Two School Records Fall as Nittany Lions Advance 10 to Finals on Final Day of Prelims at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 23, 2008
Columbus, Ohio - Two Penn State school records were broken on Saturday morning at the final day of preliminaries at the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. Daphne Skelos shattered the record in the 200 backstroke while Kailey Morris broke the record in the 200 butterfly to swim her first NCAA `A' time of the year and become the seventh Penn State swimmer to automatically qualify for NCAA Championships. Overall, the Nittany Lions qualified 10 swimmers for the finals in four events. They will have four entrants in the 1650 freestyle finals tonight.
Skelos finished first the prelims of the 200 back with a record time of 1:56.57, shattering the previous mark of 1:57.25 that was held by Erin Morris and set in 2006. Her swim produced her third NCAA `A' time of the Big Ten Championships, as she has also swam to career best times in both the 200 and 400 IM on the previous two days. She was the only Nittany Lions to qualify for the finals of the 200 back, however, as Kaitlyn Ferguson finished 18th, just .35 of a second out of the 16th and final spot in the scoring finals. She will be the second alternate for the consolation finals.
In the 200 fly, Morris finished second in 1:57.79, her first NCAA `A' cut of the year. She broke the school record by .08 of a second, topping Amberle Biedermann's time of 1:57.87 from 2004. Morris was one of three Nittany Lions to qualify for the finals of the 200 fly. Behind Morris was Kelly Nelson in fifth place at 1:58.81 and Karie Haglund in seventh place at 1:59.37, improving her previous NCAA `B' cut from earlier this year.
Four Nittany Lions will also swim in the finals of the 200 breaststroke. Kaitlin O'Brien led the way with a fourth place finish in 2:14.62. Clare Clemens finished just behind O'Brien in fifth in 2:14.85, shaving almost two seconds off her previous NCAA `sB' time. Abby Hoisington and Caitlin Meehan will swim in the consolation final as Hoisington placed 14th and Meehan 16th.
Penn State also qualified two for the consolation finals of the 100 free. Michelle Myers led the way by finishing ninth in :50.44, just .09 of a second out of the final spot in the championship finals. Lindsey DeForrest logged her second NCAA `B' cut of the championships, swimming a career best time of :50.86 to finish 12th.
All heats except for the final heat of the 1650 free will be contested beginning late this afternoon. Then, at 6:30 p.m.,the final heat of the 1650 free and then all the other finals will be swam. Penn State enters the night in fourth place, just 10 points out of second place.