Women's Swimmers to Compete at NCAA Championships this Weekend
March 18, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 15 Penn State women's swimming and diving team will compete at the 2009 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships this weekend in College Station, Texas. The Nittany Lions will be represented by six swimmers in eight individual events. The six swimmers, all of whom are returnees to NCAAs, total 12 slots in the championship field, which begins Thursday, March 19.
Competing for Penn State are Kailey Morris, Kaitlin O'Brien, Kelly Nelson, Karie Haglund, Lyndsey Smith and Daphne Skelos. Penn State ties for the third largest contingent of attendees in the Big Ten, trailing only Minnesota (15) and Indiana (13).
Texas A&M hosts the NCAA Championships this year. All live results, heat sheets, standings, video and photos can be found on the Web at Texas A&M's Tournament Central.
O'Brien and Nelson each find themselves in the top ten on the psych sheets. O'Brien is placed 10th in the 400-yard IM with her fastest time of 4:08.10. Nelson, who is swimming in her fourth NCAAs, is also ranked 10th with her 1:55.37 time in the 200 butterfly.
Nelson comes in as a six-time honorable mention All-American and an All-American in the 200 butterfly. Nelson shattered her own school record at last year's NCAAs, earning a sixth-place nod. The senior from West Chester, Pa. will also swim in the 200 freestyle, in which she posted a time of 1:46.16 this season.
O'Brien and Morris each head the team with three invites. Along with the 400 IM event, O'Brien, a two-time honorable mention All-American and former All-American, is set to race in the 200 IM (1:58.50) and 200 breaststroke (2:12.09). Morris, swimming in her third NCAAs in as many years, notched times in the 200 fly (1:56.80), 400 IM (4:11.94) and 500 free (4:42.51).
An honorable mention All-American in her freshman year, Haglund returns to the Swimming and Diving Championships in two events: 100 breaststroke (1:00.21) and 200 breaststroke (2:12.03).
Skelos nearly made honorable mention All-American status last season in an 18th place showing at last year's NCAAs. Skelos looks for a top 16 spot in the 200 back, which she touched the wall in 1:55.50 this year to qualify.
Smith is also vying for her first set of hardware at NCAAs. Smith is registered in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.95).
Last season, the Nittany Lions finished in 29th place with a total of 26 points and eight All-American and honorable mention All-American finishes.
Penn State NCAA Invitees
Kailey Morris - 500 free - 4:42.51
Kaitlin O'Brien - 200 IM - 1:58.50
Kaitlin O'Brien - 400 IM - 4:08.10
Kailey Morris - 400 IM - 4:11.91
Kelly Nelson -- 200 free - 1:46.16
Karie Haglund - 100 breast - 1:00.21
Lyndsey Smith - 100 breast - 1:00.95
Daphne Skelos - 200 back - 1:55.50
Karie Haglund - 200 br - 2:12.03
Kaitlin O'Brien - 200 br - 2:12.09
Kelly Nelson - 200 fly - 1:55.37
Kailey Morris - 200 fly - 1:56.80