Over a decade ago, on Dec. 4, 2009, former Penn State men’s swimmer Brian Alden etched his name in the record books during an Ohio State invitational.
Alden became the first Nittany Lion to receive the highest individual score overall (14) for placing fifth in the preliminaries of the 50 freestyle with a season-best time of 20.42.
Alden led the men’s swimming and diving team all four seasons he was on the team, a continuation from his record-setting high school career.
At Neuqua Valley High School in Illinois, he owned the team records in the 50 and 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 200 IM, as well as posted the fastest high school 50 freestyle time in the country at 20.10 seconds as a junior.
During his sophomore season at Penn State, after qualifying fifth in the preliminaries in the Ohio State invitational, Alden’s individual success kept rising as he helped lead the Nittany Lions to finish the 2009-10 season 3-3 overall.
Throughout the 2009, 2010, and 2011 season, Alden became a NCAA championship qualifier and eventually, in 2011 and 2012 an All-American.
In 2009-10, Alden was an NCAA Qualifier in three events, finishing 27th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:36.27, 30th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 43.79, and 37th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 19.98. He also broke the school record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:35.49 as the leadoff leg of the 800 freestyle relay at the Big Ten Championships.
He had 16 wins, nine of which were individual victories, the rest being within specific relay teams. His impressive showing at the St. Bonaventure swim invitational led him to being named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week that same season.
In the 2010-11 season, he swam a 19.78 at the Last Chance Meet in Maryland for his season-best time in the 50 freestyle, and notched a fifth-place showing at the Big Ten Championships in the 50 free with a 19.92 in the finals after a third-place 19.83 in the prelims.