Seven Lions Earn All-Conference Honors For Leading Penn State to Second Straight Big Ten Women's Swimming & Diving Championship
COLUMBUS, Ohio; February 19, 2006 - Seven members of the Penn State women's swimming and diving team earned All-Big Ten honors after leading the Nittany Lions to another conference title this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.
Penn State won its second consecutive Big Ten title and its third since 2002 under Coach Bill Dorenkott. The No. 14 Nittany Lions overcame a 10th place standing after the first day, moving into first place by two points on Friday and building on its lead to capture the title Saturday night. Penn State earned 552 points, followed by Minnesota (536.5) and Michigan (509).
Senior Sarah Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) and freshman Kaitlin O'Brien (Caldwell, N.J.) earned first team All-Big Ten honors. Haupt won the 100 back in :54.04, to better the NCAA "A" qualifying standard. O'Brien won the 400 individual medley with an NCAA "A" qualifying time of 4:12.03. The mark also broke Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion record.
Five Nittany Lions earned second team All-Big Ten accolades: junior Jessica Barnes (Glenmoore, Pa.), junior Nikki Collins (Carmel, Ind.), sophomore Molly Crispell (Boalsburg, Pa.), junior Erin Morris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and freshman Kelly Nelson (West Chester, Pa.). Collins was second in the 1,650 free with a time of 16:25.79. The remaining quartet captured second place in the 800 free relay with an NCAA "A" qualifying time of 7:11.59. Morris also was recognized for her second place finish in the 200 back, recording an NCAA "A" qualifying time of 1:57.25.
"We returned a pretty strong group from last year and we kept a steady approach all season long," said Dorenkott. "We did the things we needed to do to win the championship. We swam well and caught a couple of breaks. It has been a challenging year with some injuries and illness. To bring this group here and be successful was very gratifying. We try to do our best swimming in February and March. I'm proud of our kids and our staff."
The NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be held March 16-18 at Athens, Ga.