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    SEC Saturday Swimming & Diving Report

    South Carolina Picks Up Trio of Win

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina swimming and diving teams wrapped up their home schedule with a dominant performance on Saturday as they swept College of Charleston, Queens and Wingate at the Carolina Natatorium.

    On the men's side, the Gamecocks defeated Wingate 269-59, Queens 221-107 and College of Charleston 281-53. The Carolina women completed the sweep by cruising past the Bulldogs 277-55, the Royals 282-46 and the Cougars 283.5-49.5. With the sweep, South Carolina improves to 6-4 overall on the men's side and 5-6 on the women's side.

    The Gamecocks swam to first-place finishes in 12 of the 18 events contested on Saturday, giving them a total of 24 wins for the two-session meet.

    "I've seen a lot more confidence from this team," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "Over the last three weeks, we came off of some really hard training. We swam a tough Duke team and then slipped a little bit last week against Florida State and Arkansas. We talked a lot last weekend about what we needed to correct in order to be a little bit sharper this weekend. I think we saw results of all of that this weekend. I was really happy with the things they did during their races. All in all it was a great weekend for us."

    Junior Matt Navata led the way on Saturday with a pair of wins. He picked up his first victory in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:04.93, finishing just ahead of teammate Bobby Cave (2:04.97). A native of West Orange, N.J., Navata later won the 400 IM by more than five seconds with a time of 3:58.68.

    For the second straight day, the Gamecocks got off to a strong start with a sweep in the relays, as both the men's and women's teams picked up wins in the 200 medley relay. The Carolina men's team of Jay Warner, Graham Kauffman, Collin Kaden and Michael Flach swam its second fastest race of the season to win with a time of 1:31.38. In the women's race, South Carolina's Matea Peteh, Amanda Rutqvist, Casey Papp and Rachel Elliott claimed first with a time of 1:45.56.

    After the Gamecocks just missed out on winning the 50 freestyles, junior Lauren Rosenberg gave South Carolina its next win as she posted a time of 57.39 to win the 100 backstroke. Two events later, the Gamecocks claimed the top three places in the women's 200 breaststroke. Freshman Ellen Johnson earned her second win of the weekend as she claimed first with a personal record of 2:18.90.

    Junior Maryn Bieganski and senior Collin Kaden then gave South Carolina four straight wins by sweeping the 100 butterfly. Bieganski won the women's race with a personal record of 57.05, while Kaden touched the wall first in the men's race in 49.31.

    South Carolina's final two individual wins of the day came in the men's 200 freestyle and the women's 400 IM. Junior Gerard Rodriguez turned in a time of 1:40.89 to win the 200 freestyle, while junior Rachael Schaffer cruised to a win in the 400 IM with a time of 4:22.35, which is her second fastest time of the season.

    The Gamecocks closed out the day in strong fashion by winning both 400 freestyle relays. The South Carolina women's team of Taylor Josserand, Lauren Raczkowski, Papp and Schaffer claimed first in 3:30.45. On the men's side, the Gamecock team of Michael Covert, Rodriguez, Kaden and Flach won with a mark of 3:03.87.

    South Carolina will close out its regular season schedule next Saturday on the road in a meet against Alabama and Georgia in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m.




    Tennessee Takes Downs Georgia on Senior Day

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee swimming and diving squads upset the No. 2 Georgia women and No. 12 Georgia men in a thrilling Senior Day at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
     
    The Lady Vols' ousted previously undefeated Georgia 161-139 while the Vols earned their team win by a similar score, 161.5-132.5, in the final home combined dual meet of the regular season.
     
    "Georgia is a fantastic program with great tradition, and for us to be able to go toe to toe with them it means a lot," Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. "It's also a tribute to our seniors and the leaders on our team who just led the way today. The team that showed up for us is the team we've had all year long blossoming into what we were today."
     
    Saturday's victory was historic for the Lady Vols, marking the team's first win over Georgia since Nov. 3, 1989. The 11th-ranked Lady Vols stayed unbeaten with a 7-0 (2-0 SEC) record.
     
    In the win, some Lady Vols put forth characteristically solid performances and others stepped up their efforts even more to give UT the winning edge.
     
    Junior Lindsay Gendron beat out Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt on her way to winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. Senior Kelsey Floyd swept the 100 and 200 butterfly events to stay perfect this year in those events while Molly Hannis kept up her season-long winning streak in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Freshman Faith Johnson continued her steady improvement by winning the 50 and 100 freestyle races.
     
    For the UT men, the win was a complete turnaround from its loss on the road against Virginia Tech. The Vols (4-3, 2-0) put forth a strong effort in every race, including 1-2-3-4 finishes in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.
     
    The Vols boasted a trio of two-event winners: junior Samuel Rairden in the 100 and 200 freestyle faces, freshman Sean Lehane in the 100 and 200 backstroke and senior Brent Sterling in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard competitions.
     
    Senior Ed Walsh pitched in on his final home racing day by swimming under 20 seconds on his way to winning the 50 freestyle, then finishing behind Rairden to take second in the 100 freestyle.
     
    The seven of Tennessee's seniors -- Floyd, Brooke Watson, Caroline Simmons and Jodie McGroarty for the women and Walsh, Sterling and Jordan Mauney for the men -- all contributed points toward the Rocky Top sweep.
     
    "The way we swam today is the vision that I carry of this team," Kredich said. "As coaches, we have to see them for what they are capable of doing and then guide them towards that. Today, the coaches didn't have to do too much guiding. The team really took over.
     
    "The way we performed today was certainly not a surprise at all. It sure was great to see though."
     
    The Lady Vols have one more race at home, a dual meet Wednesday against Vanderbilt at 5 p.m. Admission is free.



    LSU Sweeps Dual Meet

    BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Women's Swimming and Diving team (9-2,3-2 SEC) swept Houston, Rice and Tulane in a two-day quad meet and celebrated Senior Day in front of a supportive crowd at the LSU Natatorium on Saturday.
     
    Seniors Chelsea Griffiths, Sara Haley, Audrey Lawson, Kaelee Mader, Mikayda Mills, Jana Ruimerman, Elle Schmidt and Sally Wood and men's senior diver Jesse Lyman were honored.
     
    "You always want to send the seniors off on a positive and happy note like that, and of course winning all three dual meets puts a little bit of icing on the cake," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said.
     
    LSU defeated Houston, 218-134, Rice, 203-143 and Tulane, 241-110. Rice defeated Houston, 201.50-142.50, and Tulane, 223-118. Houston defeated Tulane, 198.50-153.50.
     
    "I couldn't be happier with the way we rounded out our dual and invitational season," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said.  "We have worked on platform really hard. The success that we had today with the number of personal bests that we had across the team today showed that hard work is paying off. I couldn't be happier with where we are going into our conference championship season."
     
    LSU led off the meet with a victory in the opening relay for the second consecutive day. Katlin Sepp led off the 400 medley relay (3:47.63) and was followed by freshman Taryn MacKenzie, junior Rainey White and sophomore Amber Carter.
     
    Wood posted an impressive 400 individual medley victory with a mark of 4:23.13, which was six seconds faster than her nearest competitor.
     
    Junior Torrey Bussey notched her second individual victory of the meet with a swim of 1:04.50 in the 100 breaststroke.
     
    Junior Kyra Jones set her season best in the 200 backstroke with a mark of 2:02.68 in a first place finish. Sophomore Katlin Sepp followed behind Jones in second with a time of 2:03.58.
     
    On the platform dive, freshman Cassie Weil scored LSU's third best all-time dive of 289.00. Sophomore Alex Bettridge turned in LSU's fifth best all-time platform score of 241.90.
     
    Schmidt also recorded her career high with a total of 241.90.
     
    The entire LSU Swimming and Diving program next will return to action at the Southeastern Conference Championships in College Station, Texas beginning Feb. 19.
     
    "Next up is conference. Now is an opportunity for us to get into our final preparation cycle and add some rest," Geyer said. "From what I saw this weekend, we definitely have some front end speed in our races. With a correct race cycle ahead of us, we should have our back end stamina down."
     
    For news, notes and behind-the-scenes action of the program leading up to and during the conference meet, check out the programs' Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/LSUSwimDive) or follow us on Twitter @LSUSwimDive.



    Auburn and Florida Split on Senior Day

    AUBURN - The Auburn women's swimming and diving team finished off an undefeated season Saturday with a win over SEC rival Florida, and the Tiger men fell short to the Gators in their quest for an unbeaten campaign at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center.
     
    Auburn earned a 161-138 win in the women's meet while falling 167-133 in the men's competition. The Tiger women finished the 2012-13 regular season with a 7-0 record (5-0 SEC) while the men posted a 5-1 mark (4-1 SEC).
     
    "It was great for the women to go through undefeated," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "It's great the way they fought as a team. They had some really good swims, and I'm just proud of them to come out victorious. On the men's side, we knew this was going to be a tough battle. We've lost this dual meet the last few years. The men are obviously very tired, but we're losing some close races, which is disappointing. Overall, I was pleased with most of the swims, but there are a few areas where we need to go back and figure it out."
     
    Saturday marked the final home meet for 12 Auburn seniors. Seven women - Katie Gardocki, Laura Johnson, Becca Jones, Micah Lawrence, Lauren Norberg, Lindsey Norberg and Hannah Riordan - and five men - Stuart Ferguson, Chandler Gerlach, Chris Kramer, Kyle Owens and Brandon Siemasko - swam at home for the last time.
     
    "It's always tough (to see a senior class leave)," Hawke said. "This is the group I came in with as head coach, so I'm very close to this group. I'm proud of the way a lot of them fought today."
     
    The Tiger divers were a huge factor in today's meet on both sides. Sophomore Cinzia Calabretta earned a sweep of the women's 1- and 3-meter events, scoring a 315.30 to win on 3-meter and a 285.68 to win the 1-meter event. Freshman Carly Scheper scored a career-best 283.43 to finish runner-up in the 1-meter event, and freshman Morgan Mullins scored 284.63 on the 3-meter board to earn an NCAA Zone qualifying score.
     
    In men's diving, sophomore Fraser McKean swept both boards as well, scoring a 348.68 in 1-meter and a 392.70 on the 3-meter board. Junior John Santeiu was second in both events.
     
    "On the women's side, Cinzia was solid and improving her level of consistency, and that's where we want to be right now," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "I was really pleased with Morgan coming back from a knee injury and getting her Zone qualifying score, so that means we now have everybody advancing. And Carly had a personal-best on 1-meter. Fraser, with a personal-best on 3-meter, did an outstanding job, and everybody else keeps working hard to contribute to the team's success."
     
    In the pool, the Auburn seniors paced the women's team to victory, accounting for four individual wins and at least half of the Tigers' two victorious relays. Riordan made the most of her final home meet, winning all four events in which she competed. The team of Emily Bos, Lauren Norberg, Olivia Scott and Riordan sprinted to a 1:38.45 to open the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay. Then, the team of Riordan, Lindsey Norberg, Megan Fonteno and Bos closed out the meet with a 3:20.14 to win the 400 free relay.
     
    Between the relays, Riordan was unstoppable in the sprints. She blazed to a season-best 22.74 to claim the 50 freestyle, then came back after the break to win the 100 free in 49.35 with Bos just behind her in second place.
     
    Three more seniors came up big in the breaststroke events. Twin sisters Lauren Norberg and Lindsey Norberg posted a 1-2 finish in the 100 breast, with Lauren clocking a 1:00.75 and Lindsey posting a career-best 1:00.89. Lawrence completed an Auburn sweep of the 100 breast with a 1:01.25. Lawrence would then come back to earn a win in the 200 breast with a 2:11.49, and Lauren Norberg took the runner-up spot with a personal-best 2:12.72.
     
    Juniors Emily Bos and Olivia Scott were the other individual winners for Auburn's women on the day. Bos posted a 53.78 to win the 100 back, and Scott went 53.23 to win the 100 fly. Scott also posted a 2:01.22 to take runner-up honors in the 200 IM, all but clinching the victory for the Tigers.
     
    On the men's side, the seniors again provided bright spots in the relays, backstroke and breaststroke. The team of Owens, Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and James Disney-May opened things up with a 1:27.00 to win the 200 medley relay.
     
    Owens, one of five men's seniors competing at home for the final time, picked up a pair of individual wins as well. He went 47.78 to comfortably win the 100 back, then breezed to a win in the 200 back with a 1:44.84. Ferguson earned a victory in the 100 breast with a time of 54.46. He would then finish a narrow second in the 200 breast with a 1:58.70.
     
    Chierighini, a junior, picked up the other two wins for the Auburn men. He tied for first place with Florida's Bradley DeBorde in the 50 free, both touching in 19.84 seconds, and then led a 1-2 Auburn finish in the 100 free with a 43.36 as sophomore Alex Hancock took second in 44.35.
     
    Auburn's and Florida's men each won eight events on the day, while the Tiger women claimed 10 of 16 events.
     
    The Tigers will now begin preparations for the 2013 SEC Championships, which run Feb. 19-23 at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center in College Station, Texas.



    Kentucky Comes Up Just Short Against Louisville

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - The men's and women's swimming and diving teams received crucial performances from several seniors in Kentucky's home final of the 2012-13 season. Their upset bids against Louisville's No. 14 men's team and No. 17 women's team, however, fell just short.
     
    Senior Travis Green was phenomenal in his final home meet, earning career-best times and putting his name in the UK record books. Green was quite impressive on the afternoon, coming up with two individual victories that helped Kentucky to one of their best overall performances of the season.
     
    The men lost the lead in their final two races, falling just shy of U of L with a 152-148 final. UK's women were neck and neck for most of the day, but fell behind late also to lose 168-132. Though both teams fell to their cross-state rival, it was a huge momentum builder as they inch closer to the postseason.
     
    "Obviously we were disappointed we didn't win, but we had a pretty outstanding meet on both sides," said UK head swimming coach Gary Conelly. "I have to point out that Travis Green had an unbelievable day. Lucas (Gerotto) was right on. Even our relay at the end was a pretty good relay."
     
    Green's first win came early in the fourth swimming event of the day in the 1000-freestyle. As Green tapped the wall after the grueling swim, his mark of 9:12.41 was good for a personal record and the fourth-fastest time in the event in school history. He went on to earn a win in the 500-freestyle with his season-best time 4:26.53, which is good for the fastest time on the team this season.
     
    Preceding Green's first victory was Kentucky's impressive start in the relays. Both the men and women earned first-place finishes to get the day started. The women got their win first in the 200-medley relay with contributions from Laura Dawson, Sam Shaheen, Christina Bechtel and Megan Eppler with a time of 1:43.17. The UK men followed suit in the event with the combination of Ramon Walton, George Greenhalgh, Lucas Gerotto and Chris Lott touching the wall at 1:30.05. Both times were season bests. 
     
    Women's seniors Megan Eppler and Mandy Myers each earned individual victories on their senior day. Eppler earned her season-best time in the 50-freestyle tapping in at 23.46. Myers earned her win via the 100-butterfly, finishing in 55.09 while Bechtel finished right behind her at 55.13.
    Freshman Laura Dawson had her best collegiate meet, earning two individual victories. Dawson took first place in both backstroke events. In the 100-backstroke, she touched the wall at a career-best and team-best 55.41. In the 200-backstroke, her time of 1:59.31 was also good for a career-best and team-best time.
     
    For the men's side, the meet came down to the final two events of the day.
     
    Before any of the senior day festivities got underway, the diving teams went to the boards for their first events of the afternoon. Though Kentucky's leading male diver junior Greg Ferrucci participated in the 1-meter Saturday, he was limited by an injured thumb. Ferrucci is still awaiting the results of an MRI to find out the severity of his injury.
     
    Despite his limited ability in the event, other Kentucky divers stepped up and led the way for the Wildcats. For the men, the lone senior diver and walk-on Corey Cowger had a huge day. He earned a victory in the 1-meter to get things going for UK with a final score of 325.42, his best this season and the fourth-best mark on the team all year. He also placed in second later in the day on the 3-meter with season-best 340.43 while junior John Fox took first place with a 369.00, his season high.
     
    "The guys knew that this was going to be really close," said UK head diving coach Ted Hautau. "They needed to go one-two-three. John Fox was just steady and smooth and Corey has been training hard, so that was a well-deserved performance for him."
     
    The women divers were huge for the women's team as well. The women swept each event as Rebecca Hamperian scored a 312.98 in the 1-meter springboard, which was the highest score for UK in the event this season. Christa Cabot earned a victory of her own in the 3-meter with a 315.38. It was her second-best performance in the 3-meter of the year.
     
    "Christa is just a gamer because she was hurting a little bit and she was a gamer on 3-meter and was outstanding on 1-meter," said Hautau. "We have a good culture and all these kids are sharpening each other."
     
    Connelly noted that the strong performance of the diving team kept them within striking distance of their biggest win of the season.
     
    Kentucky's men continued to battle and held a 139-125 lead heading into the final diving break.
     
    They had received yet another stellar performance from Gerotto who continues to have a stellar season. Gerotto got on the board first as part of the 200-freestyle relay team, but individually he earned his first win of the day in the 100-backstroke with a time of 49.70. He then remained undefeated in the 100-butterfly, finishing with a time of 48.89.
     
    At the last minute, Conelly decided to enter Gerotto into the 200-IM as UK tried to hold onto their slim lead. It was not meant to be as U of L swept the IM and eventually earned enough points in the 400-freestyle relay to pull away and steal the victory from Kentucky.
     
    Kentucky will compete in their final regular season dual-meet next Saturday, Feb. 2 at the University of Cincinnati.