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Jan. 11, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 11, 2013 -- The Nittany Lions returned to the pool last weekend in a dual meet with North Carolina during their training trip to Florida and enter this weekend looking to continue their improvement this weekend in a tri-meet with Missouri State at Arkansas.
The top stroke on the women's squad this season has been the freestyle and the national rankings reflect that. There is at least one student-athlete ranked among the top-40 in the NCAA in the six freestyle strokes and all three of the freestyle relay teams are among the top-15 nationally. The school-record setting 800 freestyle relay team of Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec), Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.), Caitlyn Karr (Reading, Pa.) and Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) own the nation's eighth fastest time at 7:08.26, which is tops in the Big Ten by over one second. The 200 freestyle relay team ranks 15th and the 400 freestyle relay team is 12th entering the weekend with times of 1:31.00 and 3:17.83, respectively.
Ackman ranks among the nation's best in three freestyle strokes, Shishkoff is among the top-30 on two NCAA lists and Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) owns the 12th fastest time in the women's 50 freestyle. Ackman, who is having a solid rookie campaign, owns NCAA B Cut times in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle and is ranked among the top-25 in each event. The freshman owns the team's top time in the 100 free at 49.06 to ranks 20th in the NCAA, is atop the team charts and 22nd nationally with a time of 1:46.16 in the 200 free and is 15th nationally in the 500 free in 4:42.36. Powers swam 22.43 in the 50 free at the Georgia Invitational at the end of November to post the Big Ten's top time in the event so far this season, while Shishkoff is among the top-ten in the conference with times of 9:55.72 in the 500 free and 16:28.40 in the 1,650 free, ranking 20th and 28th, respectively.
The individual medley swims have produced a number of top performances for the blue and white this season, as well, with Shishkoff, Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas) and Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) all ranking among the top-30 in both the 200 and 400 IM events. Shishkoff adds to her national rankings with the No. 14 spot on the 400 IM chart - tops in the Big Ten - with a time of 4:09.92 and Weedman is the No. 27 ranked 400 IMer and is second in the Big Ten with a time 4:12.92. Krawczyk ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 36th nationally in the 400 IM in 4:13.76.
In the 200 IM, Krawczyk tops the team charts, is second in the Big Ten and No. 21 nationally with a season-best time of 1:58.61at the Georgia Invitational, while Weedman (1:59.21) is third in the Big Ten and No. 33 nationally and Shishkoff (1:59.42) is the fourth fastest in the Big Ten and 36th fastest nationally in the event.
Krawczyk is along among that national top-40 in the 100 breaststroke and 200 butterfly, joining Shishkoff as the only two PSU swimming to rank nationally in two or more different strokes. The senior ranks 40th in a time of 1:01.23 in the 100 breast, while claiming the No. 30 spot on the 200 fly charts in 1:58.17.
Additionally, senior Amy Modglin is the second ranked 200 backstroker in the Big Ten and ranks 16th in the NCAA with a season-best showing of 1:54.63 at the Georgia Invitational. Mackenzie Powers has the nation's 46th fastest 100 butterfly time and the defending Bit Ten champion and school record holder in the event owns a season-best time of 54.03.