February 13, 2009

Grove City extends lead

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team moved closer to its second straight Presidents' Athletic Conference title Friday night by extending its lead to 169.5 points during the second night of competition at the 19th Grove City College Invitational/PAC Championships. The Wolverines lead the nine-team field with 666 team points.

Sophomore Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown), freshman Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg), senior Peter Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) and senior Tim Whitbeck (Saegertown, Pa./Saegertown) opened Friday night's action by winning the 200 medley relay in a conference-record time of 1 minute, 32.10 seconds. That time also sets a new school record and surpasses the NCAA's provisional qualifying standard.

The Wolverines punctuated the session by winning the 800 free relay as senior Caleb Courage (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg), freshman Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon), sophomore Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South) and freshman Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) posted a PAC-record time of 6:47.47. That time also sets a new Grove City record and surpasses the NCAA "B" time.

Courage set a new league mark in winning the 100 back in 50.21 seconds. That time automatically qualifies Courage for the NCAA Championships. The time also sets new school and PAC records.

Larsen won the 100 fly in a "B" qualifying time of 50.53 seconds. Larsen broke his own school and PAC record in the win. Freshman Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) won the 400 individual medley in 4:04.50 after setting a new PAC record of 4:04.44 in the preliminaries.

Gagliardo took second in the 200 free with an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 1:41.04. Sophomore Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) earned runner-up in the 100 breaststroke, provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Championships in 57.53 seconds. Whitbeck finished second in the 100 back with an NCAA "B" time of 51.48.

Beckner posted a time of 57.96 to take fourth in the 100 breaststroke while Coppelli's 52.17 placed him fourth in the 100 backstroke. Both Beckner and Coppelli met the NCAA provisional standard in their respective event.

Nielsen took fourth in the 200 free (1:42.93) while freshman Josh Kim (Frederick, Md./New Life Christian) placed fourth in the 400 IM (4:16.18). Sophomore Chris Marasco (Washington, Pa./Washington) captured fifth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.11 while Hamilton finished fifth in the 200 free (1:43.47). Junior Lincoln Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) earned fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.02.

Senior Drew Snyder (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) took sixth in the 200 free with a time of 1:45.44 while junior Chip Cressman (Marriottsville, Md./Homeschooled) finished sixth in the 400 IM in 4:19.05.

Grove City entered Friday's competition with a 113-point lead. Saturday's action begins at 10 a.m. with preliminaries. The finals start at 5:30 p.m.

Final Results                Preliminary Results

Team Standings
  1. Grove City College                  666   2. Westminster College               497.5
  3. Washington & Jefferson              405   4. Penn State Behrend                  177
  5. Saint Vincent College             154.5   6. Penn State - Altoona                139
  7. Frostburg State University          117   8. Pitt-Bradford                       112
  9. Bethany College                      48

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