February 16, 2012

Grove City owns first after opening night

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's swimming and diving team sits in first place after the first night of action at the 22nd annual James E. Longnecker Invitational/Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships. The Wolverines accumulated 249 points Thursday night and hold a 63-point lead over rival Westminster.

Grove City opened the night by winning the 200 free relay in 1 minute, 24.13 seconds. The quartet of junior Eric Fairchild (Corry, Pa./Corry), sophomore C.P. Dehli (Moneta, Va./Staunton River), senior Nick Hamilton (Crescent, Pa./Moon) and senior Kirk Gagliardo (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township) teamed for the victory.

Gagliardo also won the 50 free in 20.95 seconds while senior Ben Bowser (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) won the 200 individual medley in 1:53.43.

Fairchild earned runner-up honors in the 50 (21.00) and senior Clay Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) finished second in the 200 individual medley with a 1:54.53 clocking.

Dehli, Beckner, Bowser and Fairchild closed the session by taking second in the 400 medley relay (3:26.13).

Hamilton captured third in the 500 free (4:47.78), one spot ahead of sophomore Dave Bossert (Colorado Springs, Colo./Pine Creek), who finished fourth in 4:47.96. Sophomore E.J. Leuschner (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian) earned fifth in the 500 free with a time of 4:48.06.

Sophomore Louis Gabriele (Mahwah, N.J./Don Bosco) finished fourth in the 200 individual medley (1:57.38) while freshman Richie Klimek (Oakdale, Pa./South Fayette) took fourth in 3-meter diving with 332.75 points.

Freshman Jim Bossert (Colorado Springs, Colo./Pine Creek) took fifth in the 200 IM (1:57.51).

Grove City is in pursuit of its fifth consecutive conference title.

Friday's action begins at 10 a.m. with preliminaries. The finals begin at 6 p.m.

 Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 12                     
  1. Grove City College                249   2. Westminster College               186
  3. Penn State Behrend                169   4. Washington & Jefferson College    140
  5. Saint Vincent College              94   6. Univ of Pittsburgh at Bradford     88
  7. Cabrini College                    38   8. Bethany College/Penn State Altoona  0                                           


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