PRINCETON, New Jersey, December 4. BOTH the men's and women's swimming and diving teams wrapped up the Princeton Big Al Invitational on Sunday and both squads ended the meet in first place by very wide margins. The men's team finished first out of seven teams with a total of 1039 points while the women won with a total of 990 points.
The men's team topped second place and host Princeton by 377.5 points. The Tigers finished with 661.5 points while third place Brown finished with 514. The women's team finished 421 points in front of second place Princeton. The Tigers finished with 569 points while third place Washington State had 495 points.
The men's team won five out of the seven events contested on Sunday to finish the three-day meet with first place finishes in 14 of the 21 total events contested. The women won three more events out of the seven on Sunday and won three events on each day of the meet to finish with nine first place finishes in the 21 events.
While it was the men that swam to more first place finishes in the meet, it was the women's team that swam to more new NCAA qualifying times. The women swam to three new NCAA ‘A' automatic qualifying times on Sunday as well as three new NCAA ‘B' provisional qualifying times in addition to lowering seven previous ‘B' times. For the meet, the women's team swam to seven new NCAA ‘A' cuts, 13 new NCAA ‘B' cuts, as well as lowering 13 other previous NCAA ‘B' cuts. After having just one automatic NCAA qualifier entering the meet, the women leave Princeton with four automatic qualifiers, including one, Kaitlin O'Brien, with ‘A' cuts in three different events: the 200 and 400 IMs and the 200 breast. Caitlin Meehan, Abby Hoisington and Michelle Myers were the others.
Pat Schirk swam to the first NCAA ‘A' cut of the year for the men's team as he swam a career best of 1:41.57 in winning the 200 backstroke. The men's team also lowered a previous ‘B' cut and swam to two new ‘B' times on Sunday. For the meet, the men put up four new ‘B' times, the one new ‘A' time and lowered two previous ‘B' cuts.
O'Brien took first place in the 200 breaststroke in an NCAA ‘A' cut and career best time of 2:12.96. She was followed in second place by Meehan in 2:14.38. Clare Clemens placed fourth in a new ‘B' cut. Abby Hoisington was disqualified in the finals but not before she swam an NCAA ‘A' cut of 2:14.00 in the morning prelims.
The Nittany Lion women also took the top three spots in the 200 butterfly as Kelly Nelson, Karie Haglund and Alexandra Young finished 1-2-3, all lowering previous ‘B' cuts. Kailey Morris finished seventh.
The women wrapped up the night with a first place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Myers, DeForrest, Baker and Nelson won in 3:23.15, lowering a previous ‘B' time.
The men started off the night with David Kraft getting a win in the 1650 free, lowering his previous ‘B' cut by finishing in 15:19.76. Finishing just behind him in second was Dito Calderon in 15:21.12, also a ‘B' time. The Nittany Lions had five of the top eight finishers in the 1650 free as Josh Wakeley, Chris Sullivan and Colin Quirk finished 6-7-8.
In addition to Schirk winning the 200 back, Penn State also had four of the top eight finishers in that event as Dan Fimbianti placed second, Ryan DeWeese finished sixth and Jon Cochrane placed seventh.
The men's sprinters continued their outstanding swimming early in the season as the Lions took six of the top eight spots in the finals of the 100 free. Sean Swanepoel led the way in first place in :45.00. He was followed by Vincent Reydams in second, Basil Kaaki in fourth, Jason Goldner in fifth, Sean Biedermann in sixth and Rob Felty in eighth.
Tim Williams swam his first NCAA ‘B' cut of the year as he won the 200 fly in a time of 1:47.10. Also finishing in the top eight in the 200 fly were Jack Zierenberg (fifth) and Josh Wakeley (eighth).
The men also completed a clean sweep of the five relays in the meet as the 400 free relay team of Spencer Maglich, Kaaki, Goldner and Felty won in a time of 3:01.14. The women's team won four out of the five relays in the meet, with only a disqualification in the 200 free relay keeping them from a perfect 5-for-5 sweep in the relays as well.
Other highlights on Sunday for the women included a fourth place finish by Sarah Baker in the 1650 free in an NCAA ‘B' cut of 16:51.57. Diana Greco and Stephanie Roop finished seventh and eighth, respectively. In the 200 back, Daphne Skelos and Kaitlyn Ferguson finished second and third, respectively, with Skelos lowering a previous ‘B' cut and Ferguson swimming to a new one. Morris finished eighth. Myers lowered a previous ‘B' cut in finishing second in the 100 free while Lindsey DeForrest placed eighth.
Other highlights for the men included a second place finish by Kyle Miranda in the 200 breast.
Special thanks to Penn State for contributing this report.