March 19, 2009
Grove City earns All-America in 2 relays; Wolverines 5th in team race
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team is in fifth place after the second day of the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by Macalester College at the University of Minnesota. The Wolverines have accumulated 97 team points through the halfway point of the Championships. Kenyon leads with 358.5 points, followed by Emory (221), Denison (160) and St. Olaf (150).
Two Grove City relay squads earned All-America honors Thursday night. Grove City opened the session by taking third in the 200 free relay. 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) posted a school-record time of 1 minute, 21.08 seconds.
Grove City then closed the session by earning eighth in the 400 medley relay. Courage, sophomore Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville), freshman Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) and Whitbeck recorded a time of 3:25.32.
Bowser, Gagliardo and Keefer become Grove City's 54th, 55th and 56th all-time NCAA All-Americans in men's swimming and diving. Courage is now a 14-time All-American while Whitbeck is a 12-time All-American. Snyder is a six-time All-American.
Three Grove City swimmers also competed in the 200 freestyle preliminaries Thursday morning. Gagliardo placed 32nd with a time of 1:42.28 while sophomore Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South) finished 41st in 1:42.86. Freshman Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) took 53rd (1:44.16).
Senior Peter Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) placed 24th in the 100 butterfly in 50.61 seconds. Bowser finished 25th in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:05.82. He also competed in the 100 fly and finished 37th (51.34).
Friday's preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. Eastern. The finals will start at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
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