Fisher, Scallen earn honors

Penn State Altoona men’s swimming sophomore Alex Fisher was named the swimmer of the year and coach Greg Scallen was voted the men’s coach of the year to highlight the Lions’ honors in the 2013-2014 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Men’s Swimming All-Conference squad, which was released last Monday.

Fisher won the men’s High Point Award at the conclusion of the James E. Longnecker Invitational AMCC Championships at Grove City College on Feb. 13-15.

He won three individual events during the meet, garnering 27 points to rank first among all AMCC men’s swimmers. Fisher’s achievements make him both the first men’s High Point Award winner and first AMCC men’s swimmer of the year in Penn State Altoona swimming history.

Scallen guided the men’s squad to its best showing all-time in the AMCC Championships, as the Lions finished in second place with a team score of 207.

He also coached the team to its best regular season dual record (5-2-1) since the 2007-2008 season, in which the Lions also had five wins in dual meets. The team’s five wins tied for the most regular season victories in program history, and its 2013-2014 winning percentage ranks first.

Scallen also received the men’s coach of the meet honor for the James E. Longnecker Invitational, an award which was voted on by all AMCC and Presidents Athletic Conference swimming coaches whose teams competed in the meet.

Thanks to their first place finishes during the AMCCs, several Lion swimmers were named first team all-conference.

Fisher received a first team nod for his three individual finals victories throughout the three-day conference championships.

On Thursday, Feb. 13, he won the AMCC title for the 200 yard IM, defeating his opponents by clocking in at 1:59.54.

On Friday, Feb. 14, he championed the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 58.69. Fisher’s third victory came on Feb. 15, when he placed first in the 200 yard breaststroke by clinching a time of 2:11.71.

Named first team all-conference in the 200 yard freestyle relay was the group of Benjamin Porter, Keenan Halpin, Kyle Huber and Fisher. The squad clinched first place during the Thursday final with a time of 1:27.77.

Porter, Halpin, Huber, and Fisher also took first team recognition in the 200 yard medley relay, which they combined to win with a time of 1:36.66 in the finals on Friday.

Brendan Farren, Zachary Jones, Jay Wareham and Huber won first team all-conference status in the 800 yard freestyle relay, in which they secured first place with a time of 7:21.80 on Friday.

A number of Penn State Altoona men’s swimmers also earned second team all-conference recognition by finishing second in their respective events during the AMCCs.

Jones placed second in the 100 yard butterfly on Friday with a time of 54.39, and he later clinched another second place finish in the 200 yard freestyle by clocking in at 1:48.39.

Porter was the runner-up in Friday’s 100 yard breaststroke final, clocking in at 1:00.39.

Farren took second place in the 1650 yard freestyle on Saturday, finishing in 17:40.30.

Porter, Fisher, Jones, and Wareham picked up a second place finish in Thursday’s 400 yard medley relay, finishing with a time of 3:38.13.

In Saturday’s 400 yard freestyle relay, the squad of Huber, Wareham, Porter, and Fisher combined to place second with a time of 3:14.61.

Nine of the 12 swimmers on the men’s team roster scored points for their squad in individual events during the AMCCs. Eight of those nine were involved in the first and second place teams in relay events for the Lions.

By the end of the AMCC Championships, the Penn State Altoona men’s swimming team had set new school records in the 50 yard butterfly, 50, 100 and 200 yard breaststroke, 200 Yard IM, 200, 400 and 800 yard freestyle relay and the 200 and 400 yard medley relay.

Women’s swimming

Penn State Altoona freshman Ashley Nero earned a pair of second team all-conference awards when the AMCC released its 2013-2014 Women’s Swimming All-Conference Team.

Nero capped her impressive freshman campaign with a strong performance in the AMCC Championships, where she clinched runner-up status in the 100 yard and 200 yard breaststroke to garner Second Team All-Conference nods in each event

On Feb. 14, the second night of the conference championships, Nero finished in second place in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:12.86. On Saturday, Nero placed second in the 200 yard breaststroke when she clocked in at 2:42.12.

As a team, the Lady Lions finished in fourth place at the AMCCs with a team score of 119.