At the end of the 2011-12 swim season, Maryland ended its men’s and women’s swimming programs due to budget cuts. For Penn State, this meant that Terrapin swimmers would be open to recruitment.
In the end, four men’s swimmers and one women’s swimmer became Nittany Lions.
Sophomores Kyle Madley and Ryan Magee and juniors John Hauser and Peter Fittin joined the men’s team, while Fittin’s sister, Carolyn, a sophomore, joined the women.
“Being that they’re close, we wanted to give them an opportunity,” assistant coach Aaron Mahaney said. “They also really helped the team, but we wanted to give them a home to continue their swimming career and academic career and not just have to stop swimming.”
The swimmers noted that the transition from one school to another was not hard, except for, as Fittin and Hauser stated, transferring credits and, of course, the cold weather.
The swimmers had to also adjust to new coaching and training routines.
“Each coach that we had last year, you can find characteristics in the coaches we have right now,” Magee said.
Mahaney said that from day one the swimmers fit into the training programs and practices easily, but the swimmers all agreed that the their new practices were a little different.
“[Practice is] a lot harder,” Fittin said, causing laughter and agreement from his fellow swimmers. “This season was more physically demanding.”
In terms of this season, Hauser, who was voted Maryland’s most valuable swimmer last season, has continued to perform, winning many freestyle events for the Lions over the season.
Fittin, Magee and Madley, all top five swimmers in their respective events for Maryland, have contributed this season as well, placing in many events for the Lions.
Peter’s sister Carolyn has also won races in the freestyle and butterfly events.
“A lot of them have best times already, they are saying the training is different, but they are enjoying it,” Mahaney said.
With the women’s Big Ten championships going on right now and the men’s championships next week, Mahaney said he looks for the new additions to help boost the Lions in the rankings.
When asked if they missed anything about Maryland, the swimmers agreed that they would miss the basketball games, but had a lot to look forward to at Penn State.
“I’m really looking forward to graduating with a degree from Penn State and going to football games as an alumni,” Fittin said.
Each swimmer has at least a year of eligibility remaining, so they will continue to try to make an impact moving forward.