Ryan claims silver, two school records fall in Big Ten finale

February 25, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Penn State senior Shane Ryan earned his third medal of the week with a silver in the 100 free in school-record time and sophomore Gunther Cassell set a school record in the 200 breaststroke to lead the Nittany Lions on the final day of the 2017 Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

As a team, Penn State placed seventh with 554.5 points. No. 4 Indiana won the championship with 1,504 points and No. 18 Ohio State and No. 11 Michigan tied for second with 1,382 points.

Award winners for the Lions included Ryan, who was named to the All-Big Ten first team, and classmate Matt Stasiunas, who was Penn State's Sportsmanship Award recipient.

"There was a lot to be proud of for our team," said head coach Tim Murphy.

Ryan was not the only Nittany Lion to see personal success as 71.6 percent of the team's swims were personal records and 22 now rank among the top-10 best all-time at Penn State. A total of five school records fell, three of Ryan's swims were NCAA A-cuts, while others totaled 18 individual B-cuts and contributed to two relay B-cuts. Nineteen of 24 of Penn State's swimmers scored individually or as a part of relays and divers scored on all three boards.

Ryan's third medal of the week came in the 100 freestyle Saturday. He placed runner-up with a school-record time of 41.86 seconds, besting his own Big Ten and school records, but Indiana's Blake Pieroni was first in 41.44.

Ryan ultimately ended up with a medal of each color. Friday he won his signature event, the 100 backstroke in 44.65 seconds, which was not only an NCAA A-cut, but the Big Ten record (2008), meet record (2016), pool record (2010) and it broke his own school record (2014). It was his third 100 backstroke Big Ten championship and fourth career Big Ten gold. Ryan broke his own 50 free school record with a third-place finish in 19.03 seconds Thursday, which he had previously set at the 2014 Big Ten Championships.

The breaststroke continued to yield points for Penn State Saturday, as Michael Kwasnik and Kaelan Freund both reached the B-final and Cassell set a school record in the event by winning the C-final. Cassell reached the bonus final in 1:58.33 in the preliminaries, but shaved more than two seconds off his time in the evening to set a record of 1:56.28, breaking Mitch Scherer's record of 1:56.63 from 2011. Kwasnik set a personal best of 1:56.70 to rank third all-time in school history and place 11th, while Freund placed 13th in 1:57.60 to rank fourth all-time at Penn State.

Matthew DiNunzio and Sterg Dikos placed 12th (1:46.79) and 13th (1:47.15), respectively, in the 200 butterfly. DiNunzio and Dikos also swam personal bests of 1:46.60 and 1:46.69 in the prelims to rank third and fifth all-time at Penn State.

Freshman Liam Veregin added points in the 200 backstroke with a 21st-place finish in 1:45.88 after swimming a personal best of 1:45.56 in the morning to rank seventh all-time 1:45.56.

Hector Garcia Boissier concluded a strong week on the diving boards with a 20th-place finish in the platform with a score of 276.15, while Jack Crow was 21st at 271.05. Garcia set a school record in the 3-meter springboard Friday with a finals total of 465.00 points that placed him fourth.

Last Updated February 27, 2017