Swimming and Diving
- 1936 Mens swimming and diving starts under Coach Robert E. Galbraith
o Athletes compete at Glennland and Mary Beaver White Building pools until 1951 when the sport is temporarily discontinued
- Glennland Pool Days
- Non-scholarship athletes competed in wool bathing suits
- 1943 Backstroker Bob Cowell won Penn State’s first Eastern Seaboard individual championship in 1943
- Bill Kirkpatrick finished the 1941 season undefeated in the 50-yard freestyle
o Penn State did not field a team in 1945 or 1946 but returned in 1947 under William Gutteron
- Competition halted during World War II
- From 1947-1951 the lions posted a 12-24-1 mark against eastern and Ivy League teams
- Diver Cal Folmsbee led the Lions to consecutive fourth place finishes in the Eastern Intercollegiates in 1948-1949
o The university abandoned the sport at the varsity level from 1952-1967
o 1968 men’s swimming and diving finds new life at MCCoy Natatorium under Coach Lou MacNeil
- Relay swimmers race with a team effort
o Form 1975 to 2000 Lion women took 12 eastern titles while 11 teams raced to All-American honors
o Laurie Fedon, Lisa Fedon, Janice Fischer, and Joan Peto set and American Record in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1975
o In 1984 Steve Potsklan anchored the 400 relay team that gave Penn State its firs Eastern Seaboard relay titile
o Lion teams earned six eastern titles from 1985-1991. Since joining the Big Ten the men’s and women’s swimmers
have combined for six Big Ten freestyle relay title through the 2005 season, including conference championship records in
the men’s 200 and 400 freestyle relays in 2002
- Kelly Nelson was an All-American in the 200 butterfly and also broke the school and Big Ten records in that event
- In 2008 Pat Schrik captured a national championship in the 200 backstroke at NCAA Championships, becoming
the first national champion from Penn State in either Men’s or Women’s swimming
- Kaitlin O’Brien broke the Big Ten record in the 400 IM and was an honorable mention All-American for the second
- Pete Greene and teammates David High, Barry Marlin and Steve Potsklan won the 1985 Eastern Seaboard championship
in the 400 freestyle relay
- Captain Megan Tompkins, with teammates Doreen Case, Kristin Whitner, and Cindy Post, Tompkins earned All-American
in both the 400 and 800 freestyle relay in 1984
- Dan Okoniewski and teammates Bob Molettiere, Holden Comeau, and Brian Hostetler brought home the 1999 Big Ten
championship in the 200 freestyle relay
o Also set Indiana University Counsilman Aquatic Center and PSU records by winning the 1999 Free Relay Big Ten Championship
- The individual medley is one of the toughest events in swimming
o The event is composed of the Butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle
o Four athletes alternate swimming strokes in a single race
o The men’s and women’s teams have won a total of 10 Big Ten Medley championships through 2005
o In 2003 the women’s 400 medley team set a conference record with a time of 3:36.36
- The next year another quartet broke the Big Ten standard in the 200 in a time of 1:39.02
o Megan Palera
- Set Penn State record in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:15.35 in 2005
- Also qualified for NCAA competition and Olympic Trials
- Josh Weaver, Matt Teeter, Gavin Carscallen and Bob Molettiere won the 200-yard medley relay during the 2000 Big Ten
- Jenna Lepano set PSU record by swimming the 400-yard individual medley in 4:23 in 2000
- Lisa Maximo as a freshman in 1988 set a PSU record by swimming the 400 individual medley in 4:26
- McCoy Natatorium
o Named for Ernest B. McCoy Penn State’s Athletic Director from 1953-68 and dean of the College of Health, Physical Education
and Recreation until 1970
o In 1968 Penn State’s swimming and diving team re-emerged from a 17-year hiatus
o Lou MacNeil’s record over 18 seasons was 89-103
- Produced six individual Eastern Seaboard champions
- Guided the Lions to their first Atlantic 10 title in 1985
- In 1982 received the Distinguished Coach Award from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America
o Peter Brown followed MacNeil as Head Coach
- Led lions to 15 consecutive winning seasons
- Won Atlantic 10 championships in 1986 and 1987
- Brown’s teams achieved Academic All-American status every year from 1991-2001
o In Penn State’s first Big Ten Championship meet in 1992, the Nittany Lions finished eight but set 50 personal bests
- 1999 Big Ten Championship
o Broke 15 PSU records
o In just two years Penn State went from seventh place to first
- Butterfly swimmers use powerful double-over arm strokes to fly through the water
o Sandy Bizal
- All-American who placed 11th at 1980 AIAW National Championships
o Kristen Elias
- Set school records in the 100 and 200 in 1987 and 1988
- Broken by Amberlee Biedermann
o Amberlee Biedermann
- Set conference records in the 100 at 53.47 and 200 at 1:57.87
- Won four Big Ten butterfly titles
- Impressive résumé: ten Big Ten Championships, Seven Big Ten records, and six All-American awards
o Dave Rafferty
- Made All-American in the 200 butterfly placing 16th at 1989 NCAA Championships
- Set PSU record of 1:47.31 in 200 butterfly in 1989
o Gavin Carscallen
- Made All-American in 100 butterfly placing 15that 1999 NCAA Championships
- Set PSU record in the 100 butterfly at NCAA Championships with a time of 47.55
o Thad Davis
- Won Penn State’s first Big Ten Championship in 100 yard fly in 1993
- Set school record of 48.08
o Eugene Botes
- Beat Thad Davis’ time and set new record at 47.01
- Also won the Big Ten Championship in 2001
- 2003 won another conference title in 100 butterfly Diving
- The Competition of Diving
o Athletes start dives in one of four positions
- forward and backward standing positions- the dive begins at the end of the board
- forward running position- divers take four steps toward the end of the board
- arm stand position- divers begin with both feet balanced above them
o once airborne, divers perform a variety of acrobatics
- pike position- touch their hands to their toes
- tuck position- with knees tight against their chest, divers may do up to 3 ½ somersaults
- straight position- divers might do up to 3 ½ twists or remain motionless but in total control
- Craig Brown set the early standard in one-meter diving
o Brown won Eastern Seaboard championships in 1979 and 1981
- The only Nittany Lion ever to do so
o After diving as a student athlete Brown became the Diving coach
- Two-time Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1999
- Becky Binney
o Binney earned All-American honors in 1979 and set a school record by scoring 295.95 out of a possible 300 point for six dives
o Won Eastern AIAW three-meter diving championship in 1979
- Joe Greenwall qualified for the NCAAs in both one-and-three-meter diving in 1980 and 1981
- You Be the Judge: Approaching Questions
o Was the approach smooth and bold without hesitation?
o Were the diver’s arms and body straight and head erect?
o Did the diver get good height on the take-off?
o In the armstand position, was the diver well-balanced before take-off?
o Should points be deducted for bouncing on the board before take-off?
- You be the Judge: Questions in Flight
o In the straight and pike positions were the diver’s legs straight, feet together, and toes pointed?
o In the tuck position, was the diver’s body compact? Were the knees and feet together with the toes pointed?
o During a twist, did the diver place one arm atop the head while the other remained close to the body?
o Did the athlete add difficulty to the dive by combining a pike and twist or a somersault and twist?
- Mary Ellen Clark Penn State and Olympic medalist
o Overcame fears and bouts with vertigo to dive off the 10-meter tower
o Four-time All-American at one- and three-meter springboard
o Won Bronze Medal at Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 (10 M platform)
o Won Bronze Medal at Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 (10 M platform)
- Remarkably, at age 33, won the bronze after enduring dizziness spells that kept her form practicing for nine months
- Brad Kreisher and Joe Greenwell
o First Lion men to earn All-American at one- and three-meters
- Fran McDermid, a nine-time All-American, won four Big Ten championships in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle in
1992 and 1993.
- Deirdre Dlugonski set new records in the 50 in 2004 and 100 in 2005.
- From 1987 to 1991 Dave Rafferty and Walt Sapp captured five Eastern Seabord titles between them in 50, 100,
and 200 freestyle.
- Bob Molettiere won Big Ten championships in the 100 freestyle in 1999 and 2001
- Eugene Botes set the team record in freestyle with a 42.90 in 2002.
o He swam for his native South African team in the 2004 Olympics.
- Dave Rafferty was a three-time Eastern Seaboard Champion from 1987-1989
o He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 freestyle in 1988.
- Regan Stacy won the 1994 Big Ten title at 1650 yards.
- Also in 1994, Deni Rudy captured All-American honors at the 100 freestyle.
- In 1992, Fran McDermid set PSU records in the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 23.21 and 50.12.
o Fran earned Penn State’s first individual Big Ten championships in any sport when she won the 100 and
200 freestyle events in 1992.
- From 1969-1981, under coach Ellen Perry, the Lion women went 98-26 and never ranked lower than 5th in the region.
o 12 of Perry’s swimmers raced to All-American honors.
- Former swimmer Bob Krimmel succeeded Perry, leading the Lions to a record of 162-38-1 from 1981-1998 and
won 3 Eastern Swimming League titles.
- Bill Dornkott took the women to another level in the Big Ten, with his 2001 team barely missing the win in the
league title, finishing a close second, and ending the year with its highest finish ever in the NCAA championships.
o The next year the women won their first Big Ten crown
o Another second place finish in 2004 led to a second Big Ten championship in 2005.
- In 1997, Coach Bob Krimmel’s team ranked first among all collegiate swimming programs with a cumulative team
G.P.A. of 3.335.
o Krimmel was inducted into the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame in 2000.
- Former Lion assistant Bill Dorenkott became the third head coach of the women’s swimming program in 1998.
- Penn State hosted the 1972 AIAW National Championships.
o Ellen Perry and Joe Paterno served as meet co-director with administrator Della Durant.
- Once airborn, divers perform a variety of acrobatics.
o Divers in pike position touch their hands to their toes.
o In a tuck position with both knees tight against the chest, divers may do up to 3 ½ somersaults.
o In the straight position, divers might do up to 3 ½ twists or remain motionless but in total control.
- Mary Ellen Clark, Joe Greenwell, and Brad Kreisher led Penn State divers in the 1980’s.
o From 1982 to 1985, Clark made All-American in one- and three-meter springboard before going on to Olympic glory.
o Kreisher and Greenwell became the first Lion men to earn All-American at one- and three-meters.
- You Be the Judge: Questions in Flight
o In the straight and pike positions, were the diver’s legs straight, feet together, and toes pointed?
o In the tuck position, was the divers body compact? Were the knees and feet together with toes pointed?
o During a twist, did the diver place one arm atop the head while the other remained close to the body?
o Did the athlete add difficulty to the dive by combining a pike and twist, or somersault and twist?
- Craig Brown earned Big Ten Diving coach of the Year honors in 1994 and 1999.
- The last thing that a judge sees is the splash. Divers aim to make as little splash as possible by entering the water
in a vertical position.
o A diver who comes out of a somersault or twist too early risks rotating past vertical.
o A diver reaching for water too late may not have enough time to extend.
- In the 1990s, All-Americans Lara von Seelen, Jeff Eagles, and Chris Devine led a host of Penn State dives to the NCAAs.
o Devine won the 1994 Big Ten three-meter championship.
- He went on to third in one-meter and fifth in three-meter at the NCAA finals to pace the Lions to a top 25 finish.
- You Be the Judge: Entry Experience
o Did the diver enter the water in a vertical or near vertical position?
o Was the divers body straight? Feet together? Toes pointed?
o In headfirst dives, were the diver’s arms extended together over the head in line with the body?
o Did the diver make a large or small splash upon entry?
- Five time All-American Chris Devine competed in 3 NCAA championships from 1991-1995.
- Lynn Ross, Steve Rode, Janeen Leeshock, and Matt Teeter set the pace in the breaststroke
o The breaststroke requires strong arm action up from the chest and a frog-like kick.
o Teeter established a new school record in the 100 in 1999 in a time of 54.92.
- In 2005 freshman Kyle Miranda became the first Lion to dip below the 2:00 mark in the 200 breaststroke with
a school record of 1:59.81.
- Corrie Clark followed Julie Krail’s lead, winning two Big Ten titles in the 200 and 2001 and 2002 and setting a school
record of 2:12.11 in 2002.
- Kristen Woodring, who won four Big Ten championships (2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005), became just the third American
in history to swim under the one minute mark in the 100 when she set a Penn State and Big Ten record of 59.57 in 2001.
- Steve Wukitch set a PSU record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 56.32 in 1987.
o He qualified for the 1987 NCAA Championships in 100 and 200 breaststroke,a nd a year later competed in the 200
breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
- Steve Rode captured 3 straight Eastern Seaboard titles in 200 breaststroke from 1977-1979
o Rode qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes in 1977.
- Matt Teeter places 22nd in the 100 Breaststroke at the 1999 NCAA Championships with a time of 55.53.
o Teeter qualifies for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the even in 2000.
- Backstroke challenges swimmers to propel themselves backward with their arms while floating on their backs.
- Backstroker Bob Cowell brought the Lion men a rare Easter Seaboard title way back in 1943.
o Undefeated during the season, Cowell won the 150 backstroke championship in a record 1:39.2
- Lisa Pastrana broke school records in the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.51) in 1994 and 100-yard backstroke (56.26) in 1995.
- Sarah Haupt set new records in 2004 with times of 53.17 in the 100 and 1:58.62 in the 200.
o She became Penn State’s first Big Ten champion in the backstroke, winning the 100 titles in 2003 and 2004.
o In 2005, Erin Morris broke the 200 record in a time of 1:57.94.
- Jennelle Ritchie set a PSU record in the 200-yard backstroke in 2000 with a time of 1:58.98.
- All-American Katie Bruzda set a PSU record with a 55.79 in the 100 backstroke at the 2000 Big Ten Championships.
- A nine-time Big Ten Champion, five-time Big Ten record holder, and three-time All-American, Sarah Haupt helped
lead the Penn State women to consecutive Big Ten titles in 2005 and 2006.