Penn State Swims to Third-Place Finish at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 21, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - In the final day of competition at the Big Ten Championships, the Penn State women's swimming and diving team finished in third place at 409 points, marking the eighth time in nine years that the Nittany Lion natators finished in the top three in the conference. A total of three school records and eight NCAA `B' consideration times were set on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Penn State edged fourth-place Michigan and fifth-place Wisconsin by 15 and 24 points, respectively. Indiana won the Big Ten Championship, owning 823 points, well over Minnesota's 665.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Sarah Baker, Lindsey DeForrest, Kelly Nelson and Michelle Myers nabbed third place with a time of 3:18.40. The quartet's time was more than three seconds faster than a six-year-old school record and will be good enough for national consideration.
DeForrest set a school record of her own in the 100 free when she came in sixth. She set a `B' time at 49.70 and was .14 faster than the previous high, set by Dee Dlugonski in 2005. Baker came in 12th at 50.05, which was more than a half-second quicker than Myers' 15th-place finish. Sam Palser was the fourth Nittany Lion to swim in this evening's action, coming in 24th at 51.63.
Karie Haglund timed in with the third Penn State school record when she placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke. Haglund swam a 2.12.03 `B' time that was eight-hundreths of a second faster than the record Corrie Clark set in 2002. Kaitlin O'Brien (2:12.23) and Lyndsey Smith (2:12.96) each recorded an NCAA time in the event as they came in sixth and seventh, respectively. Caitlin Meehan rounded out the breaststroke swimmers when she came in 18th at 2:17.82.
Nelson earned second-team All-Big Ten honors when she tabbed second in the 200 butterfly and notched a `B' time of 1:56.77. Kailey Morris swam in third at 1:57.15, also an NCAA mark. Alex Young swam 19th with a time of 2:00.36.
The Nittany Lions will find out how many more swimmers beyond the automatic qualifiers have qualified for NCAAs in two weeks when the NCAA field is announced.