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Oct. 15, 2012
By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion swimmers and divers had their first opportunity to debut all of the hard work they have put in so far this season at the Blue and White intrasquad meet Friday night.
Throughout the week, the two teams had challenges during practice that created team bonds and added more competition to prepare for the intrasquad. The challenges included performances on main sets, kick sets, and even a dance off, which the White team won.
Going into the intrasquad, the White team was in the lead with 20 points while the Blue team had 10 points. The White team continued their lead at the intrasquad where they came out victorious with a score of 319 to 265 points.
The 16-event format included the one-meter and three-meter diving events, the 100 and 200 yards of each stroke, 200-yard Individual Medley, 50-yard Freestyle, 500-yard Freestyle, the 1000-yard freestyle and two relays.
The Blue-White meet not only created an opportunity for the swimmers and divers to perform, but it also gave the coaches and athletes a chance to see where they're bodies and minds are so far this season.
A stand out winner on the women's side was Junior Gabi Shishkoff, who won the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard Individual Medley, and 1,000-yard Freestyle by large margins for the White team. On the men's side Junior Matt Salig won the 200-yard Butterfly and the 200-yard Individual medley, adding to the Blue team score.
"It's a good start for me," Salig said. "There is still a lot of room for improvement and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season to continue improving on these areas. The atmosphere has been good and the captains have done a good job being positive and carrying that into our training. It's a fun group of guys to be with."
For several people on the team, this was their first chance to experience this type of atmosphere that Salig has been accustomed to for the past two years. Freshman Casey Fazio got her first taste of what to expect from collegiate competitions.
"It was really exciting seeing fast swims," Fazio said. "It was nice to see everyone compete and cheer like they did. I've never really been in that type of atmosphere before. This intrasquad shows where we are at and helps us see what we need to do for our meet next weekend."
Transfer student, Ryan Magee, was also excited to experience this atmosphere for the first time.
"I had a lot of fun and I've enjoyed how close the team is," Magee said. "This meet gives us the opportunity to see where we are in reference to our training and what we have been doing. It was also nice to get to see family here."
The coaching staff looks at the Blue-White meet as an opportunity to get back into racing and figure out the lineup for their upcoming meet against West Virginia in a week.
"It opened our eyes to a few kids," head coach John Hargis said. "We were mainly watching the youngsters. It gave the swimmers an opportunity to knock rust off, some did and some need to improve to be able to beat West Virginia next week. As a staff, this helps us come up with the best line up to beat them and look at the people still in question to make sure we are making the right choices."
Follow the Penn State swimmers and divers next week as they take on West Virginia University in Morgantown, W. Va.