Swimming & Diving Teams Unveil 2008-09 Schedules
Sept. 5, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach John Hargis announced today the 2008-09 schedules for both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams. The schedules, which slightly contrast between the men and women, feature the Big Cat Invitational, hosted by the men, and women's home meets against Richmond and Rutgers.
After the Blue/White exhibition, the Nittany Lions will open the season with a dual meet at West Virgina on Oct. 22. Following the opener, the Spiders, of Richmond, will face the women's team on Saturday, Oct. 25. A week later, Hargis' squads will go on a jaunt to the Deep South, where they'll take on Texas A&M and Southern Methodist on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 respectively. Upon its return, the men's team will host the Big Cat Invitational at the McCoy Natatorium.
Both the men's and women's teams will participate in a tri-match on Nov. 14-15 against Virginia and Florida State in Charlottesville, Va. After a three-week hiatus, the natators will split up on the weekend of Dec. 5-7. The women divers will attend the Galbraith Diving Invite at Rutgers, while the rest of the team will set off to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State Invitational.
Following a brief break for the holiday season, both teams will depart for Naples, Fla. for Penn State's annual winter training trip. During their stay in the Sunshine State, the Nittany Lions will compete against junior-college power Indian River Community College on Jan. 3. Divers will compete at the Bulldog Shootout in Knoxville, Tenn. on Jan 8-10. The "Bulldog Shootout" involves the top six finishers from the 1-meter competition. Each diver performs one dive in the first round, and the diver with the lower score is eliminated. The same procedure takes place through five rounds, and the final diver remaining is the shoot-out champion.
Next on the bill is a quad meet with Villanova, Pittsburgh and Maryland in College Park, Md. on Jan. 16-17. The following weekend, the women host Rutgers, which does not have a men's program, on Saturday, Jan. 30. The final meet before the championship season is at Ohio State on Jan. 30-31.
Teams will have one month to prepare before the Big Ten Championships take place on Feb. 26-28 on the campus of Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. NCAA Zone A Diving Regionals will occur on March 13-15 in Annapolis, Md. and is hosted by Navy. The NCAA Championships are in College Station, Texas on March 19-21.
It is Hargis' first year at the helm for the Nittany Lions. Last year's national champion in the 200 backstroke Pat Schirk returns for his final lap on the men's team. Last year, the Nittany Lions accumulated their best placing at the NCAA Championships in five years, tying Hawai'i for 23rd. Meanwhile, the Penn State's women finished the dual meet season undefeated and placed fourth overall at the Big Ten Championships. All-American Kelly Nelson, who earned sixth place nationally in the 200 Butterfly, returns for the women who are poised for another successful season. The women's swimming and diving team won three of the past seven Big Ten championships.