Swimming and Diving Teams Open at West Virginia on Thursday
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.;October 18, 2006 - The Penn State men's and women's swimming and diving teams will open the 2006-07 season on Thursday afternoon when they travel to West Virginia for their season-opening dual meet.
This will be the third straight year that Penn State has opened the season with a dual meet with the Mountaineers. Both the men's and women's team have defeated West Virginia in each of the last two years, once in Morgantown and once at home.
The women, who are two-time defending Big Ten Champions, return nine of the 12 swimmers that qualified for the NCAA Championships last year and return swimmers and divers that were responsible for nearly 75 percent of Penn State's points at the Big Ten meet last year. Penn State's returning NCAA swimmers include Jessica Barnes, Molly Crispell, Karie Haglund, Kelly Nelson, Abby Hoisington, Megan Palera, Erin Morris, and 2006 All-Americans Nikki Collins and Kaitlin O'Brien. Three other women's swimmers also swam NCAA 'B' provisional qualifying times and all three of them return in Kaitlyn Ferguson, Jaime Keily, and Genie Cheng.
While no men's swimmers qualified for NCAAs last year, eight different swimmers swam NCAA 'B' provisional qualifying times. Of those eight, six return, including Sean Biedermann, Ryan DeWeese, Dan Kaiserian, Kyle Miranda, Pat Schirk, and Sean Swanepoel. Diver Mike Alderman also returns. He was the Big Ten champion in the one-meter springboard competition last year.
The Nittany Lions will enter the 2006-07 season with 14 different swimmers already having qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trails by virtue of having swam a qualifying time. Those 14 individuals are: Ben Ryan, Pat Schirk, Kyle Miranda, Tim Williams, Claire Hawley, Kailey Morris, Michelle Myers, Daphne Skelos, Abby Hoisington, Lyndsey Smith, Karie Haglund, Kelly Nelson, Kaitlin O'Brien, and Megan Palera.
The standards for the 2008 Olympic Trials can be found at the link below.
A total of six different current members of the women's team enter the season holding school records in seven different events. Erin Morris holds the school record in the 500 freestyle and 200 backstroke, Nikki Collins holds the record in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle, Kelly Nelson holds the mark in the 200 freestyle, Kaitlin O'Brien in the 400 IM, and Nelson, Morris, Molly Crispell, and Jessica Barnes hold the mark in the 800 freestyle relay.
On the men's side, Kyle Miranda enters the season holding the school records in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke.
Following Thursday's dual meet with the Mountaineers, the Nittany Lions will return to action next weekend when both the men's and women's teams participate in a quad-meet at Virginia.