December 4, 2015

Bilko "B" cuts lead Grove City at Calvin Invite

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Senior Megan Bilko (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) recorded a pair of NCAA provisional qualifying marks and a pair of top-four finishes to lead the Grove City College women's swimming and diving over the first two days of competition on Thursday and Friday at the Calvin College Winter Invitational at the Venema Aquatic Center.

Through 22 events, Grove City sits in seventh place with 419 team points. NCAA Division II member Grand Valley State leads the team competition with 1,114 points while fellow D-II school Northern Michigan sits in second place with 735 points.

After teaming with junior Megan Smith (Tyler, Texas/Kolbe Academy), freshman Megan Crutcher (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) and junior Abby Jank (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) to open the meet with an eighth-place time of 7 minutes, 54.89 seconds in the 800 free relay on Thursday night, Bilko posted the meet's second-fastest time in the 1650 free with a exhibition mark of 17:13.54. That time surpassed the NCAA "B" qualifying standard and was faster than the 2015 NCAA Championships invite time of 17:14.43.

Bilko paired with Jank, Crutcher and junior Molly Gallant (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park.) opened Friday night's competition with an 11th-place finish in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:39.43. After a fourth-place showing in the 200 free with a time of 1:53.47, Bilko recorded her second NCAA "B" qualifying time of the meet with a time of 4:28.95 to finish third in the 400 individual medley. Her time was just 0.77 seconds of her own school record of 4:28.18 set at the 2014 Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships.

Junior Amanda Hutzelmann (Milford, Pa./Homeschooled), Smith and Jank each contributed top-10 finishes. Hutzelmann finished sixth in the 200 butterfly with a season-best time of 2:10.16 while Smith joined Bilko in the 400 IM with a ninth-place finish in 4:40.26. Jank took 10th in the 200 free with a mark of 1:56.04.

Smith also posted an exhibition time of 17:55.67 in the 1650 free, the meets seventh-fastest mark. Sophomore Sarah Blodgett (Bidwell, Ohio/River Valley) took 11th in the mile in 18:12.12 while sophomore Brynna Bartlett (Olive Branch, Miss./St. George's) was 16th in 18:45.35.

Blodgett also finished 17th in the 200 fly with a time of 2:17.67 while junior Kristi Riesmeyer (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) and sophomore Mary Robison (Williamsburg, Va./Homeschooled) were 20th (2:23.88) and 21st (2:24.85), respectively. Crutcher led the Wolverines in the 100 breast with a 13th-place time of 1:09.49 and Noll added a 19th-place finish in 1:11.01.

Junior Maddie Van Dyke (Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island) was the lone Wolverine to score in the 100 back with a 20th-place finish time of 1:03.34. Gallant finished 16th in the 50 free with a time of 24.96 seconds after qualifying for the "B" final with a prelim time of 24.46. Jank also scored points in the 50 free with an 18th-place time of 24.79.

Van Dyke, Crutcher, Hutzelmann and Bilko closed Friday morning's competition with a 12th-place, timed-final finish of 4:09.43.

The Wolverines resume competition at 10 a.m. tomorrow for the final preliminary sessions. Saturday finals begin at 6 p.m.

Thursday Results   Friday Results

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