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    Saturday Swimming And Diving Central

    Alabama Takes Care of Florida State in the Pool

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama swimming and diving women’s swimming and diving team opened its 2013-14 home schedule with its second win this season, beating Florida State 167-133, while the men fell to the Seminoles 179-121.
    Junior Kaylin Burchell led the way for the Crimson Tide women, winning three events, the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. Burchell dominated the field in all three events. In the 100 and 200 breaststroke she posted times of 1:01.82 and 2:15.70, respectively, while touching the wall with a 2:03.77 in the 200 IM.
    Senior Stephanie Kinsey won the 100 and 200 backstroke with times of 55.60 and 2:03.06, respectively.  Freshman Leah Bird dominated the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:00.76, three seconds ahead of the field.   Junior Kristel Vourna and sophomore Emma Saunders each picked up an individual victory to round out the Tide’s winning ways. Vourna won the 100 butterfly with a 55.19 while Saunders posted a 1:49.62 to win the 200 freestyle. 
    Alabama women opened the meet against the Seminoles by winning the 200 medley relay.  Vourna, Gilbert, Bird and Saunders combined for a time of 1:41.52.
    The Tide women finished off the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay when Vourna, Gilbert, sophomore Justine Panian and Saunders combined for a come from behind win with a 3:25.33. Saunders went into the water a half-second behind FSU’s A relay and touched the wall more than three-quarters of a second ahead, eliciting a huge reaction from the Tide fans.
    On the men’s side of the meet, sophomore distance ace Brian Westlake secured the first individual win of the day with first-place finish in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:45.61.  Westlake came back later in the meet led from start to finish in the 500 freestyle, winning it with a time of 4:28.68.
    Freshman Anton McKee won the 100 and 200 breaststroke with times of 54.67 and 1:57.98, respectively.  Senior BJ Hornikel contributed a win in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.76.
    Alabama returns to action next month, traveling to Gainesville Fla., November 7 to take on the Florida Gators at 7:00 p.m. ET.


    Auburn Women Move to 3-0 In Dual Season; Men Split Between Notre Dame and No. 3 Michigan

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Auburn women’s swimming and diving team remained unbeaten Saturday at the Notre Dame Tri-Meet after sweeping 18th-ranked Notre Dame and 13th-ranked Indiana by scores of 180-120 each. The Tigers carried over their strong performance at Vanderbilt two weeks ago and continued to get strong performances from their freshmen, gaining six event wins, two by freshman Allyx Purcell.

    Purcell claimed victory in the 50 free (22.87) and 100 free (50.30), putting her just a tenth of a second off an NCAA ‘B’ cut time in the 50 free and one full second off the ‘B’ time in the 100 free. Purcell’s win in the 50 free was also the second of Auburn’s 1-2-3 finishes as seniors Haley Krakowski (23.56) and Aubrey Peacock (23.76) finished a second behind.

    “Our women improved greatly from their first meet a few weeks ago,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. “Emily Bos and Allyx Purcell were standouts today, but there were plenty of bright spots. That was what we wanted to do as a coaching staff in this meet and that was to improve on what we did at Vanderbilt and I thought we did that.”

    As for the men, the Tigers split their duals, beating the Irish, 153-147, and falling to defending national champion, Michigan, 195-103. In their first competition of the 2013-14 season, Auburn tallied two event wins, claiming first in the 50 free and 200 back. Senior Marcelo Chierighini won the fastest race of the day, touching the wall in 19.93 in the 50 free, while freshman Joe Patching won the 200 back (1:45.85) by an almost full second.

    “Today was a little of a struggle for the men,” Hawke said. “They weren’t quite ready in the first half of the meet, so we talked during the break and they picked up the pace the rest of the way. Our guys performed much better in the second half of competition and did what we needed to do to beat Notre Dame and put up some good races against a great Michigan team.”

    The women kicked the meet off on the right foot after winning the 200 medley relay to claim the first 11 points for the Tigers. The team of Bos, sophomore Annie Lazor, junior Megan Fonteno and Purcell clocked a 1:41.97 in the race to take their first lead that would never be relinquished.

    Trying to build off her two wins from a meet ago, freshman Ashley Neidigh took a runner-up finish in the 1,000 free after a time of 10:00.51. Her time was still almost two seconds faster from her previous swim for a season-best.

    Continuing with the freshmen surge from the women’s team, freshman MaryElizabeth Warhol earned her second top-three individual finish of her career after taking third-place in the 200 free (1:51.76), a tenth of a second faster than her previous best.

    In the 100 back, Bos continued to perform well in her best event, taking home the prize with a time of 54.07, her first appearance in the 100 back this season. The win for Auburn was part of a 1-2-3 finish in the event as fellow senior Aubrey Peacock (55.25) and sophomore Sarah Reynolds (56.52) made it a Tiger sweep.

    The Auburn women then took two of the three top spots in the 200 butterfly as junior Sarah Peterson (2nd, 2:03.14) and sophomore Alexandria Merritt (3rd, 2:03.30) gave the Orange and Blue seven more points towards the two dual wins.

    Reynolds completed the final win for the Tigers on the day after winning the 200 back with a time of 2:00.35, just a little more than a second off the NCAA ‘B’ cut time. The individual win was the first for Reynolds in the young year.

    As for the men, seniors James Disney-May, Chierighini and freshmen Kyle Darmody and Michael Duderstadt earned a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay (1:29.84), the Tigers first race of the year. However, that would be the last top-three finish in any race for Auburn until Patching earned a runner-up finish in the 100 back (48.86).

    Chierighini continued his strong start to the season in his second event of the day, the 100 freestyle. The senior took home second-place (44.36), just missing an NCAA ‘B’ cut time.

    Today’s events were also the first day of competition for the Auburn diving team this year. Junior Morgan Mullins was Auburn’s high women’s scorer of the day, taking fourth-place in the 1-meter (258.50)) and third-place in the 3-meter (280.20), en route to earning NCAA Zone qualifying scores. Senior John Santieu was the high scorer for the Auburn men with runner-up finishes in both the 1-meter (324.30) and 3-meter (344.70).

    “Morgan made some great improvements today,” Auburn head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “The whole meet was a great first outing for the team. They’re starting to know what they need to do and where the focus needs to be heading forward.”

    Auburn will have short rest before its next meet as it will travel to Charlotte, N.C. to take on Queens University on Oct. 25. Both the men and women will make the trip in two weeks as the women will be looking to stay perfect in the dual season. The meet is scheduled to last one day and will start at 4 p.m.

    Gamecocks Open Season With Sweep of College of Charleston

    CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina swimming and diving teams opened up the 2013-14 season by sweeping College of Charleston today as the swimmers competed at the Stern Center in Charleston and divers competed in Columbia. The men won by a score of 178-109, while the women’s score was 166-129. The men claimed 14 first-place finishes, one ahead of the women’s total of 13.

    The men were led by senior Matt Navata and junior Michael Covert who each had three individual wins. Covert won the 100 meter backstroke (57.71), 100 meter freestyle (52.78) and the 100 meter butterfly (57.33) while Navata picked up his wins in the 100 meter breaststoke (1:05.92), 400 meter freestyle (4:09.64) and the 400 meter IM. Senior Michael Flach added a pair of wins as well in the 200 meter butterfly (2:04.44) and the 200 meter breaststoke.

    Sophomore Ashleigh Ferguson, senior Abby Galbreath, freshman Victoria Mitchell and senior Amanda Rutqvist led the women’s team. Each recorded two wins apiece as individuals. Ferguson grabbed first-place finishes in the 100 meter freestyle (59.55) and 400 meter freestyle (4:27.22). Galbreath earned her wins in the 200 meter backstroke (2:21.68) and the 400 meter IM (5:00.59). Rutqvist claimed wins in the 100 (1:14.89) and 200 (2:39.23) meter breaststokes. Mitchell earned her wins in the 200 (2:05.98) and 800 (8:52.47) meter freestyles.

    “Performances that stood out today came from Michael Covert and Victoria Mitchell. Michael won a couple of events for the guys, which was good, and he had a great finish in the 100 freestyle to win that event. Victoria won the 800 freestyle and the 200 freestyle back-to-back with all of about 10 minutes of rest. That was really impressive on her part and I was happy with her as it was her first meet for South Carolina. We had some other freshmen who swam really well and we were excited with how they performed today,” South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. “But as happy as we are with how we did, we have to look forward to Tennessee. We still have a lot of work to do prior to Friday’s meet.”

    Carolina captured wins in all four relays on the day with the women posting times of 2:00.15 in the 200 meter medley and 1:49.40 in the 200 meter freestyle. The men recorded times of 1:44.62 in the 200 meter medley and 1:34.42 in the 200 meter freestyle

    Earlier in the day at the Carolina Natatorium, the South Carolina divers hosted College of Charleston. On the women’s side, sophomore Lauren Lamendola recorded a personal best score of 329.92 en route to winning the one-meter springboard, while Patricia Kranz finished second (303.52). Kranz captured first on the three-meter board with 369.23 points, coming up just shy of a career mark. Lamendola was second with 324.08 points.

    On the men’s side, only three divers competed, all from Carolina. Both one-meter and three-meter events were won by Cole Miller. The junior won with scores of 365.02 (1M) and 402.60 (3M). Freshman Jordan Gotro was second in both events, while senior Andrew Helmich was third.

    “In the first competition, I’m just looking for some objectives that they’ve been working on and see if they make those corrections so the performance was more based on the objectives than scoring. However, when you get the objective, you’re going to score high. I think overall the team did very well. They have some things that they need to work on before Tennessee next week as it will be a challenge for them, but if we smooth out some things this week I think we can win some events.”

    The Gamecocks will face their first SEC opponent on Oct. 18 as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to compete against Tennessee at 12 p.m., ET.