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March 18, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - On the first day of the NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving National Championships, five members of the Penn State women's swimming team earned All-American honors as Merritt Krawczyk and the 200-freestyle relay squad headlined a strong performance by the Nittany Lions at the Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Buoyed by the efforts of their All-Americans, the Lions finished the evening with six points, which places them 26th in the field.
Krawczyk pieced together an incredible performance in the 200-IM. During the preliminaries, she broke the school record after touching the wall in 1:58.05. Later, she eventually settled into 13th place in the finals after completing the course in 1:58.24.
For her efforts, Krawczyk garnered honorable mention All-American honors. She also became the first Nittany Lion in 10 years to finish in the top-16 in the 200-IM. Corrie Clark was the last to accomplish the feat after placing 12th in 2001.
Earlier in the day, the 200-freestyle relay squad set the tone for the meet after placing 16th in the event. The foursome of Paige Whitmire, Samantha Palser, Erin Thomas, and Katie Pulos teamed up to post a time of 1:30.76. For their performance, each member of the unit earned honorable mention All-American honors.
Following their performance on the relay squad, three Lions returned to the pool to compete in the 50-free. Palser and Whitmire led the way, tying for 40th after both touched the wall in 22.74. Pulos rounded out the group with a time of 23.48, which placed her 61st in the field.
In other events, Amy Modglin recorded a personal-best in the 500-freestyle after finishing 45th with a time of 4:46.36.
Along with Krawczyk, Chelsea Weedman also had an outstanding effort in the 200-IM. The freshman phenom clocked in at 1:58.63, which placed her 18th in the field and fourth among first-year competitors.
The national meet will continue tomorrow with eight events. Champions will be crowned in the 200-medley relay, 400-IM, 100-fly, 200-freestyle, 100-breaststroke, 100-back, 3-meter dive, and 800-freestyle relay. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. with finals starting at 7 p.m.