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Feb. 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; February 21, 2013-- It was an onslaught on the record books for the No. 24 Penn State women's swimming and diving program on the second night of the Big Ten Championships. The University Aquatic Center on the Minnesota campus was the site of at least one record breaking swims in each of the four events for the Nittany Lions as they ended the night in third place overall with 175 points over the first two days of competition.
The finals of the 200 freestyle relay kicked off the finals on the second night of the championships and the Nittany Lions began a pattern of breaking school records. The quartet of Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.), Carolyn Fittin (Sea Grit, N.J.), Katelyn Miller (Hershey, Pa.) and Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec) claimed a runner-up finish and broke the year-old school record with a time of 1:28.96. The time claimed the second NCAA A Cut time of the season and was over two seconds faster than their previous season-best showing.
The 500 freestyle saw another school record fall as Ackman won the B Finals with a mark of 4:42.11 to break an eight-year old school record previously held by Erin Morris at 4:42.17. The freshman boasted a prelim time of 4:47.90 to qualify for the B finals before posting the school record swim to finished ninth overall in the race. Megan Siverling (Chester Springs, Pa.) set a new personal-best in both her prelim and finals swims and also came in under the old school records mark. The sophomore swam 4:43.34 in the prelims before finishing sixth in the A Finals in a time of 4:42.12 and a new personal-record.
Senior Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas) entered the championships as the school record holder in the 200 IM and ended the night with the same distinction, but Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) held the school's top mark after the prelims of the event. Weedman was the top qualifier and broke Krawczyk's school record with a time of 1:57.55 in the prelims, but Krawczyk swam 1:57.18 in the finals to finish second overall in the event and take her school record back. Weedman swam 1:58.12 in the finals of the event to finish third overall.
Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) touched the wall in 2:00.77 during the prelims of the 200 IM before swimming 2:01.15 to finish 15th overall in the finals.
A trio of Nittany Lions qualified for the C Finals of the 200 IM and all of them posted personal-best swims on the night. Haley Sinatro (West Hartford, Conn.) won the C Finals heat with a career-best time of 2:00.36 and was followed closely by teammate Amy Modglin (Fort Myers, Fla.) and her career-best 2:00.90 in the race. Freshman Melissa Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico) also had a pair of good swims on the night and touched the wall in 2:01.18 in the prelims to set a new PR and followed that with a 2:01.35 to finish 21st overall in the finals of the event.
After helping the 200 freestyle relay team to a school record, Whitmire improved upon her own Penn State record in the 50 freestyle to cap off the night. The senior qualified for the A Finals with a prelim swim of 22.48 and came back during the evening session and finished runner-up in a school record time of 22.22. Fittin, who was also a part of the record setting relay squad, posted a prelim time of 22.74 to qualify for the B Finals and followed that up with a personal-best swim of 22.54 to finish ninth overall in the event.
Miller swam a personal-best 22.98 in the prelims of the 50 freestyle and followed that up with a 22.99 showing in the finals to finish 19th overall and cap off the night for the Blue and White.
Day three of the Big Ten Championships starts with the preliminary heats start at Noon on Friday, Feb. 22nd the finals will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.