Nittany Lions Send 10 Swimmers to NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships This Weekend
March 19, 2008
University Park, Pa. - For the fifth straight year, the Penn State women's swimming team will send at least 10 swimmers to the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, which begin Thursday, March 20 and run through Saturday, March 22. This year's championships will be hosted by Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions will have exactly 10 swimmers heading to NCAAs this year for the second straight year. This year also marks the seventh time in the last eight years that Penn State has had 10 or more swimmers qualify for NCAAs.
This year was a particularly fast year for NCAA qualifying times. All 10 of Penn State's qualifiers had to swim an NCAA 'A' time to qualify. The field was so deep and fast that junior Karie Haglund, who was just .25 of a second short of an 'A' time in the 200 butterfly and is a two-time NCAA qualifier, did not get an invitation this year. The 800 free relay team also narrowly missed out due to the amount of fast times that were swam across the country this year.
Only one of the 10 PSU qualifiers is a senior. Clare Clemens, a junior college transfer last year, qualified by swimming her 'A' time in the 200 breaststroke at ECAC Championships. Clemens is one of five that will be making their first career appearance at NCAAs. Also making their first appearances are juniors Kaitlyn Ferguson and Caitlin Meehan and sophomores Michelle Myers and Stephanie Roop.
Junior Abby Hoisington and sophomores Kailey Morris and Daphne Skelos will be making their second career appearance at NCAAs. Hoisington is making a return to NCAAs after going there as a freshman but missing it last year. Morris a returning honorable mention All-American in the 200 fly. Skelos is the new school record holder in the 200 back, having broken the record at Big Ten's last month.
Juniors Kelly Nelson and Kaitlin O'Brien will be making their third straight appearance at NCAAs. Nelson was an honorable mention All-American in 2006 in the 200 fly and is the school record holder in both the 200 free and 200 fly, having broken her own record in the 200 free and the 200 fly record at Big Ten's last month as well. O'Brien was an All-American in the 400 IM as a freshman and an honorable mention All-American in the same event last year. She is also the school and Big Ten record holder in the event, having broken the Big Ten record this past season.
Action gets underway at Ohio State on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Live scoring for the entire meet can be found here. ESPN2 will also televise a 90-minute show featuring the championships on tape delay next Friday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m.