Clarion University Women’s Swimmers at 40th PSAC’s Start Thursday

Schaffer, GysegemCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The 2015 Clarion Women’s Swimming team will be competing at the 40th Annual PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) Championships from Thursday, February 19, through Sunday, February 22, at the Graham Aquatic Center located in York, Pa.

Four events are scheduled for Thursday night starting at 6:00 p.m.

The women’s and men’s 1000 meter freestyle will be followed by 200 IM, 50 Free and the 200 medley relay and the day will come to a close.

From Friday through Sunday prelims are set each day at 10am, with Finals on Friday and Saturday at 6pm, and Sunday at approximately 5:00pm.

The Men’s PSAC Championship will also run at the same time in an alternating event format.

Tickets for the championship will be on sale at the door. For adults its $5 for prelims, $7 for finals or an all-session pass at $45. All PSAC University Students with valid ID admitted free. Other students are $2 per session and $15 for an all-session pass.

The PSAC Women’s Championship has plenty of tradition. Clarion has won 26 of the 39 PSAC Championships determined since 1976. The PSAC Women’s Championship started in 1976 with Clarion winning the first team title, then the Golden Eagles proceeded to run off a total of 23 straight PSAC Championships through 1998. In 1999 IUP broke the string of Clarion wins, then Clarion bounced back to win again in 2000. West Chester bolted to the front and won three straight titles from 2001-2003 before Clarion came back to win in 2004. West Chester won the team title in 2005, Clarion bounced back to win the 2006 crown and West Chester has won eight straight (2007-14).

The 2015 Women’s Championship? “I think there will be a three way battle between defending champion West Chester, a very strong Bloomsburg team and IUP for the team title,” said 15th year Clarion head coach Mark VanDyke. “Bloomsburg defeated West Chester in the dual this year 161-101, which really shows Bloomsburg’s team strength and that many look at them as the pre-favories. I think the next four teams battling for places will be Clarion, Gannon, Edinboro and Cal,” he continued. “I think our women will have some very strong swims and we will set some personal best times in the process. That’s what we can control and we’ll let the chips fall from there.”

Clarion’s women finished the 2015 season with a 2-7 dual meet record against some very strong competition. The Golden Eagles will have 17 swimmers qualified for the PSAC’s including in alphabetical order: Sydney Briner (Fr. Free/IM, McDonald/South Fayette; Summer Dacheux (Fr. Free/Back, Dover); Christina Donohue (Sr. Free, Crescent/Moon); Dominique Gerlach (Jr. Free/Fly, Coraopolis/North Allegheny); Katie Gore (Fr. Breast/IM, Pgh/Plum); Emilee Gysegem (Sr. IM, Breast, Free, Warren, Oh.), Sara Kennedy (Fr. Free/IM, Pgh/Woodland hills); Alexis Lopez (Fr. Free/Breast, Beaver Falls/Blackhawk); Anna McNurlen (Sr. Free, Washington), Emily Ondrizek (Jr. Free, Fly, Gettysburg); Caileigh Purcell (So. Free, Cecil/Canon McMillan); Katie Querciagrossa (So. Free/Back, Peoria, Ill.); Gabriella Schaffer (Jr. Back/Fly, Reading/Muhlenberg); Kelsey Slayton (Sr. Free/Fly, White Lake, Mi.); Lauren Szoszorek (Sr. Free, Erie/McDowell); Rachel Wrotniewski (Fr. Free, Daleville, Va./Lord Btetourt).

Gysegem, a senior, was the PSAC champion in the 200 and 400 IM in 2013, she is seeded #2 in the 200 IM (2:06.45) and #1 in the 400 IM (4:29.56) heading to PSAC’s. Emilee swam a 4:27.11 in winning the 400 and a 2:05.33 in winning the 200 in 2013. She was 4th in the 200 IM last year (2:05.73) and and 2nd in the 400 IM (4:27.69). She was third in the 400 and 200 as a freshman in 2012. Emilee will also likely swim both breaststroke events – where she was 10th in the 100 and 9th in the 200 last year. Gysegem owns the Clarion record in the 400 IM at 4:26.35.

Schaffer, a junior, is the defending PSAC Champ in the 100 (55.84) and was second in the 200 last year. She was 2nd in the 100 back with a time of 56.24 and 4th in the 200 back (2:04.25) in 2013. She is seeded 1st in the 100 back (55.18) and 1st in the 200 (2:03.22). “Gabby” owns both school records at 55.18 in the 100 and 2:01.70 in the 200.

Veterans McNurlen & Ondrizek will swim the sprint freestyles. McNurlen placed 7th in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 free last year, while also placing 10th in the 100 in 2013. McNureln is seeded 8th in the 50, 5th in the 100 and 9th in the 200 freestyle events. Ondrizek was 13th in the 50 and 16th in the 100 last year. Continuing to improve she is seeded 6th in the 50, 13th in the 100 free and 13th in the 100 fly.

Slayton placed 10th in the 100 butterfly last year and 13th in the 100 butterfly in 2013. She is seeded 10th in the 100 fly this year and could swim the 200 fly.

Szoszorek, a distance freestyler, is seeded 9th in the 1650, 10th in the 500 and 11th in the 100 free races. In 2013 Lauren was 10th in the 1650.

Freshman Summer Dacheux and sophomore Katie Querciagrossa hope to make a strong impact at PSAC’s. Dacheux, in her first trip to the PSAC’s, is seeded 4th in both the 100 and 200 yard backstroke events. Querciagrossa is seeded 8th in the 100 and 7th in the 200 back as well as trying her hand in the 50 free. Katie was 10th in the 100 back and 12th in the 200 back last year.

A string of Clarion freshmen are seeded in the top 20 and hope to score for the golden Eagles this week. Alexis Lopez is seeded 16th in the 50 free, 20th in the 100 free and 15th in the 100 breaststroke. Kelsie Conrad is seeded 11thin the 100 backstroke and Katie Gore is seeded 16th in the 100 breaststroke and 13th in the 200 breaststroke.

Clarion is also hoping for strong relay performances in the 200 and 400 medley races. The 200 medley relay team is seeded #2 (1:45.49), two hundredths behind Bloomsburg. Swimming that event will be Schaffer, Gysegem, Slayton, and either McNurlen or Ondrizek. The 400 medley relay is seeded third, and the 400 free relay team could finish in the top 3.

The 2014 PSAC championships was moved to the Graham Aquatic Center in York, Pa. and West Chester won going away with 893 points, IUP second with 490, Edinboro third at 365, Bloomsburg fourth with 363, Gannon fifth at 327, Cal sixth at 305, Shippensburg 7th with 267 and Clarion 8th at 260. Rounding our the field were E. Stroudsburg ninth with 104, Millersville tenth with 92, LH eleventh with 82, Kutztown twelfth with 71 and Mansfield thirteenth with 40 points.

The 2013 PSAC championship was held at Cumberland Valley High School with West chester claiming first place with 800 points, Clarion second with 442.5, Gannon third with 367, IUP fourth at 350, Edinboro fifth with 318, Bloomsburg sixth with 287, Shippensburg seventh with 272, California eighth with 214.5, E. Stroudsburg ninth at 173, Millersville tenth with 148, Lock Haven eleventh with 132 and Kutztown twelfth with 106.

The 2012 championship was held at Cumberland Valley High School with West Chester winning the team title with 684 points, Clarion was second with 441, California third at 412, Gannon fourth at 336.5, IUP fifth with 315.5, Edinboro sixth at 305, Bloomsburg seventh with 287.5, Shippensburg eighth with 278, Kutztown ninth at 189, Lock Haven tenth at 162, Millersville eleventh with 107, E. Stroudsburg twelfth with 102.5 and Mansfield thirteenth with 32 points.

The 2011 championship at Cumberland Valley saw West Chester win the team title scoring 630 points, Clarion was second with 510, California third with 341, IUP fourth at 340 and Shippensburg fifth with 321 points. Thirteen teams participated.

In 2010 at Cumberland Valley, West Chester won the team title with 756 points with Clarion second at 469. Thirteen teams competed in that event with Shippensburg third at 397, Kutztown fourth with 351, Cal fifth with 323, Gannon sixth at 299, Bloomsburg seventh at 242, Edinboro eighth with 224, Lock Haven ninth at 211, IUP tenth with 182, E. Stroudsburg eleventh with 96, Millersville twelfth at 69 and Mansfield thirteenth with 40.

In 2009 at Cumberland Valley West Chester won the women’s title with 660.5 points, Clarion second with 560, California third at 495, Gannon fourth with 352.5, Indiana fifth with 287.5 and Edinboro sixth at 286. Rounding out the 14-team field were seventh place Kutztown with 267.5, Shippensburg eighth with 161.5, Lock Haven ninth at 141, Bloomsburg tenth with 124.5, E. Stroudsburg eleventh with 99, Millersville twelfth at 64, Slippery Rock thirteenth with 42 and Mansfield fourteenth with 36 points.

In 2008 at Cumberland Valley High, West Chester took the team title with 703 points, while Clarion was second with 523.5, IUP third with 407, Edinboro fourth with 370, Bloomsburg fifth with 328, Shippensburg sixth with 315, Kutztown seventh at 295, California eighth with 252, Lock Haven ninth at 119, Millersville tenth with 113.5, East Stroudsburg eleventh at 86, Slippery Rock twelfth with 79 and Mansfield thirteenth with 38 points.

The 2007 championship, also at Cumberland Valley High School, saw West Chester take the team honors with 810 points, Clarion second with 562 and Indiana third at 381. Shippensburg placed fourth with 377, Bloomsburg fifth with 338, Edinboro sixth at 253, Kutztown seventh with 213.5, California eighth with 190, Lock Haven ninth with 161.5, Millersville tenth at 92, Slippery Rock eleventh with 88, East Stroudsburg twelfth with 86 and Mansfield thirteenth with 51 points.

Clarion hosted the 2006 PSAC Championship at W.S. Tippin Natatorium. The Golden Eagles won the team title scoring 928.5 points, with West Chester second at 890.5 and IUP third with 578. The 13-team field saw Bloomsburg fourth at 489, Shippensburg fifth with 417.5, Lock Haven sixth with 341, California seventh at 317.5, Edinboro eighth with 268, Kutztown ninth with 256, Slippery Rock tenth with 212, East Stroudsburg eleventh at 149, Millersville twelfth with 121 and Mansfield thirteenth with 64 points.

West Chester won the team title in its own pool in 2005 scoring 1,073 points, while Clarion was second with 883 and IUP third with 553. In 2004 Clarion took the team title with 894.5 points, while West Chester finished second with 773 and Shippensburg was third with 408 points.

CLARION NOTES: Each swimmer can swim a maximum of 7 events at PSAC’s, and for the second year, is allowed to swim in 4 individual events … In school history Clarion has won 8 NCAA titles (1977, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84 & 86)… Clarion will be at the NCAA D-II Nationals on March 11-14 in Indianapolis … In 1999 IUP dethroned the Golden Eagles in the closest meet in PSAC history (399.5 – 396.5). In 2000, at IUP, Clarion took the title back scoring 446 points, while West Chester was second with 426.5 and IUP was third with 370.5. Other close PSAC finishes saw Clarion win by 14.5 over IUP in 1998 and 23.5 over Bloomsburg in 1991…2015 marks the 19th year diving was eliminated from the PSAC Championship… Diving remains an integral part of the NCAA Championship.

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