Gabi Shishkoff Triples As Penn State Sweeps Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, January 26. GABI Shishkoff tripled while five other Penn State swimmers won two individual events each as the Nittany Lions topped Navy on Saturday. Penn State won all 16 events in the women’s meet and 10 out of 16 in the men’s meet to complete the sweep.

Penn State Women’s Press Release

The No. 17 Penn State women’s swimming and diving team put on a dominant display for the second consecutive week, claiming a 193-99 victory over Navy on Saturday afternoon at Lejeune Hall. The Nittany Lions posted top marks in all 12 individual races as well as both relays and each of the diving events.

The 200 medley relay squad of Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.), Haley Sinatro (West Hartford, Conn.), Carolyn Fittin (Sea Girt, N.J.) and Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec) set the tone for the meet, collecting a win in the first event of the day with a time of 1:42.78. Fittin and Ackman would join up again at the end of the meet, adding Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.) and Katelyn Miller (Hershey, Pa.) to the equation in the 400 free relay for a top time of 3:25.96.

Fittin and Ackman proved to be the big winners of the day as each also claimed multiple victories in their individual events. Fittin clocked in at 23.40 in the 50 free and 55.40 in the 100 fly to win both events while Ackman topped the field in the 100 and 200 free, touching the wall in 50.39 and 1:48.29, respectively.

Powers also found success in the individual races, placing first in the 100 backstroke in 56.18.

Gabi Shishkoff (Franklin, Mass.) was the only Nittany Lion to finish first in three individual events, turning in the best marks in the 200 fly (2:00.08), 200 IM (2:03.73) and 500 free (4:50.78). Melissa Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico) also performed well for the Blue and White, sweeping the breaststroke events with times of 1:03.42 in the 100 and 2:18.20 in the 200.

Megan Siverling (Chester Springs, Pa.) picked up a win and turned in a career-best time in the 1,000 free, clocking in at 9:57.76. The junior clipped over two seconds off her previous best entry of 9:59.85, which was posted earlier this season at the tri-meet with Virginia and Texas.

Katie Rowe (Glenville, N.Y.) blew by the competition to claim the top spot in the 200 backstroke. The sophomore touched the wall in 2:04.21, almost three seconds faster than the closest Navy swimmer.

In the diving events, Meredith Harbison (Butler, Pa.) notched the top score on the one-meter board while Mackenzie Cornell (Germantown, Md.) topped the field on the three-meter board. Harbison registered a career-best score of 277.28 on the one-meter and Cornell posted a season-best mark of 299.85 on the three-meter.

The Blue and White return to the pool next Saturday, hosting St. Bonaventure and Towson for their second and final home meet of the season at McCoy Natatorium. The Lions will honor the seniors on the squad in a Senior Day ceremony. Events are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Penn State Men’s Press Release

The Penn State men’s swimming and diving team grabbed a solid win in Annapolis on Saturday, defeating the Navy Midshipmen by a final score of 171-127. The win improves the Blue and White’s record to 5-1 in dual meets this season.

Penn State was the first to finish in both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. The 200 medley team of Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.), Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.), James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.) and Shane Austin (East Brunswick, N.J.) raced to a time of 1:28.34 to give the Nittany Lions its first win of the meet.

The 400 freestyle quartet of Ryan, Austin, Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.) and John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.) was the only team to touch the wall under the three minute mark with a time of 2:59.43, besting the next best time by over four seconds.

In individual events, the Nittany Lions captured a win in one diving competition and seven swimming races. In the three-meter diving even junior T.J. Schenkel (Richboro, Pa.) improved on his career-best mark of 355.15 that he set earlier this season at the Bucknell Invitational with a score of 355.43 for the first place finish. The victory is Schenkel’s second in the three-meter competition and fourth overall of the year.

In the pool three swimmers stood above the rest for Penn State in the individual races. Hauser, Ryan and Savoy each claimed two wins for the Nittany Lions. Hauser won both the 100 and 200 freestyle races, completing the 100 in a time of 44.29 and the 200 with a mark of 1:37.94. Both times qualified the senior for the NCAA “B” standard mark.

Just as Hauser dominated the 100 and 200 freestyle, Savoy did the same in the backstroke. The junior first grabbed a victory in the 100, touching the wall in 48.43, which is an NCAA “B” qualifying standard time. As an encore Savoy was the only swimmer to finish the 200 backstroke event in under 1:50.00, posting a mark of 1:47.92.

Unlike Hauser and Savoy, Ryan showed displayed his strengths in a number of strokes. First, the sophomore won the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.20. Ryan followed up the victory with a time of 48.96 in the 100 butterfly to finish first.

Junior Scott Heil (New Brunswick, N.J.) was another Nittany Lion to post a notable performance on the day. The New Jersey native raced to a victory in the 200 individual medley, touching the wall in 1:51.40 for his second official victory of the season and first in the event.

The Nittany Lions will head back to Happy Valley to host their second and final home meet of the season, welcoming St. Bonaventure and Towson to McCoy Natatorium on Saturday, Feb. 1. The men’s and women’s swimming programs will honor their seniors at the meet with Senior Day. Events are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Navy Press Release

The Navy swimming and diving teams were swept on Saturday by Penn State at Lejeune Hall. Taking on the 23rd-ranked PSU men’s team, the 24th-ranked Mids fell by a 171-127 mark, while the women suffered a 193-99 setback to the Nittany Lions.

On the strength of six event wins, the men were within striking distance throughout, but were unable to pull out the victory at the end.

“Overall, we hoped to have a closer score, but we know Penn State is very, very good,” said Navy men’s swimming head coach Bill Roberts after the meet. “There were a few races that we hoped to make a little closer and give us an opportunity to possibly win, but we just didn’t get those needed results.”

Leading the way for the men’s team was it’s only two-event winner Tom Duvall (Durham, N.C.). The sophomore earned victories in both of the distance freestyle events as he cruised to a 2.09-second win at 9:19.89 in the 1000-yd race before following it up with 1.49-second victory at 4:31.05 in the 500-yd event.

“Tom Duvall was strong once again,” said Roberts. “He had two solid races and was in control throughout both of the distance events.”

The Mids earned two wins by two different swimmers in breaststroke action as Sean Murphy (Sr., Hudson, Ohio) won the 100-yd race with a time of 55.31, while Luke Hoffer (Sr., Chapel Hill, N.C.) took the 200-yd variety at 2:01.39. Hoffer’s win was in comeback fashion as the senior was in third place at the 150-yd mark before swimming a 30.35 final 50 to edge PSU’s Chris Cipolla by 0.13 seconds.

“The breaststroke duo of Murphy and Hoffer were really strong for us today” said Roberts. “They had two close races where they squeaked out wins. Luke had a great come-from-behind victory in the 200.”

Jonathan DeBaugh (So., Conroe, Texas) was the final winner for the men in swimming action as he won the 200-yd butterfly by 0.22 seconds at 1:49.24.

In diving action, Ben Freedman (Sr., Kennewick, Wash.) improved on his second place standing in the three-meter competition to a victory in the 1-meter board. The senior dove to a narrow 0.60-point victory over PSU’s T.J. Schenkel 331.73 to 331.13.

Hanna Gillcrist (Burlington, Ky.) was the highest finishing Mid for the women’s team as she took second place in the 100-yd breaststroke. In a tightly contested race, the freshman held off a pair of PSU swimmers, who finished within 0.76 seconds, including Taylor Cameron, who was just 0.07-seconds behind in third.

In sprint freestyle action, Olivia Morrell (Fr., Albuquerque, N.M.) had a pair of strong efforts as she took third place in the 50-yd race at 24.36 and third in the 100-yd race at 53.03.

Julie Jesse (So., Edwardsburg, Mich.) led Navy’s diving squad with back-to-back third place finishes in the 1-meter (263.03 points) and 3-meter (247.8) boards.

“I’m pleased with the meet,” said Navy women’s swimming head coach John Morrison. “We could have done better, but it was good for the seniors to go out and race hard. We had some bright spots today and saw some fast times so that’s definitely a good sign as we begin our preparation for the upcoming championship season.”

The teams will be in action on Wednesday, Jan. 29 when they host Johns Hopkins. The Mids and Blue Jays will begin competition at 5 p.m. in Lejeune Hall.

Results For: Penn State vs. Navy

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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