February 14, 2009

Wolverines repeat as conference kingpin

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team successfully defended its Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday night by winning the team title at the 19th Grove City College Invitational/PAC Championships. The Wolverines accumulated 949 team points to earn the title.

Three Grove City performers earned wins Saturday night. Freshman Josh Kim (Frederick, Md./New Life Christian) won the 1650 in a school-record time of 16 minutes, 19.70 seconds. Kim also provisionally qualifies for the NCAA Championships with that effort.

Senior Caleb Courage (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg) won the 100 free in a Grove City-record time of 44.40 seconds, which automatically qualifies him for the NCAA Championships. He edged senior teammate Tim Whitbeck (Saegertown, Pa./Saegertown), who took second with an NCAA-qualifying time of 44.82.

In 3-meter diving, junior Kyle Grubbs (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) took top honors by earning 386.25 points on the high board.

Sophomore Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown) earned second in the 200 backstroke by posting an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 1:54.39. Freshman Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) earned second in the 200 butterfly with an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 1:54.10.

Kim captured third in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:57.21 while senior Peter Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) took third in the 100 free with a provisionally qualifying time of 46.25 seconds. Freshman Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100 free by recording a fourth-place time of 46.30. Sophomore Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) took fourth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:07.90, which surpasses the NCAA "B" standard in that event.

Also for Grove City, junior Lincoln Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) took fifth in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.53) while junior Rich Albertson (Berwick, Pa./Berwick) touched fifth in the 200 backstroke (2:00.83). Freshman Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) finished sixth in the 1650 (16:50.05) while freshman Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) finished sixth in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.73). Sophomore Chris Marasco (Washington, Pa./Washington) earned sixth in the 200 butterfly (1:59.70). 

Head coach Dave Fritz earned the meet's Coach of the Year award while Courage earned PAC Most Valuable Performer honors along with the Invitational's High Point Award. It is Grove City's 14th PAC title and its 22nd conference title overall. The Wolverines also won eight Penn-Ohio Conference titles from 1954 until 1968.

Final Results                Preliminary Results

Team Standings
1. Grove City College                  949   2. Westminster College               805.5
3. Washington & Jefferson              612   4. Penn State Behrend                  231
5. Saint Vincent College             230.5   6. Penn State - Altoona                187
7. Pitt-Bradford                       158   8. Frostburg State University          152
9. Bethany College                      62     

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