BRADFORD, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona men's and women's swimming teams opened their 2019-20 seasons on a strong note on Saturday afternoon, combining for a first place finish in the Pitt-Bradford Panther Relays at the Paul C. Duke III Aquatic Center.
Penn State Altoona's men's team took first place in the men's-only meet, totaling 136 points to defeat host Pitt-Bradford and its score of 74 points. The Lady Lions totaled 42 points to come in second place on the women's side, ahead of Pitt-Bradford (34 points) but behind Franciscan University (110 points).
With a men's and women's total of 178 points, Penn State Altoona placed ahead of Franciscan (110 points) and Pitt-Bradford (108 points) in the combined meet.
In the men's meet, the Lions recorded seven first place finishes.
In the 200 Yard Medley Relay, the team of Isaac Swanson (Clearfield, PA/Clearfield), Sidney Webb (Allentown, PA/Parkland), Kieran McKee (York, PA/West York), and Ben Tilmes (Hanover, PA/South Western) combined for a time of 1:44.38 to come in first place.
Shortly thereafter, Webb, Taylor Bohn (Chadds Ford, PA/Unionville), McKee, and Swanson came together for a time of 1:32.91 to win the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay.
Penn State Altoona won the next event, the 800 Yard Freestyle Relay, as Tilmes, Tyler Stauss (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern Regional), Michael Begany (Strongsville, OH/Strongsville), and Aravind Gnanasekaran (King of Prussia, PA/Methacton) totaled a time of 8:32.89.
The Lions picked up their fourth first place of the day in the next event, the 3x100 Yard Breaststroke Relay. In that relay, Webb, Greg Landis (York, PA/West York), and HaoYing Hsieh (Allison Park, PA/North Allegheny) posted a combined time of 3:31.41.
Penn State Altoona received a first place in the 400 Yard Medley Relay next, as Swanson, Gnanasekaran, McKee, and Bohn recorded a time of 4:00.56.
Landis, Gnanasekaran, and Hsieh came together to win the 3x100 Yard IM Relay, recording a time of 3:18.14.
The men's team posted its seventh and final first place of the event in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, in which Tilmes, Webb, Swanson, and McKee finished in 3:25.71.
In the women's meet, the Lady Lions recorded three first place finishes.
The team's first win came in the second event of the women's meet, the 200 Yard Medley Relay. In that event, Gillian Lowe (York, PA/Dallastown), Avery Heisey (Lancaster, PA/Conestoga Valley), Grace Dangelo (State College, PA/State College), and Kaitlin Heil (Pittsburgh, PA/CAPA) combined to finish in 2:08.15 to grab first place.
Heil, Dangelo, Heisey, and Lowe recorded a time of 1:50.86 in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay to win their team's second event of the day.
Penn State Altoona won the final event of the women's meet, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, during which Dangelo, Heisey, Heil, and Lowe combined for a time of 4:06.23.
The Penn State Altoona men's and women's swimming teams will return to Bradford for their next competitions on Saturday, October 26, when the Lions and Lady Lions will face Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponents Pitt-Bradford and SUNY Delhi in a pair of dual meets.