UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania, October 22. THE Penn State men's swimming & diving team raced out to a lead and never looked back in a season-opening 143-98 thrashing of West Virginia on Saturday at McCoy Natatorium.
The Nittany Lions (1-0) took the top two spots in the opening 200 medley relay to begin the meet with a 15-2 lead. Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.) led the backstroke leg with a 23.13 before Mitch Scherer (Pottstown, Pa.), Sean Grier (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.) capped off a 1:30.65 winning time. The team of Jeff Gomez (Morristown, N.J.), James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.), Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and Jeff Young (Hershey, Pa.) finished second in a time of 1:32.87.
The Penn State dominance continued into the 1,000 free with freshmen Nick Ankosko (East Brunswick, N.J.) and Kurt Ratcliff (Centreville, Va.) going 1-2 in times of 9:33.96 and 9:37.73.
After West Virginia captured a couple successive wins in the 200 free and 50 free, Chris Cipolla (South River, N.J.) led a Nittany Lion sweep of the 400 IM (4:04.44), followed by Jonathan Ekstrom (Silver Spring, Md.; 4:05.00) and Marino (4:06.02).
WVU took top honors in the 200 fly as Alden captured victory in the 100 freestyle in a time of 45.53. That performance paved the way for Savoy's second win in the 200 back (1:49.99) followed by Gomez (1:50.52).
Penn State swept another event, this time the 200 breaststroke led by Cipolla (2:06.19), Scherer (2:07.02) and Ekstrom (2:09.93).
The Nittany Lion wins didn't stop in the pool, however, as Jordan Harris (Philipsburg, Pa.) swept the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard diving competitions. Harris posted a score of 322.20 in the 1-meter and bested that mark in the 3-meter with a strong 323.47.
Penn State improved to 13-16 all-time against the Mountaineers and takes next week off from competition. The Nittany Lions will venture south for a challenging set of duals at Auburn (Nov. 4 at 5:00 p.m. ET) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 5 at 11 a.m.).
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