Women Set Record on First Day of Big Ten Championships
Feb. 16, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Penn State women's swimming & diving team kicked off the Big Ten Championships with a record-breaking performance while eclipsing a pair of NCAA `B' standards during the first day of the conference meet at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on Wednesday night.
During the evening action, the Nittany Lions started the competition in fine fashion by setting a new school record in the 200-medley relay during the first of two events on opening night. Eventually, Penn State concluded the first day tied in fifth place after earning 56 points. With 19 events still remaining in the championship meet, Indiana and Wisconsin are tied in first with 68 points.
In the first event of the meet, the foursome of Hailey Campbell, Merritt Krawczyk, Mackenzie Powers, and Paige Whitmire pieced together a memorable performance as they topped the program record in the 200-medley relay. During the event, they cruised to a time of 1:38.59, which trumped the previous school mark of 1:38.74 set during the 2009 season. Their performance eventually placed them fourth in the field and easily topped the provisional qualifying time for the NCAA meet by over four seconds.
Following a brief break in action, Penn State came right back with another strong effort in the 800-freestyle relay. Amy Modglin, Monika Mialka, Erin Thomas, and Chelsea Weedman combined to finish sixth with a time of 7:12.74. That pace easily beat the NCAA `B' standard by nearly 11 seconds.
For the first time in conference history, synchronized 3-meter diving was contested as an exhibition event as well. During that competition, the senior duo of Ilana Zeises and Megan Marco posted a score of 219.00, which placed them sixth in the inaugural field.
The competition will continue tomorrow with finals in five events. Champions will be crowned in the 50-freestyle, 200-IM, 500-free, 200-freestyle relay, and 1-meter board. Prelims are slated for 11 a.m. before finals begin at 6:30 in the evening.