NCAA Championships Await Nittany Lions
March 23, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's swimming team will send five of its own to the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center for the NCAA Championships starting Thursday. Penn State qualified swimmers in 14 events this week.
The 200 medley relay team is seeded 10th comprised of Graham Risley (Riverside, Ill.), Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.), Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Brian Alden (Lansdale, Pa.), which is seeded 10th.
Joining the quartet of Nittany Lions will be Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.), who is competing int he 200 and 400 IM as well as the 200 breaststroke. 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 2009, will be eligible to compete in three events: 50 free (53rd), 100 free (54th), and the 200 free (40th).
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.