The Penn State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both broke into the water for the first time last Saturday night in Morgantown, W.Va.
The men won big with a 174-69 victory, while the women soundly defeated the Mountaineers, 146-97.
The men’s team was led by two first place finishes from Nick Ankosko and John Hauser respectively.
Ankosko won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:26:35, leading to a Nittany Lion sweep of the event. He also took the 500-yard free, beating the nearest competitor by almost six seconds, coming in at 4:34:97.
“It was good to get him up and make him race,” said head coach John Hargis, “his true test is going to come against Indiana and Virginia in another month.”
Hauser took the 200-yard free, finishing in 1:40:98. He later won the 100- yard free, barely edging out second and third place teammates Shane Ryan and Andrew Sideras with a time of 46.16 seconds.
“It was good to see him [Hauser] win the 100 [yard] and 200,” said Hargis. “Ultimately the 200 is going to be a very good event for him, and having the speed he’s shown in the 100 is going to take him a long way in the 200.”
The men’s team won 10 of their 11 swimming events, sweeping seven of them.
Nate Savoy, Matt Salig, Sean Grier and Chris Cipolla each won their events, completing sweeps in the 400-yard individual medley, 200-yard fly, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard breaststroke, respectively.
Hargis was especially high on Griers’ performance, calling it one of the best that they had on the day.
As a team, the Lions showed their depth, finishing 1-2 in the 200-yard medley relay and taking the 400-yard free relay in a sweep.
“We’ve finally got quality depth in place, and it shows how far this men’s team has come in the last four years.” said Hargis.
In diving, Alex Marchinski contributed by taking second in the one-meter and third in the three-meter competition.
On the women’s side, Gabi Shishkoff led the way with three first-place finishes. Her time of 9:55:73 was good for first place in the 1000-yard free. She then posted a time of 4:20:01 to lead a sweep of the-400 yard IM, and to finish up, she won the 200-yard fly with a time of 2:02:10.
“Gabi is an extremely talented swimmer,” Hargis said. “Having that fast of a race this early on in the year, is very, very good.”
To match her for the Mountaineers, Rachael Burnett won the 200-yard free, 100-yard free and 500-yard free. Burnett would take the only Mountaineer wins in swimming for the women and three of their five for the meet. The others would come from two sweeps in the diving competition.
The women’s teams claimed first place in eight of the 13 events.
Paige Whitmire grabbed first in the 50-yard free with a time of 23.88 seconds.
With a time of 1:58:46, Amy Modglin won the 200-yard backstroke.
Rounding out the individual first place finishers was Merritt Krawczyk, who took the 200-yard breaststroke.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Mackenzie Powers, Carolyn Fittin, Krawczyk and Katelyn Miller took first place in a 1-2 Lion finish for the event.
To cap off the meet for the women’s team, Kaitlin Jones, Fittin, Whitmire and Caitlyn Karr won the 400-yard free relay.
Both teams get back in the pool on Nov. 10, at home against Northwestern.
“All-in-all, I think we had a lot of good swims,” said Hargis, “but there is still a lot of room for improvement for us to be able to compete at the level we need to be competing in.”