Nittany Lions Set for Big Ten Championships
Feb. 21, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's swimming & diving will begin competition at the 2012 Big Ten Championships on Wednesday at Iowa's Health and Wellness Recreation Center. The Nittany Lions finished sixth in 2011 and look to improve upon that finish.
Penn State opens Wednesday with two relays the Nittany Lions have been strong in all year. The 200 medley relay kicks off the proceedings, which is PSU's strongest suit, ranking third in the Big Ten with a season-best time of 1:27.65, just a second behind top ranked Michigan and Ohio State. Following the 200 medley relay PSU will take part in the 800 freestyle relay before the meet swings into full gear on Thursday through Saturday.
All-Americans Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.), Brian Alden (Lansdale, Pa.) and Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) are set to lead PSU. Scherer earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors in 2011 when he narrowly missed winning the 200 breaststroke crown. He teamed with Alden and Grier to earn All-America honors in the 200 medley relay last season. Penn State is also strong in the 400 medley relay, entering this week's meet with the 3rd-fastest time of the year (3:12.56) behind OSU and Michigan.
Alden is ranked 8th in the conference in the 100 free (44.44) and 11th in the 100 breaststroke (55.33). Scherer is 10th in the 100 breast (54.90) and 6th in the 200 breast (1:59.20). Grier is 9th in the 100 backstroke (48.20), 8th in the 100 fly (48.16). Senior IM specialist and PSU record holder Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.) looks for another top finish at Big Tens coming into the meet ranked 6th in the 200 IM (1:47.49) and 400 IM (3:52.51). Freshman Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) is set for his first Big Ten Championships entering this week ranked 7th in the 200 backstroke (1:44.92).
Grier and Savoy were Big Ten Swimmer and Freshman of the Week following impressive dual meet victories over Buffalo and Lehigh. The weekly honors were the first for the Penn State duo.