LAWRENCE BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD IN 200 BREAST AT UGA INVITE
ATHENS, Ga. – Senior Micah Lawrence lowered her own school-record mark in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Auburn’s relays earned two more NCAA automatic qualifying times as the swimming & diving team wrapped up a solid weekend of competition Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Fall Invitational.
“I’m really happy with today in general,” Auburn Head Coach Brett Hawke said, “and the way they woke up this morning with their approach to swimming tough this morning and making it back. Pretty much everybody got a second swim tonight. And everybody got better at night. People were dropping time and racing tough and had smiles on their faces, which is always good to see at a mid-year meet. Just some really fast swims tonight.”
Lawrence picked up her first individual NCAA ‘A’ cut of the year with a 2:08.23 to finish third in an extremely fast 200 breaststroke final. Her time knocked more than seven-tenths off her previous school record of 2:08.99 from her freshman year of 2009, the last year swimmers were allowed to wear non-textile suits.
“It’s incredible to have leadership like that,” Hawke said. “She’s the one who put her hand up for the 400 IM and said, ‘Look, this is a training meet for me, make me better.’ Then she breaks the school record at the end of the meet. It just goes to show the attitude that she’s adopted and the influence she’s having on the rest of the team.”
The men’s and women’s 400 freestyle relay teams wrapped up the night and the meet in a big way as well. On the men’s side, the team of Alex Hancock, James Disney-May, Kyle Owens and Marcelo Chierighini blazed to a winning time of 2:51.46, out-touching the team from Cal by more than three seconds and recording Auburn’s fourth men’s NCAA ‘A’ cut in a relay this week.
Just a few moments earlier, Auburn’s women also hit the automatic qualifying mark. The team of Hannah Riordan, Emily Bos, Olivia Scott and Aubrey Peacock touched third in 3:16.07 to eclipse the NCAA ‘A’ standard and earn the third auto qualifier for an Auburn women’s relay in the meet.
“We certainly didn’t come in here expecting A-cuts, but it’s always nice to walk away with those,” Hawke said. “It really gives them a confidence boost heading into Christmas training, so maybe that means we’ll be able to get some more hard work out of them. The team’s in a good position, and we’re really happy.”
Chierighini also got his second individual win of the weekend, claiming the top spot in the 100 freestyle final with a time of 42.73, moving him into the nation’s top five times so far this year. James Disney-May had an equally impressive swim to win the consolation final in 43.61, and TJ Leon took third place in the C-final with a 45.16.
Katie Gardocki picked up Auburn’s other win of the weekend, claiming the title in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:18.77. That time gave Gardocki an NCAA ‘B’ cut in the event, her second of the week after earning a provisional time in the 500 free on Friday.
Zane Grothe also picked up a fifth-place finish in the men’s 1,650 free with a season-best time of 15:08.44 to secure an NCAA ‘B’ cut time. Senior Chris Kramer took 16th place with a personal-best mark of 15:29.60, and newcomer Antton Haramboure barely missed a scoring position with an 18th-place time of 15:34.96.
Auburn’s divers put together a strong final day on the tower as well. Sophomore Fraser McKean dove his way to a runner-up finish with a 367.40, and junior John Santeiu was third in 363.40. Freshman Andrew Laing picked up a top-eight finish as well, finishing sixth with a 280.70 in his first college platform meet, and sophomore Michael Beran was 14th (236.25).
On the women’s side, Cinzia Calabretta got another third-place finish with a 257.25 on the tower, and freshman Carly Scheper finished seventh with a 222.35. Shanna Schuelein (209.70) was 10th, and Morgan Mullins was 14th (195.65).
Auburn’s women’s backstrokers picked up three ‘B’ cuts in the 200 back finals. Sarah Reynolds won the C-final with a 1:56.39, and Aubrey Peacock was second in the race with a 1:57.75. Jillian Vitarius took seventh in the championship final with a 1:56.12.
The women’s 100 free final saw Hannah Riordan (48.88) win the consolation final with Olivia Scott (49.03) just behind her, both earning B-cuts. Emily Bos (49.42), Becca Jones (49.81) and Haley Krakoski (49.90) went 1-2-3 in the C-final, all earning B-cuts as well.
Lauren Norberg (2:13.60) and Abby Duncan (2:13.90) earned ‘B’ cuts in the women’s 200 breast consolation, won by Norberg. Laura Johnson finished eighth in the championship heat with a 2:16.15, and Sarah Peterson won the C-final with a 2:16.82 while Lindsey Norberg (2:18.52) and Tryshia Centeno (2:19.41) had season-best times.
Freshman Alex Merritt posted the ninth-fastest 200 butterfly in Auburn history with a 1:59.04 in the C-final; she’s the first Auburn women’s swimmer to break the 2-minute mark in the event since the 2008 season. Megan Fonteno had a 2:01.83 in the race.
For the Auburn men, Kyle Owens earned a runner-up finish in the 200 backstroke championship final with a 1:42.36, earning a B-cut in the process. Jacob Siar (1:47.13), Brandon Siemasko (1:46.75) and Youssef Hammoud (1:49.53) all turned in strong swims as well.
Peter Haas dropped another tenth off his personal-best time in the 200 breast, earning a sixth-place finish with a 1:59.83 that was only .04 shy of an NCAA ‘B’ cut. Stuart Ferguson finished seventh with a 2:00.09, and Jordan Jones (2:00.91) won the C-final with Chandler Gerlach (2:06.61) close behind.
Grothe came back later in the meet to earn a fourth-place finish in the 200 fly with a 1:46.45; his prelim time of 1:45.64 was a personal-best. Alex Hancock also eclipsed the NCAA ‘B’ standard with a 1:47.61, and Kevin Behrens fell just shy of a B-cut with a 1:50.36.
During this meet, the majority of Auburn’s unrested swimmers wore training suits during the preliminary swims and only put on the faster racing suits if they earned a swim in the evening’s finals. Hawke said this was a motivational tool to encourage the team to work through adversity and fatigue.
“It’s just a mental challenge,” Hawke said. “Obviously the racing suits are faster, and to try to make it back racing against people who have those suits on is tough. So they have to find a way to make it happen, and the reward is they get to put the suit on at night and swim faster. I felt like as a whole they really responded well to that.”
UK Diving Concludes Miami Open Meet
OXFORD, Ohio – The Kentucky diving team competed in the Miami Open this weekend on the campus of Miami University. Kentucky was given the opportunity to compete against and train with a strong field of competitors nationally, but there was also an international flair thrown into the mix.
The Guangdong Provincial diving team from China made the trip as well to compete against Kentucky, Miami, Marshall, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, and Wright State. It was an opportunity for head coach Ted Hautau’s team to test themselves against some of the best divers in the world.
"What a good experience that was for our team to train and compete with one of the best teams in China,” said Hautau. “I extend a heartfelt thank you to KR Li, the Head Diving coach of Miami University for inviting us to compete in the Miami Open and introducing us to the excellent coaches and divers of the Guangdong Diving Team. We learned a great deal from them this weekend.”
Day one of the event started Friday with preliminaries of the men’s 1-meter and women’s 3-meter events at 2 p.m. The top nine divers from the preliminaries would advance to the finals later in the evening with a maximum of three divers per team competing in the final round.
Friday night, junior Greg Ferrucci and senior John Fox placed in the top five in the 1-meter event. Ferrucci picked up a third-place score of 386.0 while Fox earned a 322.4, good for fifth place. Guandong divers rounded out the top five. Freshman Colby Coleman came in eighth with a 269.05.
On the 3-meter board Friday night, freshman Rebecca Hamperian earned a fifth-place score of 275.35. Sophomore Sarah Chewning earned sixth place with a final tally of 271.05. And sophomore Christa Cabot scored 260.50 good for eighth place.
On Saturday, the men and the women switched events. In Saturday night’s finals of the 1-meter women’s event, Kentucky’s women had a huge day. Cabot earned a career high score of 301.95 to take second place. Hamperian (295.25) and Chewning (291.70) earned fourth and fifth place respectively to round out the top five.
For the men, junior Corey Cowger had a big day on the 3-meter springboard. Cowger had his strongest performance this season in the event, earning a sixth place finish with a final score of 326.45 to earn an NCAA zone qualifying score. Ferrucci earned fourth place with a 387.2, while Fox followed Ferrucci in fifth, earning a 343.55.
“Our divers performed admirably all weekend,” said Hautau. “The men competed well both days. Corey Cowger had his best performance of the season on 3-meter and got an NCAA zone qualifying score in the finals.
“The women were very good today in the 1-meter competition with all three finishing in the top five, and Christa Cabot going a career best to take second. I was very pleased with Corey's performance today and thought the women competed extremely well."
Alabama Swimming and Diving Closes Out Georgia Tech Invitational with 11 Top-10 Finishes
ATLANTA, Ga. – The Alabama men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams closed out the Georgia Tech Invitational with 11 top-10 individual finishes on the meet’s final day at the GT Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga.
Freshman Brian Westlake once again led the way for the Tide, taking third place in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 15:34.54. Westlake opened the three-day event by winning the 500 freestyle. Junior Brian Carr was seventh in the mile with a 15:51.77 while freshman Travis Kerner was 10th, clocking a 15:57.28.
The Tide also put three swimmers in the top-10 of the 200 backstroke. Freshman Crews Wellford was sixth with a 1:51.16, while senior Reese Shirey and sophomore Phillip Deaton were eighth and ninth, respectively after touching at 1:51.94 and 1:52.41.
Junior BJ Hornikel was fifth in the 100 freestyle with a 44.74 while freshman Brett Walsh was ninth with a 45.56. In the 200 butterfly, junior Andrew Wrist finished sixth with a 1:51.37.
On the women’s side of the meet, freshman Michele Rielly was seventh with a time of 2:04.31 in the finals of the 200 backstroke, freshman. Senior Jenna Gallo took 10th in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 17:30.14.