By Emma Foster, Swimming World College Intern
The President’s Athletic Conference will be kicking off its 53rd annual conference championship on Wednesday at the James E. Longnecker Competition Pool. The event is held in conjunction with Grove City College’s James E. Longnecker Swimming and Diving Invitational and and the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship. Wednesday will mark the preliminaries in the women’s and men’s diving events. Swimming events will be held Thursday through Saturday.
The Westminster men’s team will be hoping to defend their 2015 PAC conference title, while the Grove City College women’s team will be hoping to use their momentum from past years to secure their 8th-straight PAC championship title.
Westminster senior Matthew Baurle will look to defend his titles in the 100 and 200 breast, where he has picked up conference wins for 3 years straight. He enters the meet as the top seed, with B-cuts in the two events and holds close to a 10-second lead over the second place seed in the 200-breast.
Baurle’s teammate, sophomore Mitch Stahara, looks to have a solid showing with top times in the 100, 200, and 500 frees. In his freshman debut, Stahara claimed the conference title in the 200 free and was runner up in the 100 and 500.
On the women’s side, Sophomore Megan Douds of Westminster will be looking to improve upon her impressive freshman debut last year, where she became the first freshman to win swimmer of the year since Kaitlyn Fife in 2005. Douds is seeded first in the 100 and 200 fly, where she holds a B-cut in the longer event.
Grove City College’s Senior Megan Biko looks to follow up on her PAC Women’s swimmer of the year award in 2014 with top seeds in the 200 free, 500 free, 1650 free, and 400 IM. With her being double entered, it will be interesting to see which titles she goes after. With a Q-15 time in the 1650 and over a 30 second lead over the second seeded swimmer, one would assume that the mile will be one of her focuses.
Prelims for the diving events will take off Wednesday at 730 pm. Swimming prelims will begin Thursday at 10 am, with finals scheduled to go off at 6 pm.
Full Psych Sheet Available Here: 2016 James E Longnecker Invitational Psych Sheet