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Freshman Shane Ryan has won back-to-back Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors
Nov. 29, 2012
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VIDEO: Senior Merritt Krawczyk | VIDEO: Freshman Shane Ryan
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; November 29, 2012 -- Concluding the 2012 portion of the regular season, the Penn State swimming and diving teams will travel to Athens, Georgia this weekend to take part in the annual Georgia Fall Invitational. Competition will begin on Friday, Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m. with the swimming preliminaries and run through Sunday, Dec. 2.
The invitational will be held inside Gabrielsen Natatorium and feature full squads from Auburn, Cal, Georgia, Penn State and Virginia, along with the Texas men's squad and the divers from Virginia Tech.
The men's squad is coming off of its first losing weekend of the season, falling to both Indiana and Virginia with close scores of 178.50-174.50 and 198-155, respectively. The Lions won nine events against the Hoosiers and the Cavaliers, including the 200 free relay (1:20.98), 400 free relay (2:58.95), 200 medley relay (1:28.30) and the 400 medley relay (3:17.50). Junior Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.), junior Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.), junior John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.), sophomore Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.), junior Andrew Sideras (Philadelphia) and junior James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.) each competed on at least one of the winning relay teams, while freshman Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) swam on all four.
Ryan competed in six events during the tri-meet, winning each to become the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week for his second consecutive weekly honor. Individually, the rookie took first in the 50 free for the second straight week with a time of 20.65 seconds. He then went on to claim the 100 free, posting a new personal best time of 44.47 seconds.
Claiming individual victories for Penn State, as well, junior Matt Salig (Downingtown, Pa.) took first in the 200 fly with a time of 1:48.55, while Grier dominated in both the 100 back (48.36) and the 100 fly (48.30). Additionally, Hauser took home two second-place finishes in the 100 free (45.28) and the 50 free (20.74), along with a third place finish in the 200 free for a season best time of 1:39.24.
The women suffered their first dual meet loss of the season two weeks ago when they spilt a pair of swims with Indiana and Virginia. The Nittany Lions claimed a 207.5-144.5 victory over the Hoosiers, but fell 141-210 against the Cavaliers and are now 3-1 on the season in dual meets. This weekend will allow the competitors to see the same Virginia team, but in an invitational type setting.
In their tri-meet, the Blue and White were able to capture a pair of individual victories and swept the medley relay events, while claiming eight runner-up showings and posting six bronze medal finishes. Merritt Krawczyk (Kingswood, Texas) won the 200 IM in a provisional qualifying mark (NCAA B Cut) of 1:59.86 and Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.) claimed the 100 fly with an provisional qualifying mark of 54.48.
The 200 medley relay team of Powers, Krawczyk, Carolyn Fittin (Sea Grit, N.J.) and Paige Whitmire ( Lederach, Pa.) ended the opening day of the meet with season-best time of 1:41.62 to claim the top spot and the 400 medley relay quartet of Amy Modglin (Fort Myers, Fla.), Krawczyk, Powers, and Whitmire opened the second day with the winning mark of 3:39.82, also a season-best.
Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) and Krawczyk brought home second and third place, respectively, in the 400 IM and both swimmers came away from the race with NCAA B Cut marks. Shishkoff touched the wall in 4:18.20 and Krawczyk finished in 4:18.29. Modglin placed second in the 200 back, improving her team-best and NCAA B cut time by touching the wall in 1:55.68, just under one-half second behind Virginia's Courtney Bartholomew for the top spot.
Freshman Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec) also had a solid effort in the pool versus Indiana and Virginia. The rookie claimed a runner-up showing in the 200 free (1:48.00), placed fifth in both the 50 free (23.83) and 100 free (51.11), while claiming sixth in the 500 free (4:50.78), all in career-best times.
The Lions will return to action in 2013, with the divers competing in the Tennessee Collegiate Diving Invitational from Jan. 3-5. The swimmers will also compete on Thursday, Jan. 3, taking on North Carolina in Naples, Fla.
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