Penn State swimming and diving partners with Swim Across America

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's and women's swimming and diving programs will join Swim Across America in the fight against cancer by hosting the Ellen Perry Penn State/State College Community Swim Challenge on Friday, Sept. 19, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at McCoy Natatorium/Outdoor Pool. The event kicks off Penn State's 50th Anniversary of Women in Sports celebration.

Swim Across America events unite recreational swimmers, competitive swimmers, masters swimmers, triathletes, kayakers, boaters, hundreds of volunteers, and now the Penn State community, all committed to pursuing a cure for this devastating disease.

This year's inaugural event will include a combination of relay and individual straight swims to allow all interested an opportunity to participate. Participants can register as a team or individual in the event and are asked to raise as much money towards the cause as possible. All funds raised by this event will be donated back to the Mount Nittany Health Cancer Program in honor of John Ford, MD for his dedication and care shown towards Ellen Perry in her courageous battle.

The Nittany Lions are hosting the event in honor of Ellen Perry, former Penn State Associate Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator and Penn State's inaugural women's swimming and diving head coach. Perry played a significant role in the growth of women's athletics on campus and nationally. Under her tutelage, the Nittany Lions' women's programs won 14 national championships in six sports, 17 Big Ten regular season championships and nine Big Ten tournament titles. Ellen raised the bar for women in athletics at Penn State as well as being respected nationally for her dedication and tireless pursuit of providing opportunities for women in athletics.

Perry started the women's club swimming program and, in 1970, became Penn State's first women's swimming and diving coach. At the helm from 1970-1981, she guided the program to a .790 winning percentage in 124 dual meets and her swimmers earned seven All-America honors and an American record. Perry passed away in March 2014 after a heroic battle with cancer.

To register to swim or volunteer as a lap counter, visit Be sure to fill out the attached waiver. If you have questions or need help with registration, call 814-865-8137.  


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Last Updated September 05, 2014