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    Thursday SEC Swimming & Diving Roundup

    Florida Splits Close Meet On the Road

    Tallahassee, Fla. -- Florida’s swimming and diving teams faced in-state rival Florida State Thursday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla. at the Morcom Aquatics Center. The Gators’ No. 2 men’s team defeated the No. 24 Seminoles 167-133 to improve to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC, while Florida’s No. 11 women fell to No. 19 FSU 157-143 and are 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the SEC.
    The Gators started out strong in the distance events by finishing one-two in the women’s and men’s 1000 free. Freshman Jessica Theilmann (Newcastle, England) took the win on the women’s side with a time of 9:47.10 and junior Alicia Mathieu (Marlborough, Conn.) was second touching in 9:51.21.
    The men had a one-two-three finish as freshman Arthur Frayler (Fort Washington, Pa.) was first in a time of 9:08.36, followed by fellow freshman Ryan Rosenbaum (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) with a 9:24.11 and sophomore Thomas Veale (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in third with a time of 9:27.64.
    Junior Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland) grabbed a win for the Gators in the 200 free, touching in a time of 1:39.80. Then sophomore Matt Elliott (Peoria, Ill.) won the men’s 100 breast in a time of 55.95 and junior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) won the 200 fly with a 1:47.13.
    In the 50 freestyle, freshman Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) tied for first with FSU’s Tiffany Oliver, as they simultaneously touched in 23.14 and junior Brad deBorde (Longwood, Fla.) finishing second by only .03 seconds after stopping the clock at 20.20 for his best time of the season.
    Florida’s women then collected two-straight victories. Junior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) won the 200 back in a 1:57.36 and sophomore Rebecca Rainer (Richmond, Va.) touched first in the 200 breast with a time of 2:17.44.
    A one-two-three finish in the men’s 200 breast gave the Gators the lead on the men’s side. Elliott had his second win on the day after finishing in 2:01.91, sophomore Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez (Madrid, Spain) was second in a time of 2:02.15 and sophomore Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland) rounded out the top three with a 2:04.69.
    In the 500 free, the Gators swept the top three spots on both the women’s and men’s side. Theilmann won her second event taking first in a 4:50.53, senior Jamie Bohunicky was second in a time of 4:51.08 and Mathieu finished third in 4:53.38.
    With another one-two-three finish, junior Connor Signorin (East Windsor, N.J.) won the 500 free for the men in a time of 4:28.73. Coming in second was Frayler (4:28.88) and senior Jason Taylor (Plant City, Fla.) was third with a 4:33.56.
    Earning her second victory of the day was Hinds in the 100 fly (55.17) and Cieslak took the win for the men with a 48.28. Then Beisel, Rainer and freshman Ashlee Linn (Southfield, Mich.) went one-two-three in the 200 IM for the women and Solaeche-Gomez, Cieslak and Wallace took the top three spots for the men to secure the win.
    In diving, freshman Delaney Dye (Tallahassee, Fla.) was third on the one-meter boards and freshman Emily Mosher (Cincinnati, Ohio) took third on the three-meter. Senior Sean Saley (Pompano Beach, Fla.) finished second on the one-meter for the men and sophomore Zach Hernandez (Johns Creek, Ga.) was the top finisher for the Gators on the three-meter as he took second.

    Henry Set 500 Free Record for TAMU

    HOUSTON --- Texas A&M sophomore Sarah Henry shattered the school record and notched a NCAA "A" qualifying cut in the women's 500-yard freestyle to highlight the Aggies' first day at the Phill Hansel Invitational at the University of Houston.
    Henry, from Garner, N.C., broke the old school record by over four seconds with time of 4:33.07. She out-dueled teammate and 2012 U.S. Olympian Cammile Adams, who placed second and also guaranteed her spot at the NCAA Championships with an "A" cut time of 4:35.66. Both Henry and Adams bested Adams' old school record of 4:37.81 set at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Senior Maureen McLaine took third with a NCAA "B" cut of 4:41.82 as the Aggies swept the top three spots in the race.
    The Aggie women were even more dominant in the 200 IM with a sweep of the top six spots in the Championship final, and all six finishes were under the NCAA "B" qualification. Henry again led the way with a time of 1:56.22, followed by junior Paige Miller (1:58.87), Adams (1:58.97), junior Erica Dittmer (1:59.50), senior Tess Simpson (2:01.03) and freshman Ashley McGregor (2:01.08). Tallying a "B" cut in the consolation heat was freshman Meredith Oliver (2:01.51).
    Dittmer grabbed first place in the 50 freestyle with a "B" cut time of 22.64, while sophomore Sammie Bosma finished fourth in a "B" cut time of 22.93. Sophomore Lili Ibanez scorched the consolation heat with a "B" cut time of 22.33.
    On the men's side, the Aggies swept the top two spots in the one-meter dive. Junior Hayden Jones outclassed the field with a score of 417.25 while sophomore transfer Ford McLiney took second with 353.60 points.
    In the 500 freestyle, junior Omar Enriquez took second in 4:28.00 and freshman Mateo Muzek was fifth in 4:29.56.
    The Aggie women closed out the night with a victory in the 400-yard medley relay with the foursome of Miller, junior Breeja Larson, junior Caroline McElhany and Ibanez touching the wall in a time of 3:33.72.

    Arkansas Has Record Day in Houston

    HOUSTON, Texas – The No. 23 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team finished strong on day one of the Houston Cougar Swimming and Diving Invitational. The Razorbacks currently sit in second place with 194 points after six events and hold nine top-eight finishes.
    The Razorbacks’ strong finish was brought on in the 400-yard medley relay with a school-record breaking swim with a time of 3:37.21. Lim led the relay off with a school record of her own in the leadoff leg of the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.66. Lim also held the previous record of 54.95, which she set against Georgia. Daniels followed Lim’s lead with a split of 59.71 in the breast stroke to move Arkansas into second place. White was up next for the Razorbacks, clocking a 54.64 in the fly. Drolc finished out the record-breaking swim with a time of 49.20 on the split, as the Razorbacks finished in third, besting their previous 400 medley relay time of the season by 7.61 seconds and picking up their first NCAA ‘B’ cut time of the season in a relay.
    Freshman Anna Mayfield clocked the second-best time in school history in the 100 backstroke, swimming a 54.16 in the leadoff leg of the 400 medley relay. The relay would finish eighth overall and would score for Arkansas.
    The Razorbacks began the event finals on day one in as exciting a fashion as they finished them, recording a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which was good for the second-best time in school history (1:32.03). The quartet of sophomore Susanna White, freshman Nina Drolc, redshirt sophomore Shana Lim and freshman Maddie Monroe came up with the season-best time. The fourth-place finish gave the Razorbacks 32 points to start the meet finals. After the first leg the Razorbacks sat back in eighth place before Drolc entered the pool on the second leg. The freshman clocked a 22.44 split that put Arkansas in fourth, which they would hold for the duration of the race.
    The 500 freestyle finals would launch the Razorbacks from fourth place to second place with 91 points up to that point, Arkansas sat behind only No. 4 Texas A&M (142). In the race the UA placed six in the top-16, all scoring for the UA. The Razorbacks momentous jump was led by sophomore Lauren Jordan, Mayfield and senior Chelsea Franklin, who went4-5-6 overall. Franklin clocked 4:46.88, which is a season best and an NCAA ‘B’ cut time. Jordan and Mayfield clocked their season best times in the preliminaries with ‘B’ cut times of 4:44.80 and 4:45.79 respectively. Junior Nicole Menzel notched a ‘B’ cut time as well in the 500 freestyle final with her time of 4:46.77.
    White was the top finisher in the 200-yard individual medley finals for Arkansas as she clocked a time of 2:01.76. In the preliminaries she notched a season-best time and ‘B’ cut time of 2:00.19. The Razorbacks picked up 20 team points, bringing their total to 111 and giving Arkansas a sizeable margin over third-place SMU with 62.
    The 50 freestyle finals, White was the fastest off the blocks in her heat (.67), clocking a sixth-place finish and a season-best time of 23.10.
    Junior diver Kesha Naylor finished in the top-12 in the morning preliminaries earning a spot in the evening finals. Naylor notched a season-best 316.65 en route to an eighth-place finish.
    The Razorbacks will return to the pool tomorrow for the second day of competition. Day two will include the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and one-meter diving. 

    Kentucky Performs Well in Knoxville

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams finished up the first day of the Volunteer Invite Thursday evening with both the men sitting in second place and the women sitting in third place through the first round of competition in the championship-style meet. Kentucky’s men (279) trail Tennessee (404) but leads Duke (211), while the women (193) sit behind Tennessee (427) and Duke (228) but ahead of Colorado State (176).
    Both the men and women struggled through the preliminary rounds earlier in the day during Session 1, but each had strong individual efforts in the evening during the second session.
    No diving events were scheduled for the first session of the day, but Kentucky sophomore diver Christa Cabot shined in the night cap. Cabot took first place in the 3-meter springboard event, scoring a season and team-high 338.25, besting her previous high of 308.05. Fellow sophomore Sarah Chewning claimed fourth place in the event with a season-high 305.30.
    The women’s team earned a third place finish in the 200-freestyle relay in the first event of Session 2. Mandy Myers, Christina Bechtel, Laura Dawson and Megan Eppler combined for the third-place time of 1:34.92. The men’s team followed with a third place of their own as Lucas Gerotto, Cameron Hyde, Will Heidler and Chris Lott earned a final time of 1:22.24.
    Sophomore Julia Gerotto picked up a third-place finish and a season-low time of 4:57.89 in the 500-freestyle in the first individual event of the night.
    Freshman Matt Roman followed up on the men’s side of the 500-freestyle with a second place time of 4:33.09. Roman’s time was good for his personal best of the season and is good for a team-low time in the event this season.
    Roman continued his strong evening with a third-place finish in the 200-individual medley earning a final time of 1:52.90, another season individual and team-low.
    The night wrapped up with the 400-medley relays. Once again, the women picked up another third-place finish as Laura Dawson, Sam Shaheen, Christina Bechtel and Megan Eppler earned a final time of 3:48.43.
    Kentucky will be back in the pool Friday morning at the Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee with Session 3 getting started at 10 a.m. ET with the men’s and women’s 400-individual medley preliminaries.

    South Carolina Competes in Virginia Tech Invite Day One

    CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- South Carolina junior Michael Flach set the mark for the rest of the nation to chase after in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday to lead the Gamecock swimming and diving teams on day one of the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
    After recording a time of 4:20.33 in the preliminary heats Thursday morning to move to the top of the national rankings in the event, Flach lowered his time by nearly two seconds to win the championship final with a time of 4:18.38, which is a Christiansburg Aquatic Center pool record and a NCAA B cut. Flach's performance highlighted a day in which 32 Gamecock swimmers and five divers made the finals at the invitational. Overall, the Gamecocks posted three NCAA B cuts and 13 personal records on the night.
    Host Virginia Tech leads the men's competition with a score of 449.5, followed by the Gamecocks (324.5), Connecticut (162) and William and Mary (119). In the women's competition, the Hokies lead with 430 points, followed by South Carolina (244), William and Mary (159), Connecticut (156) and Liberty (139).
    "Collectively, today was by far the best day we have ever had at a midseason invitational," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "It's definitely one of the best sessions the team has had since I've been here. We had some huge swims with Michael posting the fastest 500 freestyle time in the country. Both teams are in second place right now, which is a little deceiving because Virginia Tech has twice as many people swimming as us, but I am very happy with where we are. We are racing extremely hard. All in all we had a really great night."
    As a team, the Gamecocks dominated the men's 500 freestyle as freshman Marwan El Kamash turned in a NCAA B cut of 4:24.50 to take second and junior Gerard Rodriguez swam a 4:27.15 to finish third. Senior Matt Columbus (4:32.50) and junior Matt Navata (4:37.47) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, for South Carolina. Freshman Alex Eiden won the B final to finish ninth overall with a PR of 4:30.02, which would have been in the top five of the championship final. Senior Brooks Ross swam a 4:33.38 to take 10th overall. 
    In the women's 500 freestyle, sophomore Annika Jonsson shaved more than three seconds off her preliminary time to win the championship final with a personal record of 4:51.64. Junior Whitney Avers placed sixth (13th overall) in the B final with a time of 5:02.66, while sophomore Charlotte Ward (5:03.46) and senior Jordan Gibbs (5:10.95) also swam in the B final and finished 15th and 16th overall, respectively. Freshmen Caroline Bixler (5:01.17) and Elise Costa (5:05.61) both swam personal records in the C final to finish 18th and 21st overall.
    Junior Amanda Rutqvist gave the Gamecock women's team its second win of the night by claiming the championship final of the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:02.00, which was 1.45 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Junior Rachael Schaffer won the B final with a mark of 2:02.10 to take ninth overall, while freshman Ellen Johnson (2:06.44, PR) and junior Abby Galbreath (2:06.88) placed 12th and 13th, respectively.
    In the men's event, sophomore Alex Vance swam a PR of 1:51.27 to claim sixth in the championship final, while senior Collin Kaden touched eighth with a time of 1:52.72. Junior Narayan Naik had a strong showing in the B final as he won with a PR of 1:52.03, lowering his preliminary time by more than two seconds.
    South Carolina saw several swimmers post personal records in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Rachel Elliott turned in a PR of 23.47 to finish sixth overall, while freshmen Casey Papp (24.05, 12th) and Lauryl Williams (24.37, 20th) also swam personal records. In the men's event, junior Jay Warner scored 16 points for the Gamecocks with a third-place showing in the championship final in a time of 20.74. Sophomore Michael Covert captured fourth with a PR of 20.81, and junior Alex Fitton tied for fifth with a mark of 20.83. Freshman Eric Lethander won the B final with a PR of 21.03 to claim ninth overall, while senior Graham Kauffman was 10th overall with a mark of 21.08.
    The Gamecocks also had a stellar showing in the relay events. In the men's 200-yard freestyle relay, South Carolina's team of Covert, Flach, Warner and Fitton finished second with a NCAA B cut of 1:02.30, which is the fifth fastest time in school history. The men's 400-yard medley relay team of Covert, Navata, Flach and Fitton narrowly missed a NCAA B (3:17.79) cut as it took second place with a time of 3:17.88. In the women's event, the team of Lindsay Pierce, Rutqvist, Papp and Schaffer finished second with a time of 3:43.88, which ranks fifth all-time at South Carolina.
    The diving corps delivered another solid performance for the Gamecocks. In the men's one-meter springboard competition, sophomore Cole Miller captured second place with a score of 337.60, while senior Rylan Ridenour was third with a mark of 329.80. On the women's three-meter board, sophomore Patricia Kranz took second in the finals with a score of 323.30.

    Vandy Does Well at Day One of WKU Invite

    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Vanderbilt women’s swimming ended day one with a bang at the Western Kentucky Invitational, as the Commodores set a new pool record in the 400 yard medley relay.
    The 400 medley relay team set a new Bill Powell Natatorium record with a first place finish in a time of 3:44.67. After one day of competition, Vanderbilt sits in second place with 231.5 points, while Western Kentucky leads with 312.5.
    “It was a good start for us, the girls are having fun and racing hard,” said Vanderbilt Head Coach Jeremy Organ. “Everyone really swam well today, breaking the pool record in the 400 medley relay at the end was a big step for the program. We will look to continue the momentum from tonight into the rest of the weekend.”
    Vanderbilt came away with another first place finish in the first event of the day, the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Hannah Martin, Lauren Torres, Sarah Lynch and Caroline Thomas barely edged out Western Kentucky with a time of 1:36.32.
    In the 50 freestyle, Thomas tied for first place with Western Kentucky’s Paige Drazga with a time of 23.87.
    Senior Erika Deardorf finished second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:59.54. In the 200 IM, Elly Faulkner came in third with a time of 2:07.07.
    Competition resumes Friday morning at the Bill Powell Natatorium.

    Tennessee Opens Home Invite With 8 Wins

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee men's and women's swimming and diving team combined to win eight of 14 events Thursday to open the Tennessee Invitational at Allan Jones Aquatic Center.
    In a four-team competition, the eighth-ranked Lady Vols finished the first day with 427 points, followed by Duke (228), Kentucky (193), and Colorado State (176). On the men's side, Tennessee leads with 400 points with Kentucky in second with 279 and Duke in third with 211.
    Senior Kelsey Floyd put together a characteristically winning performance, this time in the 500-yard freestyle. She cut about five seconds off her preliminary time to win in 4 minutes, 48.26 seconds, followed by freshman Mary Griffith in 4:52.99.
    Freshman Faith Johnson remained perfect in the 50 freestyle to start her career. After setting a personal best of 23.01 in the preliminaries, she won the race in the evening finals in 20.17.
    The Lady Vols and Vols both won both 200 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay, the first time the squad had competed in either race.
    On the three-team men's side, freshman Sean Lehane helped lead the Vols in the pool. In his first time competing collegiately in the 500 freestyle, Lehane came up a winner in 4:31.92, the fastest time by a Vol this season.
    Lehane also excelled in the 200 individual medley, grabbing fourth in 1:53.31. Sophomore Tristan Slater, who has starred for the Vols the last two seasons in the individual medley, was second in 1:51.47.
    Redshirt freshman Troy Tillman spurred on a strong performance across the board in the 50 freestyle. He won in 20.68, followed by senior Ed Walsh and freshman Chris Sadsad both touched the wall in second in 20.70.
    Tennessee took second and third in both the men's 1-meter springboard and women's 3-meter springboard.
    For the Vols, Brent Sterling led the way with a score of 341.65 on the 1 meter, just six points shy of his career best. Mauricio Robles was third in 336.75. Kentucky diver Greg Ferrucci won with 369.95.
    Jodie McGroarty paced the Lady Vols on the 3 meter, getting second in 334.80. Tori Lamp was third in 325.30.