Men¡¯s Swimming Competes In First Day of Big Ten Championship
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ¨C After one day of competition the #20 Penn State men¡¯s swim team stands in third place at the Big Ten Championships. Minnesota is leading the meet with a score of 197, while Penn State has 157. In all, the Nittany Lions set two school records en route to winning two of the five swim events.
Senior Bob Molettiere (Harleysville, Pa.) won his second straight individual title in the 50-yard freestyle with a school and pool record time of 19.68. The time, which was a NCAA automatic time, bettered the old school and pool record of 19.75 set in 1999 by Brian Hostetler. Molettiere¡¯s teammate Eugene Botes (Glen Mills, Pa.) placed second with a NCAA provisional time of 19.89, which was a also a personal best time.
Penn State got out of the gates quickly by winning the first event contested. The 200-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Botes, Molettiere, Todd Minnier (Avon Lake, Ohio) and John Lutz (Hershey, Pa.) set a new school record in a NCAA provisional time of 1:18.69. The Nittany Lions dethroned defending champions Minnesota who placed second in 1:19.09.
Martin Schierhorn (Zappendorf, Germany) and Matt Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) were other top ten individual scorers on the first day for the Nittany Lions. Schierhorn equaled his performance at last year¡¯s Championship by finishing fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:21.33. Haupt placed eighth in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 1:50.30. Anthony Swanson of Northwestern won the 200 IM in a new meet and pool record time of 1:45.66.
Erik Gordon (Seattle, Wash.) and Jaffrey Clark (Malvern, Pa.) placed 12th in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley, respectively. Gordon swam a time of 4:28.45, while Clark swam a time of 1:50.18
In the final event of the night, the 400-yard medley relay, Penn State placed fifth in a season best time by almost five seconds with a time of 3:15.84. Minnesota won in a time of 3:11.41.
The Big Ten Championships will continue through Saturday, March 2. Preliminary events will begin at 12:00 a.m. and finals will be held at 7 p.m. each day. Live results can be found at www.bigten.org or on www.gopsusports.com.
Penn State senior Robert Molettiere placed first with a pool-record time of 19.68:
"I am more excited that we finished 1-2 than that I finished first. Any time you finish in the top two spots with a teammate it is a great accomplishment. I knew I swam well, but that is faster than I thought I would go. I couldn't be happier with my time."
Molettiere about heading into NCAA's: