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Penn State Defeats Rutgers on Senior Day -- February 1, 2004

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn., February 1. THE Penn State men's and women's swimming and diving teams gave their seniors a happy sendoff by beating Rutgers on Senior Day Saturday at McCoy Natatorium.

The 12th-ranked women won easily 166-76, while the men came away with a 130-113 victory before about 500 fans.

The women won 10-of-13 events on the way to finishing their dual meet season with an 8-1 mark. The men improved to 3-6 on their brutal schedule by winning seven events.

"This was a nice way for the senior class to finish their final meets at McCoy Natatorium," said Penn State head coach Bill Dorenkott. "They performed well in front of a nice crowd today."

Sophomore Lisa Silvestri (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) won both the one-meter and three-meter events to pace all Penn State divers. She won on the one-meter board with a score of 291.23, almost 29 points better than her closest opponent, and she won the three-meter event with 283.58.

Senior Kristen Woodring (Sinking Spring, Pa.), junior Deirdre Dlugonski (Washington, Pa.) and junior Larissa Kavchok (Emmaus, Pa.) all won an individual and relay race.

Woodring and Kavchok helped teammates Chelsea Frank (Bedford, New Hampshire) and Sarah Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) win the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:50.57 to start the day. Woodring also won the 200 breaststroke with an NCAA "B" cut time of 2:17.93. Kavchok won the 50 freestyle in 24.38.

Dlugonski finished first in the 200 IM (2:06.80) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:30.67) with teammates Lauren Semchyshen (New Fairfield, Conn.), Genie Cheng (Oak Park, Calif.) and Rikki Covey (Spokane, Wash.).

Three freshmen, Claire Hawley (Barnstable, Mass.), Erin Morris (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) and Megan Palera (Santa Maria, Calif.), also picked up wins for the Nittany Lions.

Hawley won the 1000 freestyle in 10:10.18, Palera finished first in the 200 butterfly in 2:06.89 and Morris took first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:55.86.

Senior Todd Minnier (Avon Lake, Ohio) picked up two individual and one relay victory to lead the Penn State men.

He was on the 400 medley relay team that won with a time of 3:21.76 to start the men's competition. Sophomore Shawn McLin (Sinking Spring, Pa.), sophomore Chris Ippoliti (Berwyn, Pa.) and junior Daryl Northrop (Verona, N.J.) joined Minnier in the win.

McLin picked up a victory in the 200 backstroke as well with a time of 1:50.86.

Minnier also won the 200 freestyle with an NCAA "B" cut time of 1:37.67 and he placed first in the 500 freestyle in 4:31.84.

Freshman Nate Torok (Newtown, Pa.), junior Marc Gastaldo (Winslow, Maine) and sophomore Dan Velez (Germantown, Md.) also picked up first-place finishes to help the Nittany Lions earn valuable points.

Torok won the 200 IM (1:53.31) and Velez took first in the 200 breaststroke (2:04.58).

Gastaldo won the three-meter diving event with a score of 321.75. He also finished fourth on the one-meter board with 249.90.

Junior Adam Pierce (Conroe, Texas) picked up a pair of second-place finishes on both the one-meter (309.15) and three-meter (312.75) boards.