February 18, 2011

Grove City continues to lead Longnecker Invite

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team holds a 193-point lead after the second night of competition in the three-day James E. Longnecker Invitational/Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships at the College's James E. Longnecker Competition Pool. Grove City has 624 points while Westminster has 431 team points.

The Wolverines highlighted Friday night's action by winning both relay events. The quartet of senior Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown), junior Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg), junior Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) and junior Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) opened the session by winning the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 33.83 seconds.

Gagliardo joined sophomore Eric Fairchild (Corry, Pa./Corry), junior Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) and senior Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South) on Grove City's victorious 800 free relay (6:55.10).

Beckner, Bowser and Gagliardo all earned individual victories. Beckner won the 100 breaststroke in 58.27 seconds while Bowser prevailed in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:06.26. That time provisionally qualifies Bowser for the NCAA Championships. Gagliardo won the 200 free in 1:42.19.

Fairchild took second in the 200 free (1:42.41), one spot ahead of Hamilton, who posted a time of 1:44.20. Nielsen took fifth in the 200 free (1:44.61).

Coppelli captured second in the 100 backstroke (52.80) while junior Josh Kim (Frederick, Md./New Life Christian) earned second in the 400 IM (4:13.51). Freshman Louis Gabrielle (Mahwah, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) took second in the 100 breaststroke (58.72). Sophomore Alex Mathews (York, Pa./Spring Grove) finished third in the 400 IM (4:14.61).

Senior Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) earned fourth in the 100 breaststroke (59.43) and senior Dan Gummel (Springfield, Ohio/Emmanuel Christian) placed fifth in the 100 butterfly (53.10).

Grove City has won each of the last three conference championships. The Wolverines' quest for a fourth straight title continues Saturday morning in the preliminaries, which start at 10 a.m. The finals are set for 5:30 p.m.

Men - Team Standings
  1. Grove City College                  624   2. Westminster College                 431
  3. Penn State Behrend                  351   4. Washington & Jefferson College      304
  5. Saint Vincent College               160   6. Univ of Pittsburgh at Bradford      150
  7. Penn State Altoona                   83   8. Bethany College                      79
  9. Cabrini College                      77                                               


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