Women Sweep All Four Duals, Finish Season Undefeated, Men Take Three of Four at Shamrock Invitational
Kelly Nelson won two events, the 200 free and the 200 fly, on the second day of the Shamrock Invitational.
SOUTH BEND, Ind.; January 27, 2007 ¨C The women¡¯s swimming and diving team completed an undefeated regular season in dual meets by winning all four of its dual meets at the Shamrock Invitational on Saturday to finish 10-0 while the men¡¯s team ended its regular season on a very positive note by winning three out of its four dual meets to finish its dual meet season with a 7-7 record on the final day of the five-team meet hosted by Notre Dame. The men ended the season by winning seven of their last eight dual meets.
The women¡¯s team defeated Notre Dame by a 213.50-156.50 score, which was the closest margin of any of their four duals. The Nittany Lions also topped Oakland 310-54, UConn 291-78, and West Virginia 243-127. It marked the second time that the Lions beat the Mountaineers this year, as they also topped WVU in their season-opening meet back in October.
The men topped the host Irish 221.5-147.5 and also defeated Oakland 257-112 and UConn by a 290-80 margin. West Virginia defeated the Nittany Lions by a slim 193-177 score, much slimmer than the 137-104 score that the Mountaineers topped PSU by back in October.
The women¡¯s team won eight of the 14 contested women¡¯s events on Saturday and also finished second in two other events. For the meet, that gave the women 10 first place finishes out of 20 events and four second place finishes. Kelly Nelson won two events to lead the Nittany Lions, the 200 free and the 200 fly. On the men¡¯s side, the Nittany Lions won five events on Saturday and finished second in two others, giving them a combined five first place finishes and five second place finishes over the two-day meet.
"We raced well today in both sessions," said Penn State swimming coach Bill Dorenkott. "I liked our intensity and enthusiasm throughout the competition from both the men and the women."
Kaitlin O¡¯Brien, who already has an NCAA ¡®A¡¯ cut in the 400 IM earlier this year, swam her second-fastest time of the year of 4:16.00 in the 400 IM in picking up her ninth first place finish of the year. Kailey Morris, Daphne Skelos and Megan Palera finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, while Clare Clemens and Claire Hawley finished eighth and ninth to give the Lions another strong showing in an IM event ¨C six of the top nine finishers after having five of the top eight finishers in the 200 IM last night.
Karie Haglund won the 100 butterfly in a time of :56.00 and was also the top Penn State finisher in the 100 breast, coming in third. The Nittany Lions finished 3-4-5 in the 100 breast as Lyndsey Smith and Caitlin Meehan followed Haglund. Abby Hoisington also finished seventh.
In the 200 free, Nelson took first in an NCAA ¡®B¡¯ time of 1:50.20, .10 of a second under the ¡®B¡¯ cut in her first swim in that event this year. It was the 28th NCAA cut of the year for Penn State. The Nittany Lions had four of the top eight finishers in the 200 as Sarah Baker came in third, Jessica Barnes placed fifth and Molly Crispell finished eighth.
"Sarah Baker had a great couple of sessions of racing for us today not only in her individual events but also in relays," said Dorenkott. "Also, our freshmen got some good exposure to the flow of a championship style format."
In the 100 back, Michelle Myers took first in a time of :56.33 in the 100 back for her eighth first place finish of the year. Penn State made it four of the top eight finishers in that event as well as Daphne Skelos placed fourth, Kailey Morris fifth and Kaitlyn Ferguson seventh.
The 800 free relay team of O¡¯Brien, Barnes, Baker and Nelson won that event in a time of 7:23.65. The ¡®B¡¯ team of Haglund, Crispell, Erin Morris and Myers finished third in 7:26.93.
The Nittany Lions once again asserted themselves in the distance freestyle event of the day, the 1650 free. Penn State had five of the top eight finishers and seven of the top 16. Nikki Collins finished second in 16:41.43 and she was followed by O¡¯Brien at 16:45.83, another NCAA ¡®B¡¯ time, the 29th of the year for the team and the third NCAA standard of the year for O¡¯Brien. Claire Hawley finished fifth, Baker placed seventh, Jaime Keily eight, Maureen Hart 12th and Erin Luley 16th. The performance in the 1650 followed last night¡¯s performance in the 500 free that saw Penn State have eight of the top 13 finishers.
Skelos won the 200 back in a time of 2:00.59 while Kailey Morris finished third, Barnes fifth and Erin Morris seventh. The Lions also placed four in the top seven of the 100 free, led by Myers in third place at :51.84 and Crispell in fourth at :52.26. Baker finished sixth and Genie Cheng seventh. The Nittany Lions also had half of the top eight in the 200 breast at O¡¯Brien placed third, Meehan fourth, Clemens sixth and Hoisington eighth.
Penn State finished first and second in the 200 fly as Nelson finished first and Haglund second. Both have already swam NCAA ¡®A¡¯ times earlier this year, but Haglund swam another ¡®B¡¯ time of 2:00.93 to continue her impressive streak of swimming either an ¡®A¡¯ or a ¡®B¡¯ time every time she has swam the 200 fly this year. Palera placed fifth.
The women wrapped up the meet with their 10th first place finish of the meet in the 400 free relay to give them first place finishes in exactly half of the events contested at the meet. Myers, Nelson, Crispell and Baker swam the second-fastest time of the year for the Nittany Lions of 3:25.25.
Kimberlee Peifer led the way for the women¡¯s divers on Saturday as she finished third in the one-meter event with a score of 260.05, just over six and a half points out of first place. Courtney Adlam finished ninth and Jocelyn Avery 11th.
The men completed one of their finest meets of the year by getting all five of their first place finishes in five out of the final seven events of the day. Their strong stretch run began with a first place finish by the 800 free relay team of Jon Cochrane, Pat Schirk, Sean Biedermann and Spencer Maglich. The ¡®B¡¯ team of Dan Kaiserian, Ben Ryan, Ryan DeWeese and Basil Kaaki finished third.
Following the lead of the women once again, Penn State put forth a dominating performance in the 1650 free, led by David Kraft¡¯s first place finish in 15:40.33, his fastest time of the year. Ryan was just behind him in second place and Penn State had four of the top five and five of the top seven as Chris Sullivan finished fourth, Colin Quirk fifth and Dito Calderon seventh.
Schirk made it first place finishes in three consecutive events with a win in the 200 back in 1:47.43. Dan Fimbianti placed fifth. Schirk also placed second in the 100 back earlier in the day with a time of :49.68 while Fimbianti also finished fifth in that event as well. Kaiserian then made it four straight events with a Nittany Lion first place finish as he won the 100 free in :45.67. The sprinters put in another strong performance as they got five of the top eight finishers with Sean Swanepoel in fourth, Biedermann in sixth, Kaaki in seventh and Vincent Reydams in eighth. Penn State had five of the top nine finishers in the 50 free last night.
Tim Williams earned a second place finish in the 200 fly in 1:48.64. The night wrapped up for the men with a first place finish in the 400 free relay as the team of Kaaki, Swanepoel, Biedermann and Kaiserian won in 3:02.09.
Other highlights for the men included a second place finish in the 200 medley relay for Schirk, Miranda, Kaiserian and Swanepoel in a time of 1:32.04, the fastest time of the year in that event for PSU. Calderon placed third in the 400 IM to lead Penn State in that event while Kaaki and Kaiserian finished sixth and seventh in the 100 fly. Biedermann finished third in the 200 free. Kyle Miranda had a good second day with a fifth place finish in the 100 breast and a fourth place finish in the 200 breast.
On the diving board for the men, Mike Alderman led the way for the Nittany Lions with a seventh place finish in the three-meter. Josh Myers placed 11th and Pat Bukowski was just behind Myers in 12th place with a score of 216.50, his third-highest of the year.
"I am extremely proud of our guys. We have weathered some down years and I am a believer after this past weekend that Penn State Men's Swimming and Diving is on the upswing," said Dorenkott. "I am very excited for the future of both of our teams."
This meet concluded the regular season for the Nittany Lions. The women will next compete at Big Ten Championships in two weeks, February 8-10 in Minneapolis, Minn. The men will have three weeks off before the men¡¯s Big Ten Championships, which will be February 15-17 in Columbus, Ohio.