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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (August 13, 2003) - Eugene Botes (Thorton, Pa.), who was a senior captain for the Nittany Lions last season, became Penn State's first-ever national champion by winning the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. Swimming Senior Nationals, which ended Saturday in College Park, Md.
He won the preliminaries with a time of 53.54 seconds and then won the finals with a time of 53.20. The winning time was an Olympic qualifying cut time and it is also the South African national record, Botes' home country.
He becomes the Nittany Lions' first national champion swimmer. Diver Chris Devine won a senior national title in 1994.
Botes, who is the school record-holder in the 100 freestyle and100 butterfly, also became the first male swimmer in Penn State history to represent the school for his country (South Africa) when he swam in the 50 butterfly at the World Championships in July. He has exhausted his eligibilty at Penn State, but he will remain on campus as a post-graduate to train and compete for the South African Olympic team.
Matt Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) placed 11th in the 100 butterfly with an Olympic cut time of 54.82 seconds, eighth in the 200-meter buttlerfly with an Olympic cut time of 2:01.23 and 11th in the 200-meter Individual Medley with an Olympic cut time of 2:05.56.
Brent Creager (Glendale, Ariz.) finished 19th in the 200 butterfly with an Olympic cut time of 2:02.87. Creager will compete for Team U.S.A. in the 200 butterfly at the World University Games in Daegu, South Korea, which begin Aug. 24.
Sarah Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.) also competed and was 12th in the 100 backstroke with an Olympic cut time of 1:03.52 and the women's 400 freestyle relay team finished 15th in 3:54.15. Deirdre Dlugonski (Washington, Pa.), Lauren Semchyshen (New Fairfield, Conn.), and Sally Anderson (Somerset, New Jersey) all competed in the 400 freestyle relay.
Botes, Creager and Eugene Botes also competed in the men's 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays, finishing 11th (3:29.56) and 15th (3:53.55), respectively. William Gordon (Alpharetta, Ga.) also swam in the 400 freestyle relay and Mark Zucca (Hudson, Ohio) competed in the 400 medley relay.
Rising junior Courtney Stanchock (Bloomsburg, Pa.), who will be a captain on the 2003-04 Nittany Lions squad, finished 19th in the 200 breastroke. Dlugonski, who was a captain last season and will be again this upcoming year, also finished 22nd in the 100 freestyle and 23rd in the 50 freestyle.
Jaff Clark (Malvern, Pa.) competed and took seventh in the 200 IM and 13th in the 400 IM.
A total of 18 national cut times and 13 Olympic cut times were produced.