February 11, 2016

Bilko, Gallant lead Grove City to first-day lead

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Senior Megan Bilko (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) and junior Molly Gallant (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) each won individual titles to lead the Grove City College women's swimming and diving team to a 63-point Day One lead on Thursday night at the Presidents' Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships as part of the College's James E. Longnecker Invitational at Longnecker Pool.

Bilko won the sixth individual PAC title of her career by claiming the women's 500 free with a victorious time of 5 minutes, 1.33 seconds. Gallant earned her first individual league crown by winning the 50 free in an NCAA "B" provisional qualifying time of 23.76 seconds.

The Wolverines opened the night with a runner-up showing in the 200 free relay, as junior Abby Jank (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington), junior Maddie Van Dyke (Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island), Bilko and Gallant combined for a time of 1 minute, 38.27 seconds.

Junior Megan Smith (Tyler, Texas/Kolbe Academy) joined Bilko with a third-place finish in the 500 free in 5:07.63 while senior Sarah Blodgett (Bidwell, Ohio/River Valley) and sophomore Brynna Bartlett (Olive Branch, Miss./St. George's) took seventh (5:27.07) and eighth (5:32.94), respectively.

Grove City created some distance from second-place Saint Vincent with a strong showing in the 200 individual medley. Freshman Megan Crutcher (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) out-touched Van Dyke as the duo finished second (2:13.21) and third (2:13.22) in the event while junior Amanda Hutzelmann (Milford, Pa./Homeschooled) was fifth in 2:14.16.

Jank joined Gallant in the 50 free championship final, taking fifth in 24.94 seconds.

Senior Carolyn Eckendorf (Fairview, Pa./Fairview) finished fourth in women's 1-meter diving with a score of 394.35 while junior Grace Klimek (Oakdale, Pa./South Fayette) edge Bethany's Mia Judulang for fifth with a score of 374.30. Sophomore Bri Darnell (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) added an eighth-place finish with a score of 348.85 in her first collegiate 11-dive meet.

Van Dyke, Crutcher, Hutzelmann and Bilko closed the meet with a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay, coming from behind to overtake Saint Vincent in the final 50.

Grove City has 251 points to lead the team competition through six events while Saint Vincent is in second with 188. Westminster (173), Washington & Jefferson (132) and Chatham (123) round out the top five.

Day Two of competition begins tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with preliminary heats while finals begin at 6 p.m.


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