March 21, 2009

Grove City finishes 6th at NCAA Championships

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team wrapped up the 2009 season Saturday night by finishing sixth at the NCAA Division III Championships, hosted by Macalester College at the University of Minnesota. Grove City finished with 168 team points and trailed only Kenyon (604), Emory (402), Denison (308.5), St. Olaf (252) and Amherst (196).

The sixth-place finish is the highest for a Grove City swimming and diving team at the NCAA Championships.

Senior Caleb Courage (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg) highlighted Saturday's finals for Grove City by winning the NCAA title in the 100 freestyle. Courage posted a victorious time of 43.62 seconds in winning his third national title. He also won the 100 free in his sophomore (2006) and junior (2007) seasons.

In the preliminaries, Courage set a new NCAA Division III record in the 100 free with a time of 43.60 seconds.

Courage, senior Tim Whitbeck (Saegertown, Pa./Saegertown), senior Peter Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) and freshman Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) closed the meet by taking third in the 400 freestyle relay. The quartet earned All-America status with a Grove City-record time of 2:59.06.

Whitbeck also earned All-America in the 100 free with a 15th-place time of 45.28 seconds.

Larsen and Gagliardo also competed in the 100 free preliminaries Saturday. Larsen took 43rd with a time of 46.37 while Gagliardo placed 52nd in 46.82.

Sophomore Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown) placed 37th in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:56.54. Classmate Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) competed in the 200 breaststroke and finished 33rd (2:09.19).

Courage finishes his career as an 18-time NCAA All-American while Whitbeck owns 14 All-America honors. Larsen finishes as a four-time All-American.

Complete Results

Complete Championships Results

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