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Nittany Lions Open Home Slate Versus Villanova

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Junior Sean Grier was a part of two relay victories and won the 200 back at West Virginia to open the season

Nov. 9, 2012

VIDEO: Pre-meet Interviews with Junior Sean Grier

VIDEO: Pre-meet Interviews with Senior Amy Modglin

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 9, 2012-- It is one of the most frequent opponents on the Nittany Lions schedule and another chapter in the rivalry will be written on Saturday, Nov. 10 when Villanova arrives at the McCoy Natatorium for the dual meet with Penn State. The women's squad has claimed 18 of the 19 meetings - including seven straight - since first meeting the Wildcats in 1980 and the men's team has claimed 17 straight decisions in their second most contested rivalry.

The swimming and diving program will also use the home opener as their annual THON meet.

It has been three weeks since the Blue and White have competed in the pool, but a tough regiment of training has kept both squads busy. A pair of team victories opened the season the last time that the Nittany Lions competed against an opponent other than the clock, with the men defeating West Virginia, 174-69, and the women topping the Mountaineers, 146-97, in Morgantown, W.Va.

The women were powered by a three-victory performance from junior Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) and individual event swim wins by Merritt Krawczyk (Kindwood, Texas), Amy Modglin (Ft. Myers, Fla.) and Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.). The Blue and White took the top two spots in the 200 medley relay, with a winning time of 1:43.98, and took two of three top spots in the 400 freestyle relay, including a first place showing in a time of 3:28.60.

The lone NCAA "B" standard was logged by Modglin in the 200 back. The senior won the event by nearly a full five seconds to post the third fastest time in the Big Ten and 16th fastest in the nation at 1:58.46.



Shishkoff posted the second fastest time in the Big Ten and 25th best time in the NCAA this season with a time of 4:20.01 in the 400 IM, while Krawczyk's time of 4:23.14 in the event ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Shishkoff also swam the fourth fastest time in the Big Ten in the 1000 free, clocking in at 9:55.72, good for the 16th fastest mark so far in 2012.

Whitmire and Carolyn Fittin (Sea Grit, N.J.) claimed first and second place, respectively, in the 50 free. Whitmire touched with a time of 23.88 and Fittin clocked a 24.20 in her first individual swim for Penn State. It was a clean sweep of the 400 IM for PSU, as Shishkoff claimed the top spot, followed by Krawczyk, Modglin and Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.).

Ten of the 13 newcomers to the 2012-13 roster competed in the season opener with the Mountaineers, as Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec), Casey Fazio (Secaucus, N.J.), Fittin, Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.), Kathryn Rowe (Glenville, N.Y.), Emily Stotesbery (Greenwich, Conn.) and Chelsea Vanderweele (Silver Springs, Md.) all competed in multiple events.

On the men's side, junior Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) was huge factor in propelling the Lions to their dominating victory, taking home three first-place finishes in the dual meet. Along with sophomore Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.), junior James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.) and junior Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.), Grier and his squad dominated the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:30.89. The junior helped lead Penn State to a sweep in the 400 medley relay, claiming first place with a collective time of 3:03.18 with freshman Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.), John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.) and Austin. Individually, Grier claimed the 200 back with a time of 1:48.71.

Taking home two individual victories, Hauser controlled both the 200 free and the 100 free, registering times of 1:40.98 and 46.16 seconds, respectively. Nick Ankosko (East Brunswick, N.J.) would lead a Nittany Lion sweep in the 1000 free with a time of 9:26.35, with freshman Will Lee (Hershey, Pa.; 9:31.40) following in second place and junior Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.; 9:38.49) rounding out third. Ankosko also went on to dominate the 500 free, swimming a time of 4:34.97 for first place.

Penn State won 10 of 11 events against the Mountaineers, earning 29 top three spots. Cipolla claimed first in the 200 breast (2:06.38) and second in the 400 IM (4:03.27), while junior Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.) won the 200 fly (1:49.85) and earned second place in the 200 free (1:41.27). Savoy also went on to record a first and second place finish in the 400 IM (4:02.66) and the 200 back (1:49.11), respectively.

Several freshmen made their debut as a Lion, including Ryan, who aided the winning 400 free relay team and claimed second in the 200 medley relay (1:34.29) along with freshman Max Byers (Glen Carbon, Ill.), freshman Philip Mancuso (Hershey, Pa.) and junior Andrew Sideras (Philadelphia). The rookie also claimed an individual second place finish in the 100 free with a time of 46.22 seconds. Freshmen Andrew Eiken (Naperville, Ill.), Jon Seiferth (Allison Park, Pa.), Mancuso and Byers performed in their first collegiate meet, as well, each earning a least one individual top-three performance.



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