Penn State Women's Swimming and Diving Takes Over First Place at Big Tens
COLUMBUS, OHIO; February 17, 2006 - With a 204-point day, defending Big Ten champion Penn State catapulted from fourth to first in the overall team competition Friday night at the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio, and now holds a two-point lead over Michigan heading down the home stretch. Senior Sara Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) won the 100-yard backstroke and took third in the 100-yard butterfly, while freshman Kaitlin O'Brien (Caldwell, N.J.) took top honors in the 400-yard IM.
The 400-yard IM proved to be a high-scoring event for the Lions with O'Brien, freshman Kelly Nelson (West Chester, Pa.) and junior Megan Palera (Santa Maria, Calif.) combining for 49 points. O'Brien hit the wall first with an NCAA "A" qualifying time of a pool record 4:12.03. Nelson also recorded an "A" qualifying mark of 4:15.31, finishing third. Palera came in sixth in the event.
The 100-yard backstroke also proved to bring in major points for Penn State with Haupt leading the way to a 45-point haul in the event. Haupt won the event with an "A" qualifying time of 54.04, while third-place finisher Erin Morris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) completed the event with a time of 55.12. Freshman Kaitlyn Ferguson (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) took ninth.
The Lions earned 38 points in the 100-yard butterfly with Haupt placing third, senior Amberle Biedermann (Colorado Springs, Colo.) fourth and freshman Karie Haglund (Marietta, Ga.) 10th.
Penn State got another 32 points from the 400-yard IM relay team of Haupt, Abby Hoisington (Leawood, Kansas), Biedermann and Molly Crispell (Boalsburg, Pa.), who took third place.
Hoisington finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke with freshman Caitlin Meehan (West Chester, Pa.) finishing seventh. Crispell also scored points for the Lions in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing seventh.
Competition concludes Saturday, Feb. 18, with preliminaries starting at 11:00 a.m. and finals kicking-off at 7 p.m.
The current standings (through 14 events) are: 1. Penn State 372 2. Michigan 370 3. Minnesota 339 4. Indiana 304 5. Purdue 287 6 Wisconsin 244 7. Northwestern 190 8. Ohio State 189 9. Illinois 132 10. Iowa 131 11. Michigan State 85