Amy Modglin Excels on Last Day of NCAA Championships
March 19, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - Sophomore standout Amy Modglin earned All-American honors and smashed her own school record in the 200-backstroke while guiding the Penn State women's swimming team to another strong performance on the final day of the NCAA Championships at the Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Saturday evening.
Headlined by Modglin's performance, Penn State finished the competition with 10 points, which placed them 35th overall. That point total marked the highest by the Nittany Lions at the national meet since earning 26 in 2008.
Cal captured the national championship after accumulating 424 points. Georgia, USC, Stanford, and Arizona rounded out the top-five.
In the backstroke, Modglin was simply sensational. In the preliminaries, she sliced .36 seconds off her own record pace after tapping in at 1:53.66. During her final split, she clocked in at an incredible 28.48, which was the fourth fastest of the event and over half-a-second quicker than the eventual champion.
Later, Modglin returned to the pool and placed 16th in the finals with a time of 1:55.05. That effort garnered her honorable mention All-American honors for the second straight season and matched her performance from the 2010 championships.
In addition to Modglin's efforts, Penn State also placed 17th in the 400-freestyle relay following a strong showing by the squad's top foursome. Samantha Palser, Paige Whitmire, Katie Pulos, and Erin Thomas completed the event in 3:18.83. Earlier in the meet, the same group earned All-American honors after placing 16th in the 200-freestyle relay on the opening night of the competition.
Prior to their performance in the relay, Palser, Thomas, and Whitmire also competed in the 100-freestyle. Palser led the way, finishing 29th with a time of 49.15. Thomas touched the wall next in 59th after clocking in at 50.41, while Whitmire placed 62nd in 50.83.
After earning All-American honors in the 100-breaststroke and 200-IM earlier in the week, Merritt Krawczyk wrapped up her stint at the 2011 NCAA Championships with another outstanding effort. In the 200-breaststroke, she posted a time of 2:14.26, which marked the finest clocking of her career. Eventually, she finished 46th in the field.
In Penn State's final event of the meet, the Lions watched Chelsea Weedman, Alexandra Young, and Mackenzie Powers perform well in the 200-fly. Weedman concluded her stellar freshman season after finishing 24th in the competition with a time of 1:57.64. Young, in the final event of her decorated four-year career, came in 35th after touching the wall in 1:58.54. Powers followed in 42nd after finishing in 2:01.20.
Overall, six members of Penn State's nine-person contingent at the title meet earned honorable mention All-American honors for their efforts. Fittingly, all six swimmers who earned the nation's highest honor will return for the 2011-12 season. Of the nine total competitors, only Young capped her career at the national competition.