Women's Swimming And Diving Qualifies 13 Individuals For Tonight's Finals in Three Big Ten Championship Events
BLOOMINGTON, IND. (Feb. 17, 2005) - The Penn State women's swimming and diving team followed up a great Day 1 performance at the Big Ten Championships with an even better Day 2 preliminary session on Thursday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions claimed 13 of the 48 open spots in the finals of the 500-yard freestyle, 200 IM and 50 freestyle events. The finals will begin at 7 p.m. tonight. A link to live results will be available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
Penn State entered the day in second place with 72 points, which was a school best after the first day of the Big Ten Championships. Michigan leads the event with 73, Wisconsin is third with 67, Indiana is fourth with 58 and Purdue is fifth with 56. The Nittany Lions won their only Big Ten Championship in 2002.
Senior Deirdre Dlugonski (Washington, Pa.) broke her own school record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.80, qualifying first for tonight's finals. Her NCAA "A" cut time bested her previous best of 22.95, which was set last season. Freshman Lauren Preyss (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) will join Dlugonski in the championship finals after finishing eighth with an NCAA "B" cut time of 23.08.
"I was really happy with it," Dlugonski said. "As a team, we came in looking to swim the best we can, and I was happy to do that for the team. I don't think it takes any pressure off. It puts a little more on because every other girl in that heat is capable of going faster tonight. So I just have to go out there and swim."
Sophomore Erin Morris (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) claimed her first-ever school record by taking second place in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:44.09, which is also an NCAA qualifying time. Morris broke Sally Anderson's school record of 4:45.49, which was set in 2003. Morris was one of four Penn State swimmers to qualify for the eight-person championship finals of the 500 freestyle, and she was one of eight Nittany Lions to qualify for the Top 16 scoring spots. The Top 16 finishers in each event score team points.
Sophomore Margy Keefe (Cincinnati, Ohio), sophomore Claire Hawley (Barnstable, Mass.) and freshman Molly Crispell (Boalsburg, Pa.) also qualified for the championship finals of the 500 freestyle. Sophomore Megan Palera (Santa Maria, Calif.), junior Patty Murphy (Medford, N.J.), sophomore Nikki Collins (Carmel, Ind.) and senior Meredith Holman (Inman, S.C.) all qualified for the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle. Keefe (4:48.75), Hawley (4:50.12), Crispell (4:50.31), Palera (4:51.89), Murphy (4:52.97) and Collins (4:53.85) all recorded NCAA provisional times.
Senior Courtney Stanchock (Bloomsburg, Pa.) finished fourth in the 200 IM with an NCAA "B" cut time of 2:03.52 to qualify for the championship finals. Senior Larissa Kavchok (Emmaus, Pa.) and junior Amberle Biedermann (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished ninth and tenth with NCAA "B" cut times of 2:04.20 and 2:04.27, respectively, to qualify for the 200 IM consolation finals.
The Nittany Lions continued what has begun as their best-ever start to the Big Ten Championships. On Wednesday night, the Penn State 200 medley relay team of junior Sarah Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.), senior Kristen Woodring (Sinking Spring, Pa.), Biedermann and Dlugonski broke their own Big Ten Championship, and conference record, with a time of 1:39.06.
Preyss also got her Big Ten Championship career started by breaking Penn State's 13-year-old 200 freestyle record after swimming the first leg of the 800 freestyle with a time of 1:47.33. The 800 freestyle relay team finished third in 7:16.23, topping last year's finish of seventh place.
For more information on Penn State men's and women's swimming and diving, please visit our official athletics website at www.GoPSUsports.com.