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    SEC Swimming and Diving Today: Friday, November 22

    Gators Qualify Six Races to NCAA’s, Set School Record on Day One of Ohio State Invite

    Columbus, Ohio - The top-ranked Florida men (4-0, 3-0 SEC) and the fourth ranked Florida women (2-2, 2-1 SEC) got off to a hot start at the Ohio State Invitational, securing three NCAA ‘A’ cuts apiece and setting a school record. Tomorrow’s prelims will begin at 10 a.m.

    Freshman Mitch D’Arrigo (Rome, Italy), senior Marcin Cieslak (Warsaw, Poland), senior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.), the women’s 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay and the men’s 400 medley relay earned NCAA ‘A’ cuts. The Gator men lead with 328 and the Gator women are in second with 336 points after day one. Ohio State men are in second with 286 points and the Virginia women lead with 364 points.

    The women’s 400 medley group of sophomore Sinead Russell (Burlington, Ontario, Canada), senior Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland), senior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia) and sophomore Natalie Hinds (Midland, Texas) set a new school record in an NCAA A cut time of 3:30.27. The swim was also an Ohio State Invite meet record.
    Sounds Bites:

    “We had a really good evening session. We had some ‘A’ cuts and we set a school record. For us to go that fast this time of year shows that the work these folks are doing is extremely good. I was very impressed with Natalie Hinds and Ellese Zalewski. Some of the young freshman had huge drops in some events. Overall, the men’s side, we have multiple ‘A’ standards and some guys that are high enough in the ‘B’ standard to have four or five guys already qualified for the NCAA Championships. We’re in a real good spot at the moment. We still have two days left and need to be really good these next two days.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy on tonight’s events.

    “We had a hard time getting started this morning. We had some good swims, but I thought we could be better. We did some experimenting this morning to see where we are at. We had some people in technical suits in the morning and some without. We came back tonight a much more focused group. We talked about it in between sessions. I was glad to see us respond.”- Head Coach Gregg Troy on the prelim session.

    “This was one of the fastest 200 IM’s that I’ve ever swam, and it is very early in the season. I am excited to rest and see what I can go at the end of the season. I had a lot of fun racing today. My teammates in the 500 freestyle (after a 1-2-3 finish) gave me some extra motivation going into my race.”- Senior Marcin Cieslak on swimming the fastest 200 individual medley in the country this season.

    Georgia Gets A-Cut Times At Auburn Invitational

    AUBURN, Ala. - The Georgia swimming and diving teams recorded three individual NCAA automatic qualifying times and won six events on Friday in the first day of competition in the Auburn Fall Invitational at the Martin Aquatics Center.

    The No. 2-ranked Lady Bulldogs rolled up 461 points for first place. Florida State was second with 266 points. The No. 7 Bulldogs stand second with 321 points, trailing host Auburn’s 334. The Auburn Fall Invitational will continue on Saturday and will conclude on Sunday.

    “We really have no complaints about the day,” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle said. “The kids competed hard and did just what we asked of them. We got some A cuts, which was a goal of ours. We also picked up some points thanks to our depth. We’re excited about seeing how the next couple of days go.”

    Amber McDermott automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in March and sparked a 1-2-3 finish in the 500 freestyle as she stopped the clock in 4:35.72.  Shannon Vreeland was second in 4:38.54 and Brittany MacLean came in third in 4:38.93. The Lady Bulldogs garnered additional points with Jordan Mattern in fifth, Rachel Zilinskas in sixth, Anna Kolanowski in seventh and Courtney Peters in 10th.  Vreeland, MacLean, Mattern and Zilinskas registered NCAA provisional times.

    Melanie Margalis posted an A-cut time of 1:54.08 as the Lady Bulldogs also claimed the top three positions in the 200 individual medley. Hali Flickinger was second with a time of 1:57.82, followed by Annie Zhu in third at 1:57.92. Georgia also placed fifth with Shannon O’Malley, sixth with Emily Cameron, seventh with Nicole Vernon and 10th with Anna Neumeister. Flickinger, Zhu, O’Malley, Cameron and Vernon notched B cuts.

    Chantal Van Landeghem registered a victory in the 50 freestyle, posting a time of 22.17. Olivia Smoliga was the runner-up in 22.33, while Maddie Locus was fourth, Jessica Graber was seventh, Lauren Harrington was eighth, Olivia Boggs was 13th and Cameron was 14th. Van Landeghem, Smoliga, Locus, Graber and Harrington all posted B-cut times.

    The Lady Bulldogs won the 400 medley relay as Smoliga, Margalis, Harrington and Van Landeghem went an A-cut time of 3:32.04.

    In the 200 freestyle relay, Smoliga, Locus, Harrington and Van Landeghem finished second in 1:28.70, an A-cut time.

    Laura Ryan came in second on the 1-meter springboard, improving her Zone qualifying score with 307.95 points, while Ann-Perry Blank was fifth, Darcie O’Brien placed 11th and Ansley Long took 13th.

    The Bulldogs took the first three spots in the 200 individual medley, led by Chase Kalisz’s A-cut time of 1:43.32. Ty Stewart was second in 1:43.90 and Nicolas Fink placed third in 1:46.33. Jared Markham came in fifth and Derek Onken was 13th. Stewart, Fink and Markham posted B-cut times.

    Matias Koski claimed the title in the 500 freestyle as he touched the wall at 4:17.82. Will Freeman came in third in 4:18.36, followed by Andrew Gemmell in fifth, Garrett Powell in sixth, Jameson Hill in seventh and Alec Cohen in eighth. Koski, Freeman, Gemmell, Powell, Hill and Cohen all registered B cuts.

    Michael Trice was Georgia’s top finisher in the 50 freestyle, coming in seventh with a B-cut time of 20.12. Chris Powell was eighth (also with a B cut), Hill was 12th and Doug Reynolds was 15th.

    Trice, Powell, Fink and Reynolds came in third in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:19.95. Stewart, Fink, Reynolds and Trice were third in the 400 medley relay as they stopped the clock in a B-cut time of 3:10.34.

    Spencer Madanay scored 335.35 points to wind up seventh on the 3-meter springboard, while Bobby Chambless was 15th.

    Alabama Swimming and Diving Turns in Season-Best Times on Day One of the Auburn Invitational

    AUBURN, Ala. – The Alabama swimming and diving team got off to a solid start on day one of the Auburn Invitational, posting a number of season-best times.

    Junior Kristel Vourna posted the Tide’s best time of the season in the 50 freestyle as the leadoff of the 200 freestyle, touching the wall with a 23.55. Vourna combined with senior Stephanie Kinsey and sophomores Justine Panian and Emma Saunders to take sixth place in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:33.47.

    Senior Paige McCleary took first in the consolation finals of the 1-meter board, and ninth overall, totaling 286.30 points in finals.

    The 200 freestyle relay squad of sophomore Brett Walsh, seniors Vlad Caciuc and BJ Hornikel and freshman Alex Gray combined to post a 1:21.64 and take fifth place overall. Walsh turned Alabama’s fastest time of the season in the 50 freestyle, with a 20.41 in prelims.

    Freshman Brent Sagert turned in the Tide’s top individual finish of the day, scoring 344.60 points off the 3-meter board, good for sixth place.  Sophomore Brian Westlake clocked a season-best 4:27.32 in the 500 freestyle, taking 10th place overall.

    The Tide returns to action with the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke as well as the women’s 3-meter and the men’s 1-meter diving events.

    UK Swimming and Diving Places 10 in Top-10

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Against three men’s and women’s teams ranked within the top 15 nationally, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team opened the first day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational with 10 top-10 finishes at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

    “We had some really nice swim, it was a good first day for the Cats against some very tough competition,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “Christina Bechtel was good, the divers dove well. We’re excited about the next two days. The one thing that was exceptional was we were much deeper, much better than our previous races this year. I’m really pleased with our depth, and our freshman really swam well today.”

    Friday’s six individual events featured prelims in the morning, with the top 30 finishers advancing to A, B or C finals in the evening session. Four relay events and two diving events were also contested on the Invite’s opening day, though no prelims were held for the relay competitions.

    Through the first day of competition, the UK women have 112 points, behind No. 5 Virginia, No. 3 Florida, No. 14 Ohio State and Purdue. The Wildcat men have 43 points, behind No. 1 Florida, No. 11 Ohio State and No. 10 Virginia.

    In the men’s 50 yard freestyle, senior Eric Bruck notched a third-place finish in the finals with a time of 20.00. He placed just 0.07 seconds out of second place and 0.21 ahead of the fourth-place finisher. Bruck advanced to the finals with a 19.92 time in the prelims. Fellow senior Chris Lott also notched a top-10 finish, with a 20.54, good for ninth place.

    Among 19 competitors in the men’s 1-meter dive, senior Greg Ferrucci finished third, with a finals score of 354.30. Seniors John Fox and Zachary Peterson finished seventh and eighth, respectively, with scores of 282.80 and 274.40.

    In the women’s 3-meter dive, junior Christa Cabot placed fourth with a score of 300.90, which fell just 5.55 shy of a top-three finish and 4.50 ahead of the fifth-place finisher. UK junior Lindsay Keahey finished with a 253.35 to place 10th.

    UK’s top finish in a relay came in the women’s 400 yard medley, where a trio of freshman in addition to junior Christina Bechtel placed fourth in 3:40.62. Bechtel, in addition to Kendal Casey, Kendra Crew and Danielle Galyer beat out Florida’s relay by 0.07 seconds and improved on their prelim time by nearly 12 seconds.

    The Wildcats placed fifth in the men’s 200 yard freestyle relay, which featured an upperclassmen team of seniors Bruck, Lott, Will Heidler and junior Derrick Smith. The team finished in 1:21.63, nearly half a second faster than their prelim time.

    Bechtel also paced Kentucky to a sixth-place finish in the women’s 200 yard freestyle relay. Bechtel led off, with juniors Kristen Wilson, Blair Kuethe and Abby Myers following up to finish in 1:32.57, 0.32 ahead of the seventh-place Gators and nearly 1.5 seconds ahead of their prelim score.

    In the women’s 50 yard freestyle, Bechtel notched an 11th-place finish, touching the wall in 22.68. She came in first in the B Final, and her time was the third-fastest of any swimmer in both the prelims and finals in the event.

    Freshman Brandon Flynn recorded a 13th-place finish in the men’s 500 yard freestyle, with a time of 4:26.66 to beat out OSU’s Charlie Fry by just 0.09 seconds.

    The three-day competition resumes Saturday with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Full results can be found on

    LSU Divers Sweep Day 2 of Art Adamson Invitational

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – LSU Divers sweep day 2 of the Art Adamson Invitational with wins by Sean McKinney on the 3-meter and Alex Bettridge on the 1-meter. McKinney’s score of 415.75 is the new program record on the 3-meter springboard and a personal best.  

    With one day left, the Lady Tigers are in third place with 456 points and the men’s team is in second place with 562.5 points.
    “I couldn’t be happier about today,” LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “We had athletes put themselves in position to win and they rose to the occasion. We’re focusing on day three now and we’re taking it one day at a time. Alex (Bettridge) had a personal best in the preliminaries and then almost duplicated it in the finals. Sean (McKinney) also put together the best performance of his career in a challenging situation.”

    The swimming side began with LSU’s 200 medley relay women’s team finishing fifth with a time of 1:40.43. The men went on to place third finish with a time of 1:29.09.

    For the women, Sophie Weber finished fourth (4:15.61) and Kara Kopcso finished fifth (4:16.86) in the 400 IM. Both times were enough to crack the top-10 all time in LSU swimming history. Weber’s is good enough for fifth and Kopcso’s is enough for seventh.

    Frank Greeff touched the wall second in the 100 fly with a time of 47.27. In the 200 freestyle, Greeff finished fifth with a mark of 1:38.65.

    Michael Young touched the wall fourth in the championship final of the 100 backstroke with a mark of 48.25.

    In the 100 breaststroke, Gabe Rooker finished third with a mark of 55.65. Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez finished fourth (55.73) and Silas Dejean finished sixth (57.08).

    Megan Cox improved her place in LSU swimming history. In the 200 freestyle, Cox finished sixth with a time of 1:47.37 which is fourth all-time.

    “It was a great night of racing for us, LSU swimming coach Dave Geyer said. “A number of our freshmen were able to leave top marks in our program history and a few of our upper class men improved their ranks as well.”

    Torrey Bussey grabbed first (1:02.02), Colleen O’Neil touched the wall second (1:02.63) and Taryn MacKenzie finished third (1:03.23) in the consolation final of the 100 breaststroke. O’Neil’s time is now fifth all-time in LSU swimming history.

    In the consolation final of the women’s 100 butterfly, junior Amber Carter touched the wall first with a time of 54.11.

    Sophie Weber’s time of 55.61 in the consolation final of the 100 backstroke is 10th all-time in LSU swimming history.

     Freshman Brandon Goldman took first in the 400 IM consolation final with a time of 3:57.28. It’s number 10 all-time in LSU swimming history.

    In the “C” final of the 200 freestyle, Devon Dabney took first place with a mark of 1:50.31. Malique Elder touched the wall second in the “C” final of the 100 breaststroke (59.39).

    “It's great for this young team to be exposed to a high quality midseason meet, it sets the table well for what to expect at conference,” Geyer said. “It was a long session and with prelims starting earlier tomorrow we will really need to bite down in the morning to have shots at scoring swims tomorrow night.”