Men' Swimming Finishes Third at Big Ten Championships
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The #20 Penn State men's swim team placed third at the Big Ten Championship. It was their fifth straight top five finish and third consecutive third place finish. The Nittany Lions finished with a score of 442.5, while Minnesota won its second straight championship with a score of 711.5. Michigan placed second with a score of 636.5.
On the final day of competition Penn State won two events and set three school records. Once again, junior Eugene Botes (Glen Mills, Pa.) led the Nittany Lions. Botes broke the meet, pool and school record en route to winning the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 43.30. Botes swam a time of 43.05 in the preliminaries, which bettered the school record of 43.72. His victory was his second individual title and the second school record he broke during the Championships.
Three other Nittany Lions scored points in the 100-yard freestyle. Bob Molettiere (Harleysville, Pa.) placed fourth in a time of 43.78, but swam a NCAA automatic time of 43.60 in the prelims. Todd Minnier (Avon Lake, Ohio) finished sixth in a provisional time of 44.26, while Martin Schierhorn (Zappendorf, Germany) placed 16th in a time 45.57.
In the final event of the Championship Penn State won its second relay championship. The team of Molettiere, Botes, Minnier and Schierhorn defended their title in the 400-yard freestyle and in the process set a new meet, pool and school record, with a time of 2:53.68. Their time broke their own old meet and school record of 2:54.25 and was a NCAA automatic time.
Penn State had two or more scorers in three events. In the 1650-yard freestyle Paul Kirk (Gates Mills, Ohio) set a new school record by finishing sixth in a provisional time of 15:19.13. He broke the old school record of 15:20.94. Erik Gordon (Seattle, Wash.) placed 12th in a time of 15:35.18.
In the 200-yard backstroke Andrew Hartner (New Paltz, N.Y.) placed third in a provisional time of 1:45.65. Josh Weaver finished eighth with a provisional time of 1:47.05, while Jaffrey Clark (Malvern, Pa.) placed 15th in a time of 1:49.32.
Brent Creager (Glendale, Ariz.) placed ninth in the 200-yard butterfly in a NCAA provisional time of 1:47.25. Creager's teammate, Matt Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) finished 11th in a time of 1:48.48. His time of 1:47.79 in the prelims was a provisional mark.
In all the Nittany Lions won four events, set seven school records and swam five NCAA automatic times during the three days of competition.
The Nittany Lions will return to action March 9 when the host the Last Chance Invitational at the McCoy Natatorium.