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Dec. 5, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Three top-five finishes, including one program record and two career-best performances, highlighted the Penn State women's swimming team's first day of competition at the Texas Invitational on Thursday. Senior Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.) posted a school record in the 100 butterfly and Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) recorded career-bests in two of her events to lead the way for the Nittany Lions.
Powers notched the best finish of the day for the Lions in the 100 butterfly, placing third in 52.52 in the final, but the focal point of the day came earlier in the meet as the senior swam her way to a program record finish in the preliminaries. Powers clocked in at 52.06, besting her previous school record time of 52.25. Her preliminary time was well under the NCAA "B" qualifying standard of 54.49 and narrowly missed the "A" standard time of 51.90.
Shishkoff registered personal-bests in the 200 IM and 500 free, reaching the NCAA "B" qualifying standard in each race. The senior placed fourth in the 200 IM and turned in the fourth-fastest time in program history at 1:58.32, one second faster than her previous best. She also touched the wall in 4:42.51 in the 500 free preliminary, knocking over five seconds off of her previous best time of 4:47.49 from 2012, and also earned the No. 3 spot on the PSU 500 free all-time list in the process.
The 200 free relay squad of Carolyn Fittin (Sea Girt, N.J.), Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec), Katie Saloky (Bloomsburg, Pa.), and Katelyn Miller (Hershey, Pa.) recorded a season-best mark of 1:30.72, finishing fourth, while the 400 medley relay team of Casey Fazio (Washington, N.J.), Haley Sinatro (West Hartford, Conn.), Katie Rowe (Glenville, N.Y.) and Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.) placed ninth with a season-best mark of 3:43.96.
Ackman also posted a top 10 effort in the 500 free, finishing seventh in 4:46.15, and turned in an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 22.91 in the 50 free, placing 12th. Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) rounded out the top 10 finishers for the Nittany Lions. The senior clocked in a 1:59.93, an NCAA "B" qualifying mark, en route to a 10th place finish.
Fittin, Rowe and Sinatro also posted NCAA "B" qualifying times. Fittin touched the wall in 53.92 in the prelims of the 100 butterfly and placed 13th in the finals in 54.18. Rowe met the "B" qualifying standard in the 100 butterfly prelims and the 200 IM, clocking in at 53.82 and 2:01.53, respectively. Sinatro notched a qualifying mark in the 200 IM prelims, touching the wall in 2:00.27.
The Nittany Lions return to the pool on Friday for the second day of the Texas Invitational. Day two is slated to begin at 11 a.m. (ET) with the 400 IM prelims. Fans can follow the action live at sidearmsports.com/texas/swim.