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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