February 21, 2013

Grove City dominates All-PAC squad

GROVE CITY, Pa. – The Grove City College women’s swimming and diving team placed 15 performers on the All-Presidents' Athletic Conference Team Wednesday afternoon, including 10 First Team honorees.

Sophomore Tori Baker (Fairfax, Va./Robinson), freshman Megan Bilko (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan), sophomore Lauren Cassano (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), freshman Carolyn Eckendorf (Fairview, Pa./Fairview), junior Kaley Hess (Reamstown, Pa./Cocalico), senior Angela Palumbo (Washington, Pa./Trinity), sophomore Keegan Reed (Greencastle, Pa./James Buchanan), senior Kait Riesmeyer (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township), sophomore Emma Rudolf (Birchrunville, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) and senior Jenny Ryan (State College, Pa./State College) all earned First Team recognition.

Second Team honors went to junior Janele Baglia (Grove City, Pa./Grove City), sophomore Liv Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg), senior Natalie Keibler (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park), senior Mary McLachlan (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) and freshman Ashley Meesuk (Millersville, Md./Calvary Baptist).

All-PAC honors are based on an athlete's performance at the conference championships, which Grove City hosted as part of the James E. Longnecker Invitational February 13-16.

Baker contributed to wins in the 200, 400 and 800 free relays and helped Grove City qualify for the NCAA Championships in each of those three events. She also took second in the 500 free with a time of 5 minutes, 11.97 seconds and runner-up in the 200 free (1:55.10). Baker added a third-place finish in the 100 free (53.56).

Bilko earned two wins at the conference championships, prevailing in both the 500 and 1650. She set a new conference, pool and school record in the 1650 with a winning time of 17:20.59 and also won the 500 in 5:07.90. She joined Baker on Grove City's winning 800 free relay (7:43.83).

Cassano swept the backstroke events and qualified for the national meet in both races. She recorded a winning time of 58.36 in the 100 backstroke and a 2:06.44 clocking in the 200 backstroke. Cassano added a second-place finish in the 200 individual medley (2:10.59). She contributed to victories in the 200 medley relay (1:46.13) and 400 medley relay (3:53.22). The 200 medley relay set a new pool record and both medley relay teams qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Eckendorf placed third in 3-meter diving at the Longnecker Invitational with an 11-dive score of 349.55 points. She also finished fourth in 1-meter competition with 353.40 points.

Hess swept the breaststroke events for Grove City, winning the 100 in 1:06.73 and then taking the 200 in 2:27.20. She also contributed to the Wolverines' wins in both medley relay events.

Palumbo swept the sprint events and contributed to victories in the 200 and 400 free relays and both medley relay races. She won the 50 free in 23.85, took the 100 free in 51.66 seconds and then captured the 200 free in 1:52.29. Palumbo qualified for the national meet in all seven events. She earned the Invitational's Swimmer of the Year award and the conference's Most Valuable Performer honor.

Reed earned First Team honors after helping the 800 free relay to victory. She added a third-place finish in the 400 individual medley (4:41.81) and a fifth-place time of 18:30.34 in the 1650.

Riesmeyer swept the butterfly for Grove City, winning the 100 fly in 56.91 seconds and the 200 fly in 2:06.43. She also competed on both medley relays and the victorious 200 and 400 free relay squads.

Rudolf placed second in the 200 breaststroke (2:29.72) and finished third in the 100 breast (1:09.88). She also earned fourth in the 400 IM with a time of 4:46.32.

Ryan swept the individual medley events and added a runner-up finish in the 100 free. She recorded an NCAA-qualifying time of 2:07.17 in the 200 IM and also qualified in the 400 IM with a time of 4:33.74. Ryan also competed on all three victorious free relay squads.

Baglia took fifth in the 100 butterfly (59.90) while Beckner earned fourth in the 1650 (18:29.44). Keibler captured fourth in the 200 backstroke (2:11.07), McLachlan finished sixth in the 500 (5:23.96) and Meesuk garnered seventh in the 200 breaststroke (2:36.47).

All-Conference recognition is determined by a formula that includes individual event winners, relay winners, NCAA qualifying standards met and individual points scored. Grove City won each of the 18 swimming events at the 11-team meet. The Wolverines captured their fifth straight league title last weekend by accumulating 926 team points.

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