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|Villanova Swim Complex | Villanova, Pa.|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams will head into the Big Ten Championships on a winning note after sweeping Villanova by scores of 186-78 and 177-86 in a dual meet Friday in the Villanova Swimming Complex.
Niki Price led the Nittany Lion women with two event wins, touching first in the 200 free (1:51.06) and the 100 free (51.51). Ally McHugh (Philadelphia, Pa.) followed Price for a 1-2 PSU finish in the 200 free (1:52.38) and won the 200 butterfly (2:03.54), also leading a 1-2 finish with Casey Francis trailing in second (2:03.96). The Lions took their most points in the 50 free with Katie Saloky leading a 1-2-3 sweep in 23.55 seconds.
Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) won the 200 backstroke in 1:45.55 and now owns NCAA B-cut times in six different individual events. He led a 1-2-3 Lion sweep in the event with Liam Veregin touching second in 1:51.70 and Robbie Dickson touching third in 1:52.36. Ryan O’Neill also led a podium sweep in the 200 free in 1:41.53.
“There’s a very single focus now and that’s Big Tens,” said head coach Tim Murphy. “We’ll train tomorrow morning, we’ll lift and I told them they need to take care of themselves so they’re healthy, do their schoolwork, and keep it real simple and focus for the next couple weeks.”
The Nittany Lions continued to see success on the boards, as Hector Garcia Boissier and Mackenzie Cornell swept the men’s and women’s diving events. Garcia set a personal best in the 1-meter of 405.15 and won the 3-meter with a score 376.65. Cornell posted a score of 319.95 in the 3-meter and 273.38 in the 1-meter.
The Lions swept the distance events on both sides with freshman Amber Glenn earning top-two finishes in both women’s 1000 and 500 frees. She won the 1000 in 10:06.55 and placed second in the 500 (5:00.03) to classmate Siena Salvaggio who touched first in 4:55.88. For the Penn State men, John Nunez touched first in the 1000 free (9:41.61) and Cervone did the same in the 500 (4:40.89).
Other freshmen joining Glenn and Salvaggio on the women’s side as event winners were Heather MacDougall in the 200 IM (2:04.31), Annalee Johnson in the 200 breast (2:20.51). On the men’s side, three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Kaelan Freund continued his winning ways in the 200 breast (2:00.88) and Matt DiNunzio claimed the 200 fly (1:52.63).
Additional Nittany Lion men’s upperclassmen claimed gold as well, as Tomer Zamir won the 50 free (21.54), Andrew Schuehler won the 200 IM in 1:57.29 and Bob Bantley claimed the 100 free in 46.47 seconds.
Penn State will next compete in the Big Ten Championships. The women’s meet is Feb. 15-18 at Purdue, while the men's meet is Feb. 22-25 at Ohio State.