Nittany Lion Men's Swimming Send Five to NCAAs
March 9, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's swimming team earned entry into 14 events for the upcoming NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. as five Nittany Lions will compete. The Championships are set for March 24-26 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Gaining entry into the prestigious field was Penn State's 200 Medley Relay team, which is seeded 10th. Comprising that team will be Graham Risley (Riverside, Ill.), Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.), Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Brian Alden (Lansdale, Pa.). Joining the quartet of Nittany Lions will be Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.). Aside from Alden, who is making his third NCAA appearance, the others are all making their debut showings at the sport's highest collegiate competition.
Individually, Scherer is seeded the highest Penn State swimmer he will enter the Championship seventh in the 100 breast. He is also seeded 27th in the 200 breast. Joining Scherer in the 200 breast will be Marino who is 34th.
Marino earned spots in the 200 and 400 IM events as he is seeded 14th and 15th, respectively. Risley will also compete in the 200 IM (51st), while being seeded 28th in his specialty, the 100 backstroke. Grier is 35th in the 100 backstroke and will also compete in the 200 back (32nd) and 100 fly (40th).
Alden, who earned All-America Honorable Mention status in 2010, will be eligible to compete in three events: 50 free (53rd), 100 free (54th), and the 200 free (40th). Penn State also has one alternate who may compete as Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.) could be a part of the 200 butterfly having swam a personal best 1:45.07 at the Last Chance Meet this past weekend in Columbus, Ohio.
The five Nittany Lions already eligible for the NCAA Championships is a four-swimmer improvement from last season as Alden was Penn State's lone representative. Penn State made important strides toward Big Ten prominence when the Nittany Lions finished sixth at the conference championships, a one-spot improvement from last year with a youth-laden squad. None of the five NCAA qualifiers are seniors this season.