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    SEC Swimming and Diving Championships: Day Two

    Wednesday Time Trials (PDF) | Wednesday Final Results (PDF)

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Auburn men maintained their first-place lead as the Georgia women surged to first place in the overall standings after the second day of competition at the SEC Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Natatorium.

    Two SEC records were broken through the course of the evening, both by the Lady Bulldogs, in the 200 yard individual medley and 200 yard freestyle relay. The breaking of SEC records highlighted what was a dominant night for the Georgia men’s and women’s teams as the two squads would combine to place first in five of Wednesday’s nine events.  

    Georgia’s Melanie Margalis concluded the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 1:54.55, breaking the record previously held by former teammate Morgan Scroggy. The Georgia women’s 200 yard freestyle relay team of Maddie Locus, Chanta van Landeghem, Allison Schmitt and Megan Romano smashed the SEC record of 1:28.15 set by Florida in 2009 after posting a 1:26.89 finish, the finale event of day two at the SEC Championships.

    In addition to the two SEC record-breaking events, Georgia – led by Matias Koski, Chase Kalisz and Landeghem, respectively – would also claim victory in the men’s 500 yard freestyle, women’s 200 yard individual medley and women’s 50 yard freestyle.

    SEC newcomer Texas A&M would clinch its first SEC Championship individual victory after snatching first in the women’s 500 yard freestyle. Texas A&M sophomore Sarah Henry edged Georgia’s Amber McDermott and Alison Schmitt with a time of 4:35.25 to push herself and the Aggies to a historic triumph.

    Fellow SEC newcomer Missouri, after posting its first individual SEC championship victory Tuesday, would grasp its second thanks to the performance of Loren Figueroa in the one meter dive. Figueroa would squeak past Texas A&M’s Rebecca Germain with a score of 315.45 through six dives, beating Germain’s score of 312.40.  

    Auburn’s Marcelo Chierighini, with a time of 18.88, continued the Tigers’ momentum on the men’s side with a victory in the men’s 50 yard freestyle. Auburn – led by Chierighini, James Disney-may, TJ Leon and Kyle Owens – would also lay claim to first place in the men’s 200 yard freestyle relay.

    Quotes:

    Texas A&M head coach Steve Bultman

    “We definitely had a good day. We had 16 swimmers in prelims and all of them made it back for an evening swim, so you can’t ask for much than that. They really stepped up and raced in the morning, and were even better in the finals.

    (On Sarah Henry’s win in the 500 free)
    “That was a heck of a race by Sarah. The 500 free in the SEC is absolutely loaded so for her to win was some really good racing. I was really happy to see her get her hand on the wall first.”

    Texas A&M sophomore Sarah Henry

    (On the stacked field)
    “Yeah it was pretty stacked. You had Allison (Schmitt of Georgia), who has a few medals. But I wasn't nervous. I've learned lately to just step up and race. Even though I wasn't fully rested, I went in thinking 'whatever happens, happens.' And to go out there and swim my own race.”

    (On when she knew she had it won)
    “With 50 left to go. I still had a lot left in the tank. I had rushed the first 100 but I calmed down and my stroke felt good.”

    Texas A&M diving coach Jay Lerew

    “Considering Becca can’t straight out her arm, she did a fantastic job. The field in the SEC is really deep. There are girls that didn’t make the final that will be at NCAAs in a few weeks. Her finish was awesome and I’m very proud.”

    Faith Johnson, Tennessee

    “I was just so excited about it because during the whole day I was pumped and ready to swim. The whole time I was thinking, ‘I’m going to win. I’m going to go a 21.9.’ Then it happened. I’m so happy.”
     
    (on the time of 21.90)

    “I was so excited because I hadn’t dropped since my junior year (in high school) until this morning. It was a great feeling.”

    Georgia coach Jack Bauerle

    "What I'm proud of is how we swam tonight. I'm proud of who we are and what we showed tonight. It was a heck of a Georgia night. That's the best news. A Georgia night. We had a great one. It was a job well done."

    Allison Schmitt, Georgia

    "To be a part of this relay is an amazing feeling. It was a real team effort, and I'm just proud to have been a part of it."

    Chantal Van Landeghem, Georgia

    "This is my first SECs, and honestly I've never experienced anything like it before. Watching Georgia rip it up and do so well is amazing. It provided a lot of inspiration for my 50 free tonight."

    Matias Koski, Georgia

    "It feels great to get out here and race in this atmosphere. It's an awesome feeling. The key was making some adjustments from my morning swim and changing some things, and it paid off."

    Chase Kalisz, Georgia

    "It's unbelievable. I didn't expect to do that. I was definitely trying to compete for the top spot, but I didn't know if I could do it now because of where I am with my training. To go that time is unbelievable and I'm really happy with it."

    Melanie Margalis, Georgia

    "I've been second way too many times. I thought I had a curse and that I'd never get first. It feels really good. … I'm so happy that I can score those points for our team."

    Loren Figueroa, Missouri

    “I was really nervous but I feel really pumped up still. I usually like going towards the end. I was definitely pumped up and excited to go and I think I let that get a little bit out of hand on my first couple dives. After that I calmed down and just tried to have fun and things started to go smoother.”
     
    LSU Dive Coach Doug Shaffer

    “I couldn’t be happier with their performance. Elle Schmidt had her highest SEC place finish. Cassie Weil and Allie Alter added valuable points to our team scores. Alex Bettridge got into her second career championship final on the one-meter. She performed really well and competed really well. She was neck and neck with the field. We were just a little short of the podium, but I am proud of her accomplishment and the way she represented LSU.”

    Head Coach Sean Schimmel, Arkansas

    “There were some great highlights from today. Starting with Kesha Naylor getting another top-eight finish on the boards, Nicole Menzel putting up two best times in the 500 free today and of course the relay at the end setting a school record to close out the day.”

    “I want to come out in the morning and be really aggressive, positive and focused and get after our morning swims because you score points in the morning. They have to get up and get ready to compete and be sharp.”

    Diving coach Dale Schultz, Arkansas:

    “I’ve been really happy with the way Kesha has competed so far in this meet,” head diving coach Dale Schultz said “We worked on being consistent all year long and she has shown that. She is one of just three girls who finaled on both springboard events here at the SEC Championships.”