February 13, 2016

Grove City wins 8th straight title

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's swimming and diving team earned its eighth consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference at the James E. Longnecker Invitational/Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships Saturday night in the James E. Longnecker Pool. Grove City concluded the three-day event with 793 team points, good for a 130-point margin of victory over Saint Vincent and Westminster, who each had 663 points.

Senior Megan Bilko (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) earned conference Most Valuable Performer honors as well as the Invitational's High Point Award after securing three wins during the Invitational. Head coach Dave Fritz earned conference and Invitational Coach of the Year honors.

Bilko opened Saturday night's finals by winning the 1650 in 17 minutes, 30.91 seconds. That time surpasses the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA Division III Championships.

Junior Megan Smith (Tyler, Texas/Kolbe) captured Grove City's other individual win Saturday by winning the 200 breaststroke in 2:25.41. Smith, Bilko, junior Molly Gallant (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and junior Abby Jank (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) closed the session by placing second in the 400 free relay (3:37.73).

Junior Amanda Hutzelmann (Milford, Pa./Homeschooled) placed second in the 200 butterfly (2:08.78) while sophomore Sarah Blodgett (Bidwell, Ohio/River Valley) finished third in the 1650 (18:27.29). Sophomore Brynna Bartlett (Olive Branch, Miss./St. George's) secured fourth in the 1650 (18:28.67) while junior Madison Van Dyke (Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island) took fourth in the 200 backstroke (2:13.02).

Jank finished fifth in the 100 free (54.20) while freshman Megan Crutcher (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke (2:30.34). Freshman Jillian Breckenridge (Dunellen, N.J./Dunellen) placed fifth in the 1650 (18:46.27), one place ahead of sophomore Mary Robison (Williamsburg, Pa./Homeschooled). Robison finished sixth in a time of 18:46.29.

Blodgett finished seventh in the 200 fly in 2:21.56 while Gallant garnered seventh in the 100 free (55.42). Senior Ashley Meesuk (Millersville, Md./Calvary Baptist) finished eighth in the 200 breast (2:34.10).

Senior Carolyn Eckendorf (Fairview, Pa./Fairview) led Grove City in 3-meter diving by earning third place with a score of 411.55 points. Junior Grace Klimek (Oakdale, Pa./South Fayette) took fourth on the high board with 408.95 points while sophomore Bri Darnell (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) placed seventh with 350.70 points.

Grove City has now won a league-best 14 conference titles.

Team Standings 
1. Grove City College                  793   2. Saint Vincent College               663
2. Westminster College                 663   4. Washington & Jefferson College    415.5
5. Chatham University                  359   6. Penn State Behrend                  232
7. Cabrini College                     147   8. Bethany College                     125
9. Univ of Pittsburgh at Bradford    105.5  10. Penn State Altoona                   83
11. Franciscan University of Steub      52


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