February 19, 2011

Wolverines capture 4th straight title

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team captured its fourth consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday night as the Wolverines won the team championship at the James E. Longnecker Invitational. Grove City earned 948 team points at the three-day event in the James E. Longnecker Competition Pool. The Wolverines recorded a 294-point margin over runner-up Westminster.

Grove City closed the meet by winning the 400 free relay in 3 minutes, 8.18 seconds as senior Dan Gummel (Springfield, Ohio/Emmanuel Christian), junior Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon), senior Nate Nielsen (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South) and sophomore Eric Fairchild (Corry, Pa./Corry) combined for the win.

Fairchild also won the 100 free in 46.42 seconds, earning one of the Wolverines' four individual wins. Senior Cam Coppelli (Guys Mills, Pa./Saegertown) won the 200 backstroke in 1:54.32 while junior Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) won the 200 breaststroke in 2:07.48.

Junior Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) won the 200 butterfly in 1:55.25. Bowser earned the conference's Swimmer of the Year award and the Invitational's High Point Award as he also won the 200 and 400 individual medley races during the meet.

Four Grove City swimmers posted runner-up finishes Saturday night. Sophomore Alex Mathews (York, Pa./Spring Grove) placed second in the 200 backstroke (1:55.58) while freshman Louis Gabrielle (Mahwah, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) finished second in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:07.89.

Junior Kirk Gagliardo (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township) took second in the 100 free (46.59) and junior Josh Kim (Frederick, Md./New Life Christian) captured second in the 1650 with a time of 16:52.35. Kim added a third-place finish in the 200 butterfly (1:56.51).

Senior Bennett Keefer (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke (2:11.04) and Nielsen finished fifth in the 100 free (47.86).

Head coach Dave Fritz earned the PAC's Coach of the Year award. Grove City has won 24 overall conference titles, including 16 Presidents' Athletic Conference crowns. Grove City won eight Penn-Ohio Conference titles between 1955 and 1968.

Men - Team Rankings 
  1. Grove City College                  948   2. Westminster College                 654
  3. Penn State Behrend                  517   4. Washington & Jefferson College      472
  5. Saint Vincent College               227   6. Univ of Pittsburgh at Bradford      204
  7. Bethany College                     128   8. Cabrini College                     120
  9. Penn State Altoona                  113 


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