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Nov. 30, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 30, 2012 -- It's not always about the team score when you arrive at an invitational, but the Nittany Lions got off to a respectable start at the Georgia Fall Invitational on Friday, Nov. 30. After six events, the Blue and White sit tied for fourth place with 137 points and had a handful of quality showings in the pool.
Both relay efforts were season-bests for the Blue and White. Carolyn Fittin (Sea Grit, N.J.), Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.), Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec)and Katelyn Miller (Hershey, Pa.) teamed up to start the meet with a fourth place finish in the 200 free relay. Their time of 1:31.00 is close to achieving the NCAA provisional qualifying time and is over one-second faster than the team's previous best. Whitmire and Ackman were a part of the quartet that included Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas) and Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.) that placed seventh in the 400 medley relay in a time of 3:37.86.
Ackman had a solid individual effort in the pool with a pair of top-20 finishes. The rookie was the No. 7 finisher in the finals of the 500 free and placed 16th overall in the finals of the 50 free. At the 500 free distance, Ackman swam a NCAA B Cut time of 4:44.40 in the finals of the event after clocking a personal-best time of 4:42.36 in the prelims. In the splash and dash, Ackman clocked a personal-best 23.15 in the prelims, before swimming 23.46 in the finals to claim her second top-20 finish.
Two other Penn State swimmers claimed NCAA B Cut times in the 50 free, with Whitmire boasting a fifth place showing in the event and Fittin placing No. 14 overall in the finals. Whitmire swam a season-best 22.43 in the event in the prelims to take the third seed into the finals, while her time of 22.54 was good enough for a fifth place finish in the finals.
Fittin also swan a season-best time in the prelims, touching the wall in 22.97, to grab the No. 11 qualifying time, before clocking in at 23.14 in the finals to place 14th overall.
Krawczyk grabbed two more NCAA provisional times in the 200 IM and finished 7th overall in the event. The senior swam 1:58.61 in the prelims and followed that with a 1:58.90 in the finals of the event. Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) also clocked a NCAA B Cut time in the event and claimed the only other top-10 finish for the Lions. The junior swam 1:59.21 - over one-second faster than her prelim time - to claim 10th in the event.
The team scores stack up with the host Bulldogs sitting in first with 335 points, followed by Cal with 266 and Virginia in third place with 180 points, Auburn is tied with Penn State with 137 points, while Harvard's 87 points and Virginia Tech's 48 points round out the team scoring.
Action at the Georgia Fall Invitational will continue tomorrow morning when the semifinals of eight events are contested starting at 9:30 a.m. The finals of those events will take place at 5:00 p.m.