February 12, 2009

Grove City owns lead

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving is in first place after the first night of competition in the 19th Grove City College Invitational/Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships. Grove City recorded 309 team points and owns a 113-point lead over second-place Washington & Jefferson.

Grove City commenced Thursday night's action by winning the 200 free relay. The foursome of senior Drew Snyder (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley), freshman Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township), senior Tim Whitbeck (Saegertown, Pa./Saegertown) and senior Caleb Courage (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg) clocked a conference-record time of 1 minute, 22.10 seconds.

The Wolverines wrapped up the session by setting a conference record in the 400 medley relay. Sophomore Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown), sophomore Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville), freshman Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) and Courage won with a time of 3:23.95. In addition to breaking a school-record, that time also surpasses the NCAA Championship provisional qualifying standard.

Bowser broke a 12-year-old pool and conference record in the 200 individual medley with an NCAA "B" time of 1:53.29. Courage also set a pool and conference record in the 50 free with a time of 20.07.

Junior diver Kyle Grubbs (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) won 1-meter competition by earning 415.10 points.

Whitbeck earned runner-up honors in the 50 with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 20.10 seconds. Gagliardo took fourth in the 50 with a 21.03 clocking, which surpasses the NCAA "B" standard. Freshman Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) finished fourth in the 200 IM in 1:57.84, .02 second ahead of fifth-place Coppelli.

Freshman Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) placed fourth in the 500 (4:41.65), one spot ahead of sophomore Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South). Nielsen recorded a time of 4:42.50. Freshman Joe Rzempoluch (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) took fourth in 1-meter diving with 332.75 points.

Keefer finished sixth in the 200 IM (2:00.80) while senior Peter Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) took sixth in the 50 free (21.43).

Grove City is the defending PAC and Invitational champion. The second day of action will begin Friday at 10 a.m. with preliminary heats. The finals start at 6 p.m.

Final Results        Preliminary Results

1. Grove City College                  309   2. Washington & Jefferson              196
3. Westminster College                 182   4. Penn State Behrend                   94
5. Saint Vincent College                70   6. Frostburg State University           62
7. Penn State - Altoona                 59   8. Pitt-Bradford                        50
9. Bethany College                      47

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