When the women’s swim team finally climbed out of the pool after the Big Ten championships, the swimmers had some changes to bring home to the record board at McCoy Natatorium.
The Nittany Lions broke nine school records over the four-day span, starting with five records in the first six events. It culminated in a third place finish in the overall competition.
The record grab was led by Paige Whitmire, who swam to three individual records, in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.
“I’m still in shock, I feel like I just got very lucky to end my four years on that note, it was the best experience of my entire life,” Whitmire said.
Whitmire isn’t finished yet, as she will be competing in the NCAAs, and said she hopes to break records there as well.
Another strong showing was turned in by freshman Alyson Ackman, who broke two individual records of her own, in the 200-and 500-freestyle races. Ackman finished first in the 200-yard free, taking the overall individual title for the event.
“[Ackman] is extremely talented, she’s a racer, I think just watching her race is fun and she shows up to go,” coach John Hargis said.
Fellow freshman Melissa Rodriguez finished with a time of 2:10.70 in the 200-yard backstroke to break the school record in that event.
The other individual record was set by Merritt Krawczyk in the 200-yard individual medley. The senior finished with a second place time of 1:57.18 in the finals to set the mark.
Krawczyk, who held the record coming into the championships, took it back from teammate Chelsea Weedman, who had broken it in the preliminary round.
The final two new records came in relays, as the 200-yard medley team of Mackenzie Powers, Carolyn Fittin, Krawczyk and Whitmire started off the competition with a fifth place finish.
Whitmire, Fittin, Ackman and Katelyn Miller also grabbed a record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 1:28.96 finish, good for second place.
“I still can’t believe it happened. I texted my mom today and was like, ‘Was that real life this weekend?’ ” Whitmire said. “It was a goal and it was just cool to end that way.”