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    SEC Swimming & Diving Today: November 2

    Tigers Race Past Kentucky in Dual Meet Sweep
    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Five Tiger swimmers earned their first collegiate victories, and the Auburn men and women sprinted past host Kentucky on Friday afternoon in a pair of dual meet victories at the Lancaster Aquatic Center.
    The Auburn women improved to 4-0 on the season (3-0 SEC) with a 212.5-87.5 win, and the Auburn men remained unbeaten at 3-0 (overall and SEC), winning by a 205.5-94.5 margin. Kentucky’s men fell to 1-4 while the women dropped to 1-5 in dual-meet action.
    “The team performed well, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do before the Georgia Invite and heading into SECs,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. “I thought around the walls we were sloppy today. Some of our skills in general need a lot of work. But in terms of the team spirit and leadership, I was very happy.
    “Peter Haas had a couple of nice swims today. That was big for him and for us as a team. Jillian Vitarius fought hard as a freshman swimming some other events today. Stuart Ferguson showed a lot of leadership winning an event he doesn’t swim very much in the 200 fly. And I was happy with Alex Hancock, he had a good day as well. We gave some young guys some chances to win events if they wanted it, and a lot of them took advantage of that chance.”
    Auburn’s men won 12 of 16 events on the day, including an 11-for-12 record in individual swimming races, while the Tiger women took top honors in 13 of 16 events. Auburn earned sweeps of the top three (or four) spots in six women’s events and five men’s events.
    Junior Peter Haas won his first and second collegiate races, sweeping the breaststroke events. He clocked a 57.07 to touch first in the 100-yard breaststroke – leading a sweep of the top three spots with Chandler Gerlach and Spencer Kerns. Haas then came back to post a 2:04.35 in the 200 breast, winning by nearly four full seconds while leading another sweep with Kyle Owens, Jordan Jones and Gerlach.
    Newcomer Antton Haramboure came through in the 1,000 freestyle, posting a time of 9:30.13 to edge teammate Zane Grothe by .31 seconds. Freshman Steyn Funk was third (9:45.62) and sophomore Sam Parker took fourth (9:50.83).
    And in the men’s 400 individual medley, freshman Jordan Jones got his first win as a Tiger with a 3:56.72, leading a top-four sweep for Auburn. Alex Hancock was second in 3:57.14, with Chris Kramer third and Tommy McKee fourth.
    Two women’s newcomers picked up their initial collegiate victories as well. Freshman Alexandria Merritt took top honors in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.29, and freshman Caitlyn Forman was the winner in the 100 backstroke with a 55.84, leading a top-three sweep along with Hannah Riordan and Hallie Stupp.
    Forman also led off the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, swimming the leadoff leg as she teamed up with Abby Duncan, Haley Krakoski and Becca Jones for a winning time of 1:42.44. The team of Aubrey Peacock, Lindsey Norberg, Megan Fonteno and Hallie Stupp took second in 1:43.92.
    Senior Katie Gardocki remained unbeaten in eight swims so far this year, sweeping the distance freestyle events for the Auburn women. She posted a 10:00.32 in the 1,000 free to win by more than 13 seconds, and then came back later in the meet to clock a 4:53.46 to lead a sweep of the top four spots in the 500 free. Olivia Scott was second with a 4:55.88, Auburn’s second-best time this year, while Siena DeVenuto took third and Fonteno was fourth.
    Another Tiger senior, Micah Lawrence, continued her dominance of the 200 breaststroke as she posted the nation’s fourth-fastest time in the race this year, a 2:11.81 to win by more than five seconds. Three other Tigers took the next three spots with Duncan in second and seniors Lauren Norberg and Laura Johnson third and fourth, respectively. Lawrence earned a second win in the final individual event of the meet as she posted a 4:20.42 to win the 400 individual medley by more than six seconds.
    Jillian Vitarius kept Auburn newcomers unbeaten in the women’s 200 backstroke as the freshman cruised to victory in 1:58.56 for her third win in the event this year; Peacock took second while Forman was third.
    Senior Becca Jones led a top-four sweep in the 200 free; she posted a 1:50.36 to narrowly out-touch Scott (1:50.51) and Krakoski (1:50.90) while Lindsey Norberg took fourth (1:52.33). And senior Lauren Norberg also led the way as Auburn swept the top four spots in the 100 breast. Norberg’s time of 1:02.02 was just .01 ahead of Duncan (1:02.03), while junior Tryshia Centeno was third and Johnson took fourth.
    Krakoski took the win in the 50 free (23.47) with Peacock in second, and Hannah Riordan touched first in the 100 free (50.56) with Scott finishing runner-up. Fonteno was the top Auburn finisher in the 200 fly with a runner-up time of 2:02.74, and sophomore Cinzia Calabretta earned a pair of third-place finishes in 1- and 3-meter diving.
    On the men’s side, junior Marcelo Chierighini also kept his winning streak alive in the 50 and 100 freestyle, taking the top spot in both sprint freestyle races. He earned his third win in three tries at the 50 free with a 20.17 while Alex Hancock took second in 20.68. Chierighini then came back with a 44.32 to win the 100 free with teammate James Disney-May taking second place in 44.99.
    The other five Auburn wins were spread among five different athletes, most of whom were swimming in their lesser-known events. Kyle Owens earned a victory in the 200 free with a 1:39.85; Tommy McKee finished as the runner-up. James Disney-May took the top spot in the 100 back in 49.89, just ahead of Brandon Siemasko, but Siemasko would come back to earn a victory in the 200 back (1:51.16).
    Zane Grothe earned his third win in three tries this season at the 500 free with a 4:35.20, and Stuart Ferguson came away with a winning time of 1:49.99 in the 200 fly.
    In men’s diving, sophomore Fraser McKean was the runner-up in the 1-meter event with a 342.23, and junior John Santeiu took second place in the 3-meter event with a score of 359.55.
    Auburn wrapped up the day with a pair of victories in the 200 freestyle relay. The women’s “C” relay squad of Krakoski, Fonteno, Caroline Bryant and Lauren Norberg led a sweep of the top three spots with a time of 1:34.97, and the men’s top team of Chierighini, Owens, Youssef Hammoud and Kevin Behrens clocked a winning time of 1:22.47.
    The Tigers will devote the rest of November to training before wrapping up the fall portion of the season at the Georgia Fall Invitational, which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Athens, Ga.

    LSU Swimming and Diving Sweeps Alabama

    BATON ROUGE, La. - The LSU Swimming and Diving teams swept Alabama at the LSU Natatorium on Friday in front of a packed crowd showing their Tiger spirit before tomorrow night’s football game between the two programs in Tiger Stadium.

    “Anytime you put LSU and Alabama in a competitive situation there is going to be energy,” Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. “It was a swimming and diving team effort. That is what is going to keep us achieving our goals at the conference and national level. We started the football team off on a good note.”

    LSU’s 22nd ranked Men’s team (2-1, 1-1 SEC) defeated Alabama’s 20th ranked Men’s team (1-2, 0-2 SEC) by a score of 196-104. LSU’s 17th ranked Women’s team (5-1, 2-1 SEC) beat the Crimson Tide Women’s team by a score of 200.5-98.5.

    The Tigers utilized the fan’s emotions, sparked by LSU student-athletes in attendance for “Tiger Nights,” to get out to a dominating start.

    “I know that Fran (Flory) and Volleyball came back after we supported them in Auburn, and there were a lot of athletes out there,” Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. “It is great that within this athletic department the support for our student athletes is spread between all teams. To have an environment like that, in a meet like this on a Friday afternoon, you could feel the enthusiasm and the electricity in the building. Our kids fed off that. It gave us a home advantage.”

    From the onset of the meet, LSU swimmers and divers posted numerous season best marks. In total, LSU won 24 of the 32 possible events, including all four relays.

    “It is that progression that we look for and I talk about so much. It is rising to the occasion of SEC competition and Alabama weekend,” Geyer said. “We had this meet marked, and we know that it is always going to be a good meet. We set the tone right away.  We got the crowd involved. Diving came up huge for us again, and we just kept down on them the whole time.”

    The women's 400 medley relay team of sophomore Katlin Sepp, junior Torrey Bussey, junior Rainey White and sophomore Amber Carter led off the meet with a LSU Natatorium record tine of 3:43.21 in a first place finish.

    The men's 400 medley relay teams grabbed 15 points behind the first place squad of sophomore Michael Young, senior Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez, sophomore Frank Greeff and senior Andrei Tuomola (3:18.18) and the second place group of senior Raymond De Padua, freshman Gabe Rooker, freshman Grant Grenfell and junior Michael Saco (3:18.64).

    Alabama swept the 500 and 1000 free events, but LSU’s diving team created a huge lift for both teams.

    The men's team swept the one-meter even behind Kevin Leong (320.25), Sean McKinney (315.34), Jesse Lyman (275.48) and Daniel Helm (269.78). On the three-meter McKinney (349.73) and Helm (346.80) finished in first and second, respectively.

    On the women’s three-meter Alabama's Paige McCleary took first, but LSU's Cassie Weil (309.80) and Alex Bettridge (295.20) secured second and third place finishes, respectively. On the one-meter, Bettridge (276.45), Weil (269.33) and senior Elle Schmidt finished 1-2-3.

    The Lady Tigers finished 1-2-3 in the 200 free behind Megan Cox (1:50.92), Danielle Stirrat (1:51.67) and Sally Wood (1:51.87). Cox's time was the lowest for LSU this season.

    Bussey went on to earn additional victories in the 100 breast (1:02.13) and the 200 breast (2:16.59). She also swam the lead off leg for the first place 400 free relay team of White, freshman Danielle Stirrat and Carter.

    In addition to Carter’s victories in the relay events, the sophomore swept the sprint events with a 50 free time of 23.25 and a 100 free time of 51.21.

    Junior Sara Haley notched her season low in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:59.15.

    Stirrat earned victory in the 200 back with a mark of 1:59.07. Wood captured the 200 individual medley title with a time of 2:03.66.

    On the men’s side, senior Craig Hamilton showed significant improvement in the distance events by dropping around four seconds off of his 500 free (4:32.85) and about seven seconds off of his 1000 free (9:21.50).

    Greeff secured victory in the 200 fly with a mark of 1:48.73, and swam the final leg of the first place 400 free relay that was led off by Tuomola, Saco, sophomore Dillon Love.

    Saco added a victory in the 50 free with a season low 20.18. Tuomola notched a pair of second place swims in the 50 free (20.38) and the 100 free (44.97).

    Young swept the backstroke events with a 100 back time of 49.65 and a 200 back time of 1:48.53. De Padua picked up a victory in the 100 fly (49.06) and a second place swim in the 100 back (50.34).

    Rooker snagged a first place finish in the 100 breast (55.73) and finished second in the 200 breast (2:02.27). Alvarado Jimenez took first in the 200 breast (2:01.04) and second in the 100 breast (56.06).

    "Tiger Nights" is an attempt for all LSU student-athletes to support one another and assist in the increase of student attendance and involvement at athletic events. Teams will be attending events to fight for the new Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes' LSU Tiger Spirit Award, to be awarded at the end of the year. Teams will have the opportunity to attend all sporting events and accumulate points to be totaled at the end of the year.

    Florida Splits Dual Meet with Texas A&M

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Florida swimming and diving teams split in dual meet action against SEC opponent Texas A&M Friday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The No. 1 Florida men's team defeated the No. 21 Aggies 197-98, while the No. 11 Gator women fell to No. 4 Texas A&M 104-196. The Gators improve to 3-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC on the men's side, as the women are now 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC.

    Florida's men saw 10 different student-athletes combine for 14 wins in the rout of the Aggies. The relay group of sophomore Christian Homer (Trinidad and Tobago), sophomore Ricky Munch (Clifton, Va.), junior Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) and junior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) won the men's 200 medley relay in a time of 1:29. 57.

    In the 1,000 free, sophomore Carlos Omana (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Arthur Frayler (Fort Washington, Pa.) took the two top spots as they finished in times of 9:04.00 and 9:11.08 respectively. Junior Sebastien Rousseau continued his success as he finished first in the 200 free with a NCAA "B" cut time of 1:37.39, his best so far this season.

    Gators' Homer, senior Cameron Martin (Clearwater, Fla.) and sophomore Harrison Curley (Winter Park, Fla.) went one-two-three in the 100 backstroke. Then Rousseau won his second event of the evening touching in a time of 56.77 in the 100 breast. Sophomore Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland) also collected a win for the Gators as he finished in a time of 1:49.47 in the 100 fly.

    Freshman Pawel Werner (Wroclaw, Poland) got his first win of the day in the 100 free finishing in 44.98 and deBorde won the 50 free in his best time of the season with a 20.22. Junior Conor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.) took the 200 back in a time of 1:48.70 and sophomore Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) added a win in the 200 breast with a time of 2:00.52.

    Adding to Florida's win total, senior Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) took the top spot in the 500 free (4:28.06), Cielsak won the 100 fly in a 49.11 and Omana had his second individual victory with a NCAA "B" cut time of 3:53.44 in the 400 IM.

    For the women, junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) won three events on the day and all three were in NCAA "B" cut times. Beisel finished first in the 100 back with her season best time of 54.47. She then took first in the 200 back in a time of 1:56.01 and the 400 IM with a 4:09.31.

    Freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) had the Gators' other victory on the day, taking first in the 50 free with a time of 23.02. Hinds also had a second place finish in the 100 fly, touching in 55.11. Fellow freshman Ashlee Linn (Southfield, Mich.) finished second in the 200 back behind Beisel, stopping the clock at 2:00.08.

    In the 1,000 free, freshman Jessica Thielmann (Newcastle, England) and junior Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) finished two-three as they recorded times of 9:51.03 and 9:53.32 respectively.

    On the diving boards, freshmen Emily Mosher (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Delaney Dye (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished third and fourth on both the one and three-meter boards. Sophomore Zach Hernandez (Johns Creek, Ga.) took third on the one-meter for the men and senior Sean Saley (Pompano Beach, Fla.) was fourth.