The Penn State women¡¯s swimming and diving team will head to the 2005 NCAA Championships next week for three days of competition Mar. 17-19 in West Lafayette, Ind. Here is a look at the Nittany Lions heading to Purdue University¡¯s Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; March 15, 2005 ¨C Penn State will enter the 2005 NCAA Championships with a school-record 14 NCAA qualifiers, which is the fifth most in the country. Nittany Lion swimmers will compete in all 18 swimming events at the NCAA Championships, including six swimmers in the 1,650-yard freestyle. The Nittany Lions will shoot to beat the school¡¯s record of 101 points at the NCAA Championships, which they achieved last season when they finished 15th.
Penn State is under the direction of head coach Bill Dorenkott, who is in his 10th year at Penn State, including seven as the women¡¯s head coach.
The Nittany Lions are fresh off a dominating performance at the Big Ten Championships where they captured their second conference title in four years by beating their nearest competitor by nearly 200 points with a team total of 693. Twenty-two of Penn State¡¯s 25 swimmers scored points at the Big Ten Championships, aiding in head coach Bill Dorenkott being named the conference¡¯s Coach of the Year.
The Nittany Lions won four Big Ten titles, including wins in the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Leading the way for Penn State are four-time NCAA qualifiers Deirdre Dlugonski, Courtney Stanchock and Kristen Woodring, while juniors Amberle Biedermann and Sarah Haupt are making their third trips.
The four-some of Haupt, Woodring, Biedermann and Dlugonski finished fourth and fifth in the 400- and 200 medley relays, respectively, at last year¡¯s NCAA Championships. Haupt finished third in the 100 backstroke, and Woodring captured seventh in the 100 breaststroke at those championships.
Biedermann captured the Big Ten title in the 100 butterfly, while Woodring won the 100 breaststroke.
Also making return trips from the 2004 NCAA Championships are sophomores Margy Keefe, Megan Palera and Erin Morris. Keefe finished 12th in the 1,650 freestyle, 15th in the 400 freestyle and 13th in the 800 freestyle relay. Morris and Palera were also on the 800 freestyle relay team. Senior Jennifer Eberst will make her second trip to the NCAA Championships, and first since 2002 when she qualified in the 100 and 200 butterflies.
Also competing at the NCAA Championships for the Nittany Lions will be Nikki Collins, Claire Hawley, Meredith Holman, Lauren Preyss and Lauren Semchyshen.
Meet the NCAA Qualifiers!
Amberle Biedermann: Biedermann, a junior, is a 10-time Big Ten Champion, a seven-time Big Ten record holder and a five-time all-American. She was the 2003 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and she is a three-time first-team all-conference honoree. Biedermann won three Big Ten titles this season in the 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay, and 100 butterfly. She is making her third appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Nikki Collins: Collins, a sophomore, is making her first career appearance at the NCAA Championships. She will be one of six Nittany Lions who will compete in the 1,650-yard freestyle. She finished sixth in the event at the Big Ten Championships in 16:29.49. She also took 12th in the 500 freestyle, and third in the 800 freestyle relay.
Deirdre Dlugonski: Dlugonski won her seventh career Big Ten title this season by helping Penn State¡¯s 200 medley relay team set the conference championship record with a time of 1:39.06. She is a three-time Big Ten record holder, a four-time NCAA qualifier and a five-time all-American. She set two school records at the 2005 Big Ten Championships in the 50 freestyle (22.80) and 100 freestyle (49.84). Dlugonski is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and a 2004 Academic All-American.
Jennifer Eberst: Eberst will compete for the second time at the NCAA Championships after scoring in three events at the Big Ten Championships. She finished fifth in the 100 backstroke (55.66), sixth in the 200 butterfly (2:01.63) and seventh in the 100 butterfly (55.26). She is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Sarah Haupt: Haupt, a junior, is an eight-time Big Ten Champion, five-time Big Ten record holder and a three-time all-American. She has been named to the all-Big Ten first team three times, including this season when she won two Big Ten titles in the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay. Haupt was a 2004 Academic all-Big Ten honoree, and an Academic all-American.
Claire Hawley: Hawley will also be competing at the NCAA Championships for the first time after being named to the all-Big Ten second team this season. She had several outstanding finishes at the Big Ten Championships, including a second-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle (16:16.59) with the second best time in school history. She also finished third in the 400 IM (4:17.56) and sixth in the 500 freestyle (4:49.06).
Meredith Holman: Holman, a senior, is making her first trip to the NCAA Championships. She captured eighth at the Big Ten Championships in the 1,650 freestyle (16:30.19), while also placing 11th in the 500 freestyle (4:50.85).
Margy Keefe: Keefe will make her second appearance in the NCAA Championships in her sophomore season. She qualified automatically with a fourth place finish at the Big Ten Championships in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 16:20.52. She also finished fifth in the 500 freestyle (4:48.39), and 13th in the 400 IM (4:26.67).
Megan Palera: Also competing for the second time in her sophomore season for the Nittany Lions is Megan Palera. She finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships in the 400 IM (4:18.22), 14th in the 500 freestyle (4:52.55) and 14th in the 200 butterfly (2:04.62).
Erin Morris: Morris had a memorable run at the Big Ten Championships to qualify for the NCAAs for the second time in her sophomore season. She was named to the all-Big Ten first team after breaking two school records at the championships. Morris captured second place at the Big Tens in both the 500 freestyle and 200 backstroke. She finished just .17 seconds behind Olympic Gold Medalist Carly Piper (Wisconsin) in the 500 freestyle with a school-record time of 4:42.17. She also broke the school record in the 200 backstroke (1:57.94) just a few minutes after placing fifth in the 1,650 freestyle in 16:24.39). She also helped the Nittany Lions take third in the 800 freestyle relay (7:16.23).
Lauren Preyss: Preyss will make her first trip to the NCAA Championships as a freshman after being named to the all-Big Ten first team. At the Big Ten Championships, Preyss broke the Penn State record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.33 after leading off the first leg of the 800 freestyle relay, which finished third in 7:16.23. She won her first career Big Ten title in the 400 medley relay (3:38.79), while also taking seventh in the 50 freestyle (23.19) and the 200 freestyle (1:48.67).
Lauren Semchyshen: Semchyshen will compete for the first time at the NCAA Championships as a senior. She captured fourth in the 200 freestyle relay at the Big Ten Championships with a time of 1:31.40. She also took 12th in the 100 butterfly in 55.38.
Courtney Stanchock: Stanchock is wrapping up her collegiate career with her third trip to the NCAA Championships after being honored as an all-Big Ten second team member. Her NCAA qualifying time, and second place finish, in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.55) at the Big Ten Championships secured her trip to West Lafayette, Ind. She also finished third in the 200 IM (2:02.32) and 10th in the 200 breaststroke (2:17.28) at the Big Ten Championships.
Kristen Woodring: Woodring will leave Penn State as the most decorated swimmer in school history after being named to the all-Big Ten first team for the fourth time. She won three Big Ten titles this season to bring her career total to 10. She won the 200 medley relay (1:39.06), the 400 medley relay (3:38.79) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.41). She is a four-time Big Ten record holder, a five-time all-American, and she is the only woman in Big Ten history to break one minute in the 100 breaststroke.