February 16, 2013

Grove City wins 5th straight conference title

GROVE CITY, Pa. The Grove City College women's swimming and diving team captured its fifth straight Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday night by winning the team title at the James E. Longnecker Invitational/Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships with 926 team points. The Wolverines recorded a 151-point margin of victory over runner-up Westminster.

Senior Angela Palumbo (Washington, Pa./Trinity) earned the Invitational's Swimmer of the Year as well as the conference's Most Valuable Performer award. She swept the sprint events during the three-day event.

Five Grove City swimmers earned individual wins during Saturday's finals, helping the Wolverines sew up the championship. Freshman Megan Bilko (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) won the 1650 free in a conference- and pool-record time of 17 minutes, 20.59 seconds. That time also surpasses the NCAA Championships provisional, or "B," qualifying standard.

Sophomore Lauren Cassano (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) captured the 200 backstroke in an NCAA "B" time of 2:06.44. Palumbo provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100 free with a victorious time of 51.66 seconds while junior Kaley Hess (Reamstown, Pa./Cocalico) prevailed in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.20).

Senior Kait Riesmeyer (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) won the 200 butterfly in an NCAA "B" time of 2:06.43.

Palumbo, Riesmeyer, senior Jenny Ryan (State College, Pa./State College) and sophomore Tori Baker (Fairfax, Va./Robinson) closed the meet by winning the 400 free relay in 3:30.06. That time provisionally qualifies the quintet for the NCAA Championships.

Ryan also took second in the 100 free with a time of 52.58 seconds while sophomore Emma Rudolf (Birchrunville, Pa./Homeschooled) placed second in the 200 breaststroke (2:29.72). Baker placed third in the 100 free in 53.56.

Bilko added a fourth-place finish in the 200 butterfly (2:10.98) while sophomore Liv Beckner (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) took fourth in the 1650 (18:29.44). Senior Natalie Keibler (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) earned fourth in the 200 back in 2:11.07.

Freshman Carolyn Eckendorf (Fairview, Pa./Fairview) led Grove City's diving efforts by taking fourth on the 1-meter board with a score of 353.40 points.

Sophomore Keegan Reed (Greencastle, Pa./James Buchanan) recorded a pair of fifth-place performances. She took fifth in the 1650 in 18:30.34 and also finished fifth in the 200 breaststroke (2:32.55).

Grove City's women's swimming and diving program has won 11 all-time conference titles.

Team Standings
1. Grove City College                926   2. Westminster College               775

3. Saint Vincent College             539   4. Washington & Jefferson College    400
5. Penn State Behrend                198   6. Chatham University                179
7. Bethany College                   173   8. Cabrini College                   138
9. Franciscan University of Steub    109  10. Penn State Altoona                107
11. Univ of Pittsburgh at Bradford     68


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