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    SEC Swimming And Diving Today: November 17

    Gators Split Close Meet with In-State Rival Florida State

    GAINESVILLE, 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 Thielmann (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. Thiemann 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.


    Kentucky Swimmers Take Second Place at Volunteer Invitational

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Kentucky’s men’s and women’s swimming teams each took second place in the Volunteer Invitational as Day 3 of the championship-format meet commenced Saturday evening. The men (1020) fell just short of Tennessee (1264) but took down Duke (693). The women’s team (847) also grabbed second place behind the host Volunteers (1189), but outswam Colorado State (772.5) and Duke (611.5).

    For the third straight day, the Wildcats fared poorly in the preliminary rounds, only to see themselves recover in the second session.

    “We struggled again in prelims but swam lights out in finals,” said Kentucky head swimming coach Gary Conelly. “Considering how hard we have been training, I am very pleased with our times. We had some real outstanding swims from Kate Jones, Laura Dawson, Zack Perrotti, Matt Roman, and many others.

    “We are really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

    The Volunteer Invitational could be a sign for things to come as Kentucky continued to improve their times and have some of their best results of the season.

    For the third straight day, sophomore Julia Gerotto picked up an individual win, with this one coming in the 1650-freestyle. Gerotto posted a first-place time of 16:47.87 to win the first event of the day. She narrowly missed another victory, placing in second in the 200-butterfly with a final time of 2:00.44.

    Gerotto was the driving force behind the women for most of the meet.

    Freshman Laura Dawson had a breakout day as well in the third and final day of the meet. She picked up a second place time of 2:01.03 in the 200-backstroke. She also finished sixth in the 200-butterfly with a time of 2:05.72.

    The women also picked up a third place in the 400-freestyle relay as Megan Eppler, Mandy Myers, Dawson and Frida Jakobsson touching the wall at 3:25.43.

    For the men, David Lee Duggins picked up a second place finish in the 200-backstroke with a final time of 1:49.61.

    They then owned three of top four spots in the 200-buttefly, including event winner freshman Matt Roman who continued his coming out party. Roman picked up the victory with a final time of 1:51.09. Freshman Zack Perrotti finished in third (1:51.30) while senior Tripp Crosthwaite touched the wall in fourth at 1:51.51.

    The men’s 400-freestyle relay team then helped finish up a strong meet with a second place time in the event. John Bullock, Nick Watson, Jake Thomas and Travis Green combined to pick up the second place finish at 3:04.99.

    For the divers, Greg Ferrucci continued to impress as he has all season. After picking up victories in the 1-meter and 3-meter in the first two days of the meet, Ferrucci took to the platform for the first time this season in competition. With a final score of 383.35, Ferrucci claimed first place in the men’s platform, giving him his third victory in three days and a sweep of the events at the Volunteer Invitational.


    Gamecocks Close Out Strong Week At Virginia Tech Invitational

    CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams wrapped up a stellar week at the Virginia Tech Invitational as both squads finished second after Saturday’s finals at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

    The 21st-ranked Gamecock men finished the week with 1,021.5 points, while the Carolina women had 804 points. The Gamecocks won two championship finals and recorded three more NCAA B cuts on the night. For the week, South Carolina posted 12 NCAA B cuts and won 10 races in the championship finals.

    “This has been one of the most fun weekends I’ve had as a coach,” South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. “We had some outstanding performances and some people really stepped up and raced hard. The team had a lot of fun this weekend, and we have big things to come the rest of the year.”

    Junior Michael Flach led the way on Saturday night as he posted the nation’s fastest time in an event for the second time in three nights. Flach won the championship final of the 200-yard butterfly as he swam a NCAA B cut of 1:45.51, which is currently the fastest time in the country.

    Junior Gerard Rodriguez placed seventh in the event with a time of 1:49.92, while junior Narayan Naik won the consolation final to finish ninth overall with a time of 1:51.87. On the women’s side, junior Rachael Schaffer lowered her time by more than three seconds to take second in the women’s 200 butterfly with a time of 2:01.35. Freshman Caroline Bixler won the C final with a personal best of 2:06.41

    Junior Amanda Rutqvist shaved more than two seconds off her preliminary time in the 200-yard breaststroke to win the event with a NCAA B cut of 2:09.97, which is a Christiansburg Aquatic Center record and the fourth fastest time in the country. South Carolina also had a strong showing in the men’s event, as sophomore Alex Vance posted a career-best time of 2:01.38 to claim first in the championship final. Senior Bobby Cave finished fifth with a mark of 2:04.03, while senior Graham Kauffman touched eighth in 2:08.36.

    Freshman Marwan El Kamash posted the first NCAA B cut of his career as he claimed second place in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:29.65, which ranks fifth all-time at South Carolina. Junior Matt Navata finished fourth in 15:49.99, while seniors Brooks Ross (15:52.51) and Matt Columbus (15:52.92) took fifth and sixth, respectively.

    In the women’s 200-yard backstroke, freshman Nicole Mertel recorded a personal record of 2:00.44 to claim fourth in the championship final, while freshmen Alicia Cheripka (2:01.78) Elise Costa (2:02.05, PR) and senior Abby Galbreath (2:02.81) placed fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively. Sophomore Elisabeth Worrell won the consolation final with a personal record of 2:01.61. In the men’s championship final, Naik captured fourth with a time of 1:48.34, and sophomore Michael Covert took sixth in 1:50.05.

    Junior Alex Fitton tied a career best in the men’s 100-yard freestyle to finish second with a mark of 45.29. Senior Collin Kaden (45.65, fifth) and freshman Eric Lethander (46.53, seventh) and El Kamash (47.09, eighth) also had strong swims in the championship final.

    In the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay, the team of Kaden, Flach, Rodriguez and Fitton posted its fastest time of the season with a mark of 2:59.86 to claim second. The women’s team of Lauren Raczkowski, Rachel Elliott, Casey Papp and Schaffer claimed third with a time of 3:26.30, which is their fastest time of the season.

    Host Virginia Tech won the invitational on both sides, as the 15th-ranked Hokie men had 1,523 points and the women finished with 1,491.5 points.


    Houston, Texas—The No. 20 LSU Swimming and Diving Men’s Team (2-1, 1-1 SEC) defeated three other programs and totaled 1047.5 points at the three-day Phil Hansel Invitational in Houston, Texas.
    The No. 19 Lady Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC) came in fourth place with 450.5 points, and posted multiple NCAA provisional qualifying times in the process.
    “We were just talking about this as a staff, it is just the middle part of our season,” Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. “We still have the rest of the season to go on before our conference meet. We are half way through the year, and where we are compared to where we were last year, I think we are in a really good spot. There are some small details that we need to fine tune in some of our races.”
    The women were competing against Air Force, No. 23 Arkansas, Houston, Florida Gulf Coast, Fresno State, Idaho, New Mexico State, New Mexico, Tulane, No. 4 Texas A&M and Wyoming. The men were competing against SMU, Texas A&M and Wyoming.
    In addition, Clemson (men and women), Kansas (women), Nebraska (women), Texas (men and women), TCU (men and women) and UCLA (women) dove at the event.
    “We have two more platform opportunities before we head into the SEC Championships,” Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. “We are further ahead than we’ve ever been at this particular point of the season.”
    Junior Daniel Helm won the platform event with a score of 369.90, which is the second best-all for the program. Junior Sean McKinney finished in third with the program’s fifth best all-time score of 313.85.
    Senior Jesse Lyman (290.00) and junior Kevin Leong (288.80) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.  
    “Daniel posted a personal high score and his first platform championship win,” Shaffer said. “Sean had a personal best as well. Kevin and Jesse were both on the cusp of doing some things, but didn’t put together complete lists. Overall, I am pleased that the efforts that we have put in on platform are showing results. Hopefully that breeds confidence with what we are doing in the pool.”
    Senior Craig Hamilton won the mile with an NCAA provisional cut time of 15:14.67.
    Sophomore Michael Young won the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:46.54.
    Sophomore Frank Greeff won the men's 200 butterfly with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:46.28. Senior Raymond De Padua finished in third with a time of 1:50.92.
    “For the midpoint in the season, those three guys are moving forward really well and excelling in the water,” Geyer said. “They are having fun with it. They all have goals. Craig wants to return to NCAA’s and get a top-eight finish in the mile. Frank and Michael both want that experience for the first time. They are doing everything they can to get that.”
    Senior Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez (1:59.20) and freshman Gabe Rooker (2:01.47) finished 1-2 in the 200 breaststroke. Alvarado Jimenez’s mark was an NCAA ‘B’ cut.
    On the women’s side, freshman Cassie Weil scored a 263.85 on the platform in a second place finish. Her total is fourth best all-time for LSU.
    “As a freshman debut in that event, she really did a nice job,” Shaffer said. “That event was going on as the swimming was going on, which typically is not what we do in this environment. It was noisy, loud and distracting. She held it together and posted a good result even doing a new dive. We are working on increasing the difficulty in her lists.” “
    Senior Sara Haley took third in the 200 fly (1:57.80), which is an NCAA B Cut. Senior Audrey Lawson came in sixth with a mark of 2:02.
    Senior Jana Ruimerman finished in 10th in the 200 back with an NCAA provisional time of 1:57.33 and only .20 seconds off of her career best. Sophomore Jennifer Reese came in 11th with a mark of 2:00.44.
    Freshman Jessie James came in 10th in the mile with a time of 16:53.97. Her mark was the seventh fastest all-time for LSU.
    Junior Torrey Bussey finished in 10th in the 200 breast with a mark of 2:16.03.
    Sophomore Amber Carter posted a season low 100 free time of 50.19. Her time was the 10th best all-time for LSU.
    The women’s 400 free relay team of Carter, junior Rainey White, Haley and freshman Danielle Stirrat finished in sixth with a time of 3:23.82.
    Over the course of the meet, the men’s team won three out of five possible relays. Hamilton, Young and Greeff each added an individual victory in the 500 free, 100 back and 100 fly, respectively. Alvarado Jimenez and Rooker finished in the top-three of both breast events.


    Razorbacks finish second overall in Houston

    HOUSTON, Texas  – The No. 23 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team made a splash during the three-day Houston Cougar Swimming and Diving Invitational. The Razorbacks strung together six school record-breaking swims en route to the second-place finish. Arkansas scored 699.50 points, defeating No. 17 LSU by 249 points, as only No. 4 Texas A&M finished the invitational with more points. The Razorbacks also defeated 13 other schools.
    “The Razorbacks had great energy over all six sessions of this meet,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “That plus their performances in the pool were inspiring. They fed off of each other and really came together as a team.”
    The biggest point pick up of the day was in the 1,650 freestyle, as the Razorbacks placed four in the top-eight, going 3-4-5-6 and totaling 77 points overall. The mile was Arkansas’ highest-scoring event of the meet. Leading the pack was sophomore Lauren Jordan with a time of 16:15.03. Two-time All-American Chelsea Franklin finished with a time of 16:25.95, with Nicole Menzel and Julia Kucherich picking up times of 16:32.17 and 16:35.70 respectively. Also scoring for the Razorbacks in the mile was Allison Boyle, who placed ninth with a time of 16:53.97 and Sigrun Sverrisdottir placed 11th clocking 16:58.69.
    Anna Mayfield followed the momentous mile race with a school record in the 200 backstroke. Mayfield clocked a personal best 1:55.18 to take the record for Arkansas, unseating teammate Liz Braun who held the previous record (1:56.68). After the first 50 yards Mayfield was in fourth with a 27.58 split, the freshman would clock the fastest second 50 in the heat with a 28.67 split. The freshman would finish the final 100 with a time of 58.93 to take the record. Braun swam alongside Mayfield and had a standout race, finishing in sixth with a time of 1:57.23, fourth-best in school history. Fresh off her third-place finish in the mile, Jordan put together a 1:58.96 to take seventh overall.
    In the 100 freestyle finals Susanna White made her mark yet again, tying her personal-best time of 49.89 exactly, which ranks second all-time in the Arkansas record books. White was the fastest off the blocks (.66) and was leading after the first 50 yards (24.11). White kept a strong pace with a 25.78 on the back 50 to take fourth overall and score for Arkansas. Nina Drolc also scored in the top-eight for Arkansas with a time of 50.28. Maddie Monroe recorded a 10th-place finish (50.41), which was second in her heat. Monroe was in third going into the final stretch, but the freshman was able to track down Houston’s Maggie McCord and touch with a personal-best time. Overall Arkansas recorded 33 points in the 100 freestyle to bring their point total to 572.5.
    The 200 breaststroke was full of more Razorback personal bests as Nikki Daniels and Julia Banach each shaved over three seconds off their previous personal best they set today in preliminaries. The duo have been clutch for the Razorbacks all season as Daniels recorded a time of 2:10.73 and Banach at 2:12.70.
    The 200 butterfly consolation final featured freshmen Rachel Kessler and Rebekah Harvey. The duo went back-and-forth the entire race, but it was Kessler that pulled away late to pick up a second-place finish with a personal-best time of 2:01.59 and Harvey touched at 2:02.94. Braun picked up a personal best in the 200 butterfly as she recorded a time of 2:02.41 to finish fifth overall.
    With five school records already broken the Razorbacks only had one more thing to do in the 400 freestyle relay – make it six school records. Drolc swam the leadoff leg and put the Razorbacks in third before handing it off to Monroe. Monroe maintained the Razorbacks third-place time before handing it off to Mayfield. Mayfield didn’t let them down as she clocked a blistering 49.67 split before giving it over to White to close. White didn’t disappoint as she clocked the fastest split of the group with a time of 49.28.  Arkansas was one of only three relay teams that recorded legs under 50 seconds, as SMU and Texas A&M were also under 50 seconds. The quartet also improved their time from their last relay by 5.46 seconds.