Swimming Teams Head North of the Border For Meet This Weekend
Kailey Morris (above), who along with Kelly Nelson and Karie Haglund have finished in the top three of every 200 butterfly event swam so far this year, and the swimming teams will compete at the Bell Grand Prix in Toronto, Ontario this weekend.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 22, 2006 - The Penn State men's and women's swimming teams will spend their Thanksgiving holiday this year north of the border as they travel to Toronto, Ontario for the Bell Grand Prix this weekend. The three-day meet, which runs from Friday through Sunday, features mainly club swimming teams from around Canada. This will also be only a swimming meet and Penn State's divers will not be competing.
The meet will be held in a short-course meter pool as opposed to the usual short-course yard pools that most collegiate meets are held in. As such, there are different qualifying standard times that are needed to qualify for NCAAs when swimming in a short-course meter pool as opposed to a short-course yard pool. This will be Penn State's only meet of the year in a short-course meter pool. All of Penn State's previous meets and the remainder of it's meets after this weekend will be held in short-course yard pools.
This will be the first competition for the women's team in three weeks. Their last competition was the Big Cat Invitational held at McCoy Natatorium three weekends ago. In that meet, which all featured mainly club teams, the Nittany Lions picked up five first place finishes. The trio of Kelly Nelson (West Chester, Pa.), Kailey Morris (Lewisburg, Pa.) and Karie Haglund (Marietta, Ga.) finished 1-2-3 in the 200 butterfly at the Big Cat, which was the third time this year in as many meets that the combination of those three has finished 1-2-3 in the 200 fly. All three have swam NCAA 'B' provisional qualifying times this year. On the year, five women's swimmers have swam 'B' cuts so far, with Nikki Collins (Carmel, Ind.) (500 free) and Kaitlin O'Brien (Caldwell, N.J.) (400 IM) being the others.
The men last competed two weekends ago at the Purdue Duals, where they participated in four dual meets against the other four teams at the meet. Penn State defeated Utah and Louisville in the event while losing to Purdue and Georgia. Pat Schirk (Pottstown, Pa.)won the 200 backstroke at that event for the second straight meet and also placed third in the 100 back after winning both the 200 and 100 at the Virginia quad-meet the last weekend of October. Dan Kaiserian (Radnor, Pa.) placed second in three events at Purdue, two in relays and one individual event: the 100 freestyle.
The Bell Grand Prix will follow a prelim-championship format that most championship meets follow as there will be preliminary swims in the mornings and the finals of each event will in the evenings, with the top 16 times in the prelims advancing to the championship races.
After this weekend's meet, Penn State will return home to host a dual meet with West Chester next Saturday, December 2. This meet, featuring both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams, has been selected as the SwimmingWorldMagazine.com Dual Meet of the Week. The meet against West Chester will be Penn State's only competition in the month of December.