February 20, 2010
Grove City wins 3rd straight PAC title
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving squad captured its third consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday night at the 20th annual Grove City Invitational/PAC Championships in the James E. Longnecker Competition Pool. The Wolverines concluded the three-day event with 963.5 team points. Westminster finished second with 734.5 points.
Grove City capped the Invitational by winning the 400 free relay in an NCAA qualifying time of 3 minutes, 7.12 seconds. Freshman Eric Fairchild (Corry, Pa./Corry), junior Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South), sophomore Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) and sophomore Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) earned the win and sewed up the Wolverines' 12th PAC title since 1991.
Gagliardo won the 100 free in 46.60 seconds and won the Invitational's High Point Award with 60 total points. He also won the 50 and 200 free races during the meet.
Senior Kyle Grubbs (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) earned Grove City's other victory Saturday night as he won 1-meter diving with 446.80 total points.
Three Grove City swimmers earned runner-up finishes during the session. Freshman Alex Mathews (York, Pa./Spring Grove) took second in the 1650 with a time of 16:48.75 while sophomore Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) placed second in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.55). Sophomore Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) earned runner-up in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:54.79.
Nielsen grabbed third in the 100 free (47.83) while sophomore Josh Kim (Frederick, Md./New Life Christian) took third in the 1650 with a 17:01.42 clocking. Junior Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown) finished third in the 200 backstroke (1:56.46) while senior Lincoln Larsen (Federal Way, Wash./Tacoma Baptist) placed third in the 200 breaststroke (2:10.18).
Hamilton finished fourth in the 100 free (48.13) while Fairchild secured fourth in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:57.08. Senior Rich Albertson (Berwick, Pa./Berwick) took fourth in the 200 butterfly (1:59.75) and junior Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke (2:11.45).
Junior Chris Marasco (Washington, Pa./Trinity) earned fifth in the 200 fly (1:59.77) and freshman Adam Walker (Lexington, Ky./Homeschooled) placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:15.49. Sophomore diver Joe Rzempoluch (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) recorded 332.75 points on the 1-meter board to finish fifth.
Westminster head coach Rob Klamut earned PAC Coach of the Year laurels while Westminster swimmer Ben Gutmann earned PAC Swimming Most Valuable Performer. Grubbs, who also won the 3-meter crown Thursday, is PAC Diving Most Valuable Performer. Grove City diving coach Tammy Fritz earned both the Invitational and PAC Diving Coach of the Year awards.
Beckner, Bowser, Coppelli, Fairchild, Gagliardo, Grubbs, Hamilton and Nielsen have all provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Final Meet Results
Team Standings 1. Grove City College 963.5 2. Westminster College 734.5 3. Washington & Jefferson 526.5 4. Penn State Behrend 443 5. Saint Vincent College 207 6. Penn State - Altoona 201 7. Frostburg State University 166 8. Univ. of Pitt-Bradford 153.5 9. Bethany College 102
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