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Indiana and Virginia Post Next Test for Nittany Lions

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Nov. 15, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- For the third straight season, the Nittany Lions will travel to Bloomington, Ind. to face off in a tri-meet with Indiana and Virginia at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center Friday and Saturday. Events will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday night and continue at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

"This will be our first true test of the fall," said head coach John Hargis. "I think that we have competed well to this point, but we're definitely going to have to swim faster than what we have done so far. We're going against two of the best teams in the country. Our kids are excited, they're ready for the challenge and I think they understand what is going to be asked of them from a competitive standpoint."

The women's program looks to continue their solid start to the season against the Cavaliers and Hoosiers, and is 2-0 for the fourth time in five years. Coach Hargis and the Nittany Lions are receiving votes in the latest CSCAA poll and are coming off of a 177-116 victory over in-state rival Villanova. Versus the Wildcats, Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.) claimed a pair of individual wins and helped the 200 medley relay team to a victory to open the competition. The junior also won the 100 back in a time of 56.66 and claimed the 100 fly in 55.78.

Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) added two more victories to her season total against the Wildcats by claiming a freestyle and IM event. She swam a career-best 4:52.06 in the 500 free to clear the field by over four seconds and later won the 200 IM in 2:04.31, out-touching teammate Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas), who clocked a time of 2:04.99. The junior was also fourth in the 200 free (1:51.55).

Freshman Katie Rowe (Glenville, N.Y.) won the first race of her collegiate career last weekend when she claimed the top spot in the 200 back and 200 fly events. Rowe clocked the second fasted 200 back time of the year for a Penn Stater, at 2:03.79, and took top billing with a time of 2:04.02 in the 200 fly. Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Ontario), Megan Siverling (Havertown, Pa.) and Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) all won events last weekend, as well. Ackman won the 200 free in 1:50.30, Siverling topped the field in the 1000 free in 10:06.24 and Whitmire won the 50 free with a time of 23.28.

During the diving portion of the meet with Villanova, Megan Springsteen (Owego, N.Y.) was the top performer in both the 1- and 3-meter competitions and set career-bests on both boards. The junior achieved an NCAA zone qualifying mark in the 1-meter competition, scoring 268.42, and posted a score of 264.00 to win on the 3-meter board. Emily Stotesbery (Greenwich, Conn.) finished second in each event with scores of 251.32 and 241.72, respectively.

For the men, junior Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) and freshman Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) helped lead the squad to a dominating 211-81 win over the Wildcats. Grier claimed two individual victories, swimming the 100 back in 48.00 seconds and the 100 fly in 48.56 seconds. The junior's performance in the 100 back broke a 13-year old McCoy Natatorium pool record originally set in 1999. Ryan, the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, placed first in all of his events to lead four Penn State sweeps. The rookie swam the 50 free in 20.46 seconds before recording a season best of 45.00 seconds in the 100 free.

Both Grier and Ryan aided the Lions in a victory in the 200 medley relay, joining sophomore Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) and junior James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.) to swim a collective time of 1:29.54. The squad of Ryan, sophomore Jeff Young (Hershey, Pa.), freshman Matt Grillo (Montreal, Quebec) and sophomore Larry Virgilio (Pine Bush, N.Y.) went on to record the top time of 1:24.24 in the 200 free relay, as well.

Several Lions won individual victories, including Wilson in the 100 breast, sophomore Nick Ankosko (East Brunswick, N.J.) in the 1,000 free and the 500 free, junior John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.) in the 200 free and Savoy in the 200 back. Each recording their first collegiate wins in an individual event, freshman Philip Mancuso (Hershey, Pa.) led a sweep in the 200 fly with a personal best time of 1:53.34, while Max Byers (Glen Carbon, Ill.) led a sweep in the 200 breast with a time of 2:12.53.

Sophomore T.J. Schenkel (Richboro, Pa.) led the Penn State divers, setting two new personal best records during his events. Schenkel won the one-meter dive with a score of 301.05 and the three-meter dive with a score of 332.92. Claiming second on both the one- and three meter boards, senior Alex Marchinski (Shillington, Pa.) recorded respective scores of 285.82 and 300.52. Rounding out the sweep to make his debut as a Lion, junior Lucas Kachurick (McKeesport, Pa.) earned 258.60 points on the one-meter dive and recorded a score of 266.77 on the three-meter board for third place.

Virginia rests at 3-0 with sweeps of Navy, Pittsburgh and South Carolina on both the men and women's teams. The Indiana women's team currently sits a 2-2, falling to Tennessee and Texas and defeating Kentucky and Michigan. On the men's side, the Hoosiers also hold a 2-2 record with victories over Kentucky and Tennessee and losses to Texas and Michigan.

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