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Jan. 31, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State No. 23 men's and No. 19 women's swimming and diving teams look to extend their current winning streaks on Saturday as they host their second and final home meet of the season. The Lions are set to face regional foes St. Bonaventure and Towson in a tri-meet starting at 1 p.m. The home event will also serve as Senior Day for the Blue and White, who will honor their 17 seniors in a pre-meet ceremony starting at 12:40 p.m.
The women will honor seven seniors, including Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.), Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.), Claire Singley (Southlake, Texas), Sarah Somers (Haverford, Pa.), Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) and Brynja Winnan (West Windsor, N.J.).
On the men's side, 10 seniors will be recognized for their time and commitment to the program on Saturday. The seniors are Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.), Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.), Peter Fittin (Sea Girt, N.J.), John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.), Lucas Kachurick (McKeesport, Pa.), Thomas Mershon (Malvern, Pa.), Matt Salig (Downington, Pa.), Andrew Sideras (Philadelphia, Pa.), Seth Wensel (Christianburg, Va.) and James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.).
Each squad has earned back-to-back victories over the last two weekends, defeating Navy and Villanova. The women claimed a 193-99 win over the Midshipmen last weekend and defeated the Wildcats166-118 two weeks ago while the men overpowered Navy with a score of 171-127 and downed Villanova by a count of 191-96.
The women's squad is a perfect 14-0 in the all-time series vs. St. Bonaventure, having most recently defeated the Bonnies 157-63 on Jan. 22, 2011. The Lions hold a 1-0 record against Towson after overpowering the Tigers in a 186-109 decision a season ago.
The women's are now 3-2 in dual meets on the season, having also claimed a win against West Virginia (152-102) in the season opener. Penn State's two losses came against No. 8 Texas (242-111) and No. 11 Virginia (226-127).
The Blue and White turned in a dominant performance last weekend, posting top marks in all 16 events against Navy, including both relays and each diving event. Shishkoff led the charge for the Lions in the individual events, notching top marks in all three of her events. The senior touched the wall first in the 200 fly (2:00.08), 200 IM (2:03.73) and 500 free (4:50.78).
Sophomore Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec) and junior Carolyn Fittin (Sea Girt, N.J.) also performed well for PSU, picking up wins in the individual and relay events. Ackman placed first in the 100 and 200 free, clocking in at 50.39 and 1:48.29, respectively while Fittin topped the field in the 50 free at 23.40 and the 100 fly in 55.40. The pair teamed up with Powers and Haley Sinatro (West Hartford, Conn.) to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.78 before joining Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.) and Katelyn Miller (Hershey, Pa.) to claim first in the 400 free relay in 3:25.96.
Melissa Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico) posted multiple wins as well, sweeping the breaststroke events with times of 1:03.42 in the 100 and 2:18.20 in the 200.
In the diving events, Meredith Harbison (Butler, Pa.) and Mackenzie Cornell (Germantown, Md.) each grabbed wins for the Lions. Harbison registered a career-best score of 277.28 on the one-meter board and Cornell posted a season-best mark of 299.85 on the three-meter.
The Penn State men's swimming and diving team improved its dual meet record to 5-1 last Saturday with a win 171-127 win over Navy. The Blue and White has also registered wins over West Virginia (155-129), Buffalo (155-137), Virginia (191-162) and Villanova (191-96) this season.
In the all-time series with Towson and St. Bonaventure, the Nittany Lions have never lost a meet. The Blue and White comes into Saturday with a 1-0 record against the Tigers and a 27-0 mark against the Bonnies.
In last weekend's matchup with the Midshipmen, Penn State finished first in 10 events, consisting of seven individual swimming races, two relays and a diving competition.
In the pool Hauser, Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) and Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) each recorded multiple victories in the individual portion of the meet. Scott Heil (New Brunswick, N.J.) added a victory in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:51.40.
Hauser won both the 100 and 200 freestyle races, completing the 100 in a time of 44.29 and the 200 with a mark of 1:37.94. Both times qualified the senior for the NCAA "B" standard mark.
Savoy swept the backstroke events on Saturday, grabbing a victory in the 100 with a time of 48.43 followed by a victory in the 200, touching the wall in 1:47.92.
The other two swimming wins were produced by Ryan, as the sophomore impressed in the 50 freestyle, winning the event with a mark of 20.20 followed by a finish of 48.96 in the 100 butterfly to capture first place.
In the three-meter diving competition T.J. Schenkel improved on his previous career-high score of 355.15 that he recorded at the Bucknell Invitational earlier this year with a mark of 355.43 at Annapolis to win first place.
Head Coach Tim Murphy has announced an open invitation for all alumni attending the meet to stop in his office and meet the new head coach and ask any questions starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Also he is asking all the alumni to be on deck for the senior recognition ceremony, which is scheduled to start at 12:40 p.m. with the meet to follow at 1 p.m.
Saturday concludes the dual meet portion of the schedule, as both the men's and women's squads begin gearing up for the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. The Blue and White will have two weeks to prepare for the Ohio State invite on February 15 and 16 in Columbus, Ohio.
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