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Jan. 27, 2013
By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's swimming and diving teams defeated Navy with a final score of 188-112 on Saturday.
Going into the meet, the men knew they were going to have to win close races to come out with a victory. Last time they faced Navy, the men let too many of those close races get away from them; however that wasn't the case this time around.
"The biggest thing I saw in terms of change was we're winning close races," head coach John Hargis said. "That's a good habit for us to get into. It's an area that we've needed to improve all year and it seemed today we were winning some close races where we needed to."
The swimmers and divers knew what it felt like to lose by only 10 points last year and they fought to make sure they wouldn't have a repeat of the last time they raced Navy.
"The guys as a whole were not going to get beat today," Hargis said. "That was the mentality they came in with and they did what they needed to do. They had a chip on their shoulder and they wanted to set a statement. I think they did that today. They swam well and we had some of the best in-season swims that we've had all year."
The Nittany Lions kept the loss from last year in the back of their minds and used that to help them mentally prepare over the past week for this meet.
"As a whole, I thought we did really well today," Nick Ankosko said. "Last year we had a big upset so we came into this meet prepared and we wanted to make sure that they knew that we are here and ready to do work."
The swimmers did not waste any time making a statement as they opened the meet by setting a new pool record in the 200-medley relay. Nate Savoy swam the backstroke leg and got them off to an early lead. James Wilson followed with the breastroke leg to Sean Grier who swam butterfly. Shane Austin anchored with a strong freestyle leg.
"It was an awesome feeling getting the pool record," Wilson said. "It's a big deal for me but most of the other guys already have a pool record. We are where we want to be in this event for right now and this will help our confidence for Big Tens. We were top five last year and we want to be even better this year."
Setting two pool records in one day, Sean Grier reached another goal of his in the 100 Butterfly by getting under the 48-second mark by .02 seconds.
"It feels good to get another pool record," Grier said. "I've been looking at that time for the past two and a half years so it's nice to finally get it. Coming into the meet I was just thinking about swimming fast. We only have this meet and one more meet so I just thought about breaking the 48-second barrier."
With another meet coming up next weekend, the swimmers and divers will spend the next few days fine-tuning their technique and preparing to race again on Saturday.
"We're going to get more rest with taper coming up," Ankosko said. "We're also going to pay more attention to the details of our racing. We've already put in the work so now it's time to look at the little things like starts and turns to help us improve."
The Nittany Lions will be back in action at McCoy Natatorium on Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. as they host Towson. This meet will be the annual senior meet and there will be a short ceremony to honor the seniors before the meet starts.