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Oct. 18, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After watching the divers open their 2012 season at West Virginia on Monday evening, the Penn State swimmers will take to the lanes against the rival Mountaineers on Friday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. at the WVU Natatorium. This marks the eighth time in the last nine seasons that the Nittany Lions have opened their season versus West Virginia, with the women winning all eight and the men claiming victory in five of those dual meets.
The women's squad is coming off of their best finish at the NCAA Championships in five years when they placed 22nd nationally at the 2012 championships. Back in the pool for the Blue and White are captains Amy Modglin and Paige Whitmire, along with fellow seniors Ann Reagan Kearns, Merritt Krawczyk and Amy Lewis. Krawczyk and Whitmire each earned Honorable Mention All-America honors in individual events last season, while juniors Mackenzie Powers and Chelsea Weedman also garnered All-America recognition during the 2011-12 campaign.
Krawczyk set the school record in the 100 & 200 breaststroke and the 200 IM last season and will look to continue her dominance in the pool this season after owning the team's top times in three individual events and being a part of the top 200 & 400 medley relay teams. Whitmire owns the two fastest 50 freestyle times in school history - breaking her own school record in the event last season - and was a part four relay teams that set school records last season. Junior Claire Singley and sophomore Megan Siverling were two of the top distance swimmers last season, with Siverling leading the charge in the 500 & 1000 freestyle and Singley owning the team's best mark in the 1650 freestyle.
Newcomers include sophomore Carolyn Fittin, a Maryland transfer, Aly Ackman, Jenna Bickel, Casey Fazio, Kaitlin Jones, Madison Nieves, Allie Pennetti, Kylie Reiter, Olivia Ross, Kathryn Rowe, Sierra Scoggin, Haley Sinatro, Emily Stotesbury, Chelsea Vanderweele and Ipek Yalki.
On the men's side, the Lions posted their best NCAA Championship finish since 2002, earning 17th place with 54 points. Captained by juniors Chris Cipolla and James Wilson, Penn State returns three All-Americans in sophomore Nate Savoy, junior Shane Austin and junior Sean Grier. Members of the record-breaking 400 medley relay team at the NCAA Championships, Savoy, Grier and Austin recorded a time of 3:07.62 for an eight place finish and All-American honors. Prior to last season, no Nittany Lion 400 medley relay team had broken the 3:10 barrier. The trio also registered an eighth place finish in the 200 medley relay, earning All-American honors for the second straight year.
Savoy had a standout rookie season, becoming the first Penn State three-time All-American swimmer in school history. The sophomore earned All-American honors in the 100 backstroke at the NCAA Championships, as well, becoming the first Nittany Lion to earn individual All-American honors since 2008. Savoy was also named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
During the 2011-12 season, Penn State set six new school records, including Grier's time of 46.83 in the 100 butterly at the Big Tens and junior Matt Salig 's new record of 1:44.18 in the 200 butterfly. Impressively, Penn State also sent several Nittany Lions to the U.S. Olympic Trials, including Wilson, Salig, Grier, Cipolla, Austin, Savoy, senior Jeff Gomez, junior John Hauser, sophomore Kyle Madley and sophomore Nick Ankosko.
Newcomers include freshmen Shane Ryan and Kevin Glenn, who also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials, Max Byers, Matthew Drohan, Andrew Eiken, Matt Grillo, Will Lee, Philip Mancuso, Kyle Ruddle, Chase Schell, Jon Seiferth, sophomore Alex Galinskiy and transfers Kyle Madley, Ryan Magee, Peter Fittin and John Hauser.
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