Friday Time Trials (PDF) | Friday Final Results (PDF)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women, after setting three SEC records and one U.S. Open record, are biting at the heels of first-place Georgia as the Florida men maintain a healthy first-place lead in day four of the SEC Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Natatorium.
The Aggies, though still trailing in team points to Georgia at the conclusion of the evening’s finals, owned the day on the women’s side after producing three of four SEC record-breaking performances. Tennessee would round out the SEC record-breaking frenzy by clinching its own SEC record in women’s platform diving.
Led by junior and Olympic gold-medalist Breeja Larson, Texas A&M made its share of noise upon winning four of five women’s events and sweeping all swimming events. Larson’s time of 57.43 in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke shattered her own US Open and NCAA record time of 57.53 in addition to breaking the SEC meet record.
Texas A&M juniors Camille Adams and Carol McElhany would finish first and second, respectively, after posting times of 1:52.48 and 1:53.24 in the women’s 200-yard butterfly. Adams’ time broke the SEC meet record of 1:52.53 previously held by Jemma Lowe of Florida. Junior Paige Miller would be the final individual event winner for the Aggies after her 51.62 finish in the women’s 100-yard backstroke.
Adams, Miller and Larson would join Lilian Ibanez-Lopez in the women’s 400-yard medley relay for the final event of the evening’s finals. The Aggie relay team would break Texas A&M’s final SEC record of the day with a finishing time of 3:28.93, a record previously held by Tennessee.
Tennessee diver Victoria Lamp won her second consecutive platform diving title while also breaking the SEC record for women’s platform diving with a point total of 341.90. Lamp would beat out Texas A&M’s Jesse Macaulay and Georgia’s Laura Ryan who posted scores of 328.20 and 319.95, respectively.
The Florida men, after a momentous Thursday finals performance, opened Friday’s finals by concluding the 200-yard butterfly with the top three times. Junior Marcin Cieslak and Sebastien Rousseau would both make NCAA “A” cuts with times of 1:42.17 and 1:42.18, respectively.
Auburn would win two men’s events, the 100-yard backstroke and the 400-yard medley relay. Senior Kyle Owens would finish with the only NCAA “A” cut of the event with a time of 45.60. The Tigers’ relay team of Owens, Stuart Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and Arthur Mendes would then edge Florida with a time of 3:05.92 to the Gators’ 3:07.80.
Georgia sophomore Nic Fink claimed first in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing with the sole NCAA “A” cut with a time of 52.34.
Auburn head coach Brett Hawke
-On Kyle Owens’ win in 100 back:
“It was a great race. He’s such a tough competitor, very composed. He wanted it, he wanted to repeat. He wanted to prove he’s the best backstroker in the SEC, and he did that tonight.”
-On 400 medley relay win:
“Amazing swim. Our freshman Arthur Mendes really came through for us. And the other three guys, our veterans, put together a really quick time for this period of the year. Hopefully we can do a little better at NCAAs. It sets us up really well.”
Kyle Owens (100 backstroke champion)
“It feels pretty good. We’ve been training all year for NCAAs, and to have a swim like that at SECs feels good. It was almost half a second faster than what I won with last year. The competition is a lot faster. It feels good to win it again for a second time, and going into NCAAs, it gives me some confidence. This morning I was more relaxed coming home. My main focus tonight was just to drill it home. I’ll have to look at my splits but I think that was all right. I wanted to be more relaxed tonight, and I think I was able to do that.”
Marcelo Chierighini (400 medley relay)
“I love swimming relays. I’m relaxed more and I love swimming with my friends. It was great. It always feels good. I went out fast on the first 50, 19.2, but then on the last 25 I was hurting pretty bad. For my individual 100 free (Saturday) I need to go a little bit slower (on the first 50). But I’m really happy with my time.”
Georgia head coach Jack Baurle:
(on fighting for first with Texas A&M):
"It's dead even. It's going to be really, really tough. We've got to have a heck of a good morning. A&M has a great team. We'll see. It's just us and them."
(on Nic Fink’s swim)
“That was a great swim by Nic. He's a great young guy and I love coaching him. He's a competitor and he stands up every time. They were coming after him, but he swam a great race. Hat's off to him.”
Tennessee Diving Coach Dave Parrington
(on Tori Lamp)
“It was just a fantastic day. It was nice to be in that situation to know what the other girl had done. Tori stood up and under a great deal of pressure, she put the dive down like she proved she could do last year.
(on field and Samantha Lera)
“This final this evening was an incredible final. It was a very good field and the field really stood up and competed at a high level. To see Samantha step up and compete under that kind of pressure as a freshman under those circumstances, it says a lot about her and I was very proud.”
Tori Lamp, Tennessee, Platform Champ
“I knew it was really close and I knew I had to hit my last dive pretty well because she had a good dive before me. It worked out well. It feels amazing. The competition was really tough this year. To be able to come out on top was great.”
Texas A&M head coach Steve Bultman
(on the team performance)
“Wow. Started right from the get go this morning with the 200-fly prelims and continued right on through the day to win four events and get second on the other one. Pretty amazing.”
(on Breeja Larson’s swim)
“It’s her best by a little bit but it’s the fastest anybody has ever gone. That’s outstanding.”
(on breaking her own American record in the 100-yard breaststroke)
"It's special, but I kind of see it as 'I broke my best time' just like Cammile (Adams) and Paige (Miller) broke their best times. It is still special, but to me it's kind of like you want to do your best time every time. If it happens to break the record, it's a bonus."
“I talked to Coach [Bultman] and he just said relax because I’ve done this a lot throughout the season. I just went in trying to be confident and happy and it worked out really well.”
(on breaking the SEC record in the 200-yard butterfly)
“It’s really exciting. It was one of my best, which is awesome for not having a lot of rest under my belt. The team doing so well tonight is just a cherry on top of that. Having everyone win and everyone get first from the swim side of things is awesome for A&M.”