Men's swimming and diving in fourth after second day of Big Ten Championships

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) broke Vincent Reydam’s five-year Penn State record in the 50 freestyle event with a blistering time of 19.31 seconds on the way to a second place finish to earn 17 valuable points for the Blue and White. Ryan’s produced Penn State’s seventh silver medal or better performance in the event at the Championships.

The Nittany Lions sit in fourth place with 154 points at the halfway point of the championships, just four points behind third place Ohio State. Michigan is currently in first with 308 points and Indiana is in second with a total of 216. The Lions have a 13 point cushion over Minnesota, the fifth place team.

“We did a good job today,” said first year head coach Tim Murphy. “What was nice about tonight was our guys moved up from their standings in the morning. Obviously every point counts and we are in a dogfight but we have been solid across the board and we have a lot of swimming left. From a swimming standpoint we have been real competitive. There are two more days so there is a lot to happen but we are looking forward to it.”

John Hauser (Pottstown, Pa.) joined Ryan in the final of the 50 “A” final and also picked up an impressive performance, touching the wall in a career-best time of 19.81 for a sixth place finish. Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.) recorded a second place finish in the “B” final with a mark of 19.93 to place 10th overall in the 50.

“All three [Ryan, Hauser and Austin] did a good job,” said Murphy. “Getting two swimmers in the finals was a step forward and three guys in the top 16 was important. I think everyone is trying to do their part and we are getting some good, fast swims.”

Ryan wasn’t the only Nittany Lion to break a program record on Thursday evening, as Nick Ankosko (East Brunswick, N.J.) bested his own Penn State record in the 500 freestyle by swimming a time of 4:17.65 in the prelims to qualify for the “A” final. In the evening session Ankosko raced to a sixth place finish with a time of 4:19.64.

Another top-eight finisher on day two was Nate Savoy (Reading, Pa.), who placed seventh in the 200 IM. The junior finished the morning session with his best time of the season in 1:45.42 to grab the final spot in the “A” final. Savoy followed up with a 1:46.11 in the finals to finish seventh.

With four “A” finalists in the first day of individual competition, the Nittany Lions are just one shy of their entire total of five “A” finalists from the entire 2013 Big Ten Championships.

The Blue and White closed out the evening session with a fourth place finish in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:08.01, finishing just .03 seconds off the medal stand, as Indiana placed third with a mark of 3:07.98. Penn State’s team of Savoy, James Wilson (Nottingham, Pa.), Ryan and Hauser hit the NCAA “A” qualifying standard with their performance. The Nittany Lions have now reached the “A” mark in all three of the relays during the championship.

“The relays have been real solid,” Murphy said. “I think it’s reflective in the team score.”

Another notable performance was turned in by freshman Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.), who reached his first NCAA standard of his career, hitting the “B” mark in the “C” final of the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:22.69, shaving over three seconds off his best time prior to the championship.

The team will be back at the pool on Friday, which is the third of the four day championship. Prelims are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and the finals will start at 6:30 p.m.

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Last Updated February 28, 2014