Women’s swimming finishes fifth at Big Ten Championships

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Penn State women’s swimming and diving team capped off a strong showing at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday (Feb. 18). Penn State finished the Big Ten Championships with 379.5 points and a fifth place finish. Junior Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas) earned the high-point award for Penn State.

Penn State ended the night in great fashion, setting a school record and being crowned Big Ten champs in the 400 freestyle relay. Senior Samantha Palser (Chester Springs, Pa.), senior Erin Thomas (Bangor, Maine), senior Katie Pulos (Rosemont, Pa.) and junior Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) posted a time 3:16.12 to tie Wisconsin for first place. That time for the Lions was a pool and school record.

Over in the 100 freestyle finals, Palser earned a fifth place time of 48.97 seconds. Junior Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) followed behind her in eighth place, posting a mark of 49.88 seconds. The two combined for a total of 26 points. Senior Erin Thomas (Bangor, Maine) added another two points for Penn State, as she earned a time of 50.06 seconds.

In the 200 butterfly event, sophomore Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.) and sophomore Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.) each posted personal best times of 1:57.26 and 1:59.24 respectively, earning fourth and seventh place finishes.

To the breaststroke event, Krawczyk finished in sixth place with a time of 2:11.39, just shy of her team record. In the B final of the 200 breaststroke, sophomore Rachel Butler (Lancaster, Pa.) improved on her lifetime best from her preliminary earlier in the morning, with a time of 2:13.43.

Whitmire, Krawczyk, Powers and Palser, Pulos and Thomas were all named First Team All-Big Ten.

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