February 17, 2011

Wolverines lead after first night

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team owns the lead after the first night of action in the College's James E. Longnecker Invitational/Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships. The Wolverines earned 262 points Thursday night in the James E. Longnecker Competition Pool and own a 69-point lead over second-place Westminster.

Grove City won both relay events held Thursday, bookending a strong night for the squad. Sophomore Eric Fairchild (Corry, Pa./Corry), senior Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South), senior Dan Gummel (Springfield, Ohio/Emmanuel Christian) and sophomore Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) opened the session by winning the 200 free relay in 1 minute, 24.43 seconds.

Senior Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown), junior Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg), junior Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) and Gagliardo closed the night by winning the 400 medley relay in 3:25.96. That time surpasses the NCAA's provisional qualifying standard for the national championships.

Bowser and Gagliardo both earned individual wins. Bowser won the 200 individual medley (1:55.54) while Gagliardo won the 50 free in 21.13 seconds.

Fairchild took second in the 50 (21.30) and Beckner placed second in the 200 individual medley with a 1:56.18 clocking. Coppelli finished third in the 200 IM (1:57.47), one spot ahead of freshman Louis Gabrielle (Mahwah, N.J./Don Bosco Prep). Gabrielle finished fourth in 1:57.56.

Junior Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) finished third in the 500 (4:47.84) and Nielsen placed fourth in the 500 (4:48.39). Gummel took fifth in the 50 (21.76).

Grove City is in pursuit of its fourth straight conference title. Friday's preliminaries begin at 10 a.m. and the finals start at 6 p.m.

Men - Team Standings 
  1. Grove City College                262   2. Westminster College               193
  3. Penn State Behrend                158   4. Washington & Jefferson College    147
  5. Univ of Pittsburgh at Bradford     74   6. Saint Vincent College              64
  7. Bethany College                    57   8. Penn State Altoona                 46
 9. Cabrini College                    39          				   


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