign and owns eight NCAA B Cut times. The rookie is among the top-25 in the NCAA at the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle distances, while sitting atop the team charts in each. Ackman is the No. 15 swimmer in the NCAA with a time of 4:42.36 in the 500 freestyle, which is the second fastest time in school history, just shy Erin Morris' school record of 4:42.17. Her time of 49.06 in the 100 freestyle is 21st in the NCAA and she is 22nd nationally in the 200 freestyle in 1:46.15.
The diving corps has been headed by junior Megan Springsteen (Owego, N.Y.) and freshman Emily Stotesbery (Greenwich, Conn.). Springsteen is already eligible for the NCAA Zone A Diving Qualifier, posting a mark of 268.42 vs. Villanova on the one-meter board earlier this season. That is the team's top mark in the event, with Stotesbery owning the second best mark at that height with a score of 251.32. Springsteen owns three of the four top scores on the three-meter board, as well, including the top score of 264.00 on Nov. 11, 2012 vs. Villanova.
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