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    SEC Swimming and Diving Today: March 23

    Tigers in Sixth Place Midway Through Day Two of NCAA Championships

    FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – With four events  left on the second night of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships, Auburn was in sixth place with 142.5 points.

    California continued to hold the lead with 255.5 points, followed by Texas with 241.5 Four events – 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving and 800 freestyle relay – had yet to begin as of this report.

    Auburn’s 200 medley relay team of Kyle Owens, Stuart Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and Karl Krug earned a third-place finish with a time of 1:24.70. Owens had the Tigers in the lead after the backstroke leg, and the Tigers never fell lower than third with a strong butterfly leg from Chierighini. Krug then held off a hard-charging Jimmy Feigen of Texas to snag the bronze for the Tigers as he out-touched the Longhorn senior by .03 seconds.

    Sophomores Zane Grothe and James Disney-May gave Auburn its first scoring swims in the 200 freestyle since 2007. Grothe finished 14th overall with a time of 1:35.56, and Disney-May was 16th in 1:36.05.

    Auburn athletes still left to compete included Kyle Owens (100 back championship); Max Murphy (100 back consolation) and Stuart Ferguson (100 breast consolation). The Tigers were also entered in the 800 freestyle relay.

    LSU Men Head into Day Three Looking to Put Points on the Board

    SEATTLE, Wash. - Sophomore diver Daniel Helm represented the LSU Swimming and Diving men’s team during day two of the NCAA Championships hosted at the Weyerhaeuser King Co. Aquatic Center in Seattle, Wash.

    “I thought it was an excellent field of competition and Daniel had an opportunity to place,” Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. “Daniel tucked his toes a bit on the first dive being aggressive, and it cost him a little bit of position in the event. I felt that he competed extremely well. He is gaining of a lot experience, and tomorrow is another day.”

    The Beaverton, Ore. native, competing in his first national championships, finished the three-meter dive in 24th place with a six-line score of 335.90.

    Helm will look for his first chance to earn NCAA honors on the platform dive. He currently boasts a career high of 339.90 on the platform, which is third best in the program's records.

    Junior swimmer Craig Hamilton will look to repeat last year’s success in the 1650 freestyle tomorrow. The three-time NCAA Qualifier owns both the 1000 free (9:05.55) and 1650 free (14:58.11) program records. The 1000 free is derived from the first 1000 yards split in the mile.

    At last year's NCAA meet, Hamilton earned his first NCAA Honorable Mention in a 15th place finish in the 1650 free (15.02.33).

    Live stats are available through the following link:

    Alabama’s Coci Shatters School Record on Day Two of NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

    SEATTLE, Wash. - Alabama sophomore Alex Coci shattered the school record in the 100 butterfly on day two of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships being held in the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center this week.

    “Alex just continues to have an incredible season,” UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. “He had a great swim in prelims to break the school record and earn a second swim. Then he came back tonight and was even better, shaving another three-tenths of a second off the school record and earning honorable mention All-American honors.”

    Coci broke the record in the preliminaries of the 100 butterfly, clocking a 46.87 to become the first Crimson Tide swimmer under 47 seconds, bettering the record of 47.04 set by current UA assistant coach Stefan Gherghel in 2003.

    Then in finals, Coci shaved almost four-tenths of a second off his preliminaries time to plunge the school mark to 46.50 while finishing three spots better than his prelims finish, taking 12th place, earning honorable mention All-American honors in the process. He came into the meet seeded 29th in the 100 butterfly.

    Coci will take a shot at Gherghel’s 200 butterfly mark on Saturday, the final day of the NCAA Championship, where he is seeded 14th. Gherghel, who is on the deck coaching this week, was a two-time NCAA 200 butterfly champion as well as a two-time Olympian.

    Sophomore BJ Hornikel also competed on Friday, taking 22nd in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:36.11. He will close out his championship run in the 100 freestyle, where he is seeded 11th.
    Hornikel and Coci are both in the midst of their NCAA Championship debuts this week.

    Saturday’s preliminaries get underway at 11 a.m. PDT while the finals start at 7 p.m. PDT. Saturday night's finals will be on ESPN3, while a recap of the championships will be shown on ESPNU on a taped delay basis on April 1.