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    SEC Swimming and Diving Today: Saturday, November 23

    Razorbacks Win The Missouri Invitational

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 21 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team placed first out of 11 teams at the Missouri Invitational on Saturday. The team’s final total of 809 points was 111 points more than second-place Utah and 112 points more than SEC opponent Missouri.

    “I think the final day was definitely our best day over the last session,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “We came into our own there, made a statement there. We talked about what we were going to bring into the second half of the season which leads into our championships in February and I’m just really proud of the way they handled the situation. They prepared themselves all the way through in a championship manner to have the type of day like we could have today.”

    Saturday’s finals were highlighted with three event wins by junior Nikki Daniels (Wichita, Kan.) in the 200-yard breaststroke, senior Kesha Naylor (Saskatchewan, Canada) in platform diving and Arkansas’ ‘A’ 400 freestyle relay team.

    The 400 freestyle relay team of junior Susanna White (Forest, Va.), and sophomores Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia), Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas) and Maddie Monroe (Godfrey, Ill.) not only won the event with a time of 3:17.65, but they also set a new Arkansas school record with the finish. The same team of swimmers set the previous record last season.

    “It was just awesome,” Coach Schimmel said. “It was a great experience on the pool deck. Those women stepped up big time. All four of them swam great. That’s the type of experience I want this team to be able to have.”

    Naylor led Arkansas’ divers during the three-day competition, and won platform diving with an NCAA zone qualification score of 268.85.

    “Kesha winning today was a big deal,” Coach Schimmel said. “Of course Jeff (DiNicola) is doing an outstanding job with them and getting them to do things they’ve never done before. It’s starting to come around and showed up today with Kesha.”

    Daniels led the Razorbacks in the 200 breaststroke with a personal-best time of 2:09.34, closely followed by junior Julia Banach (Eilat, Israel) in fourth place.

    In the 1,650 freestyle, senior Nicole Menzel (Hilton Head, S.C.) led the highly-talented Razorback contingency of distance swimmers by placing second in 16:26.09. Razorbacks also claimed third, fifth and seventh place in the championship final.

    Mayfield placed second in the 200 backstroke in 1:56.06, with Jordan’s eighth-place finish of 2:01.39 completing the championship final. Drolc finished third in the 100 freestyle in 49.31. White and Monroe also placed fifth and sixth in the championship final, respectively.

    Seven Razorbacks swam in the 200 butterfly finals. Senior Aubrey Golbek (Noblesville, Ind.) took 12th place in a personal- best swim of 2:03.75.

    The Razorbacks have completed their fall schedule and will return to competition on Jan. 11 when the team faces Alabama and Kentucky in a double-dual meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    “It’s an important time for us athletically and academically,” Coach Schimmel said. “We’re trying to get on track academically, while at the same time going through a different phase of training. We’re going to get a lot of really strong work in and build up a lot of things we did this fall.”
     




    Leithold Ties NCAA’s Top 100 Freestyle Time on Final Day of Virginia Tech Invitational

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – On the final day of the Virginia Tech Invitational, South Carolina added four more NCAA B cut times, moving its three-day total to 13. For the second day in a row, redshirt freshman Kevin Leithold landed atop an event list as he tied the nation’s top time in the 100 freestyle at 43.56.   

    “Tonight wasn’t our best session, but we were very solid this morning,” head swimming and diving coach McGee Moody said. “We swam well and I was happy with it. It was the end of a very, very long week for us and the team was getting tired, but I felt that they pushed through it pretty well.

    “As far as the meet as a whole, I felt that it was one of the best we’ve ever had. We put up not only season-best performances, but lifetime-best performances and some of the top times in the country which is big for us.”

    On the men’s side, redshirt senior Michael Flach joined Leithold with a B cut time of his own as he finished second in the 200 butterfly with the tenth-fastest time in the NCAA this season at 1:46.61. In the 200 breaststroke, junior Alex Vance turned in the third-fastest time of the finals by shaving more than three seconds off of his prelim time with a mark of 2:01.28 in the B final. The 400 free relay team of Leithold, Robert Gilchrist, Gerard Rodriguez and Flach finished second at 2:57.17.

    For the women, senior Amanda Rutqvist took second in the 200 breaststroke, but clocked in with a B cut time of 2:13.25. In the 200 backstroke, despite finishing fourth, junior Victoria Mitchell posted a time of 1:58.38 for a B cut mark. In the 1650 freestyle, the Gamecocks went 2-3 as Mitchell claimed second at 16:36.51 and Abby Galbreath was third at 16:54.29.

    On the platform, junior Cole Miller earned a second-place finish with a score of 345 points for the top finish on the men’s side, while fellow junior Patricia Kranz had the top score for the women with 227.10 points as she finished third.    

    “We had a great weekend,” head diving coach Todd Sherritt said. “This was some of the best diving we have had all year. We had some outstanding performances as Patricia Kranz won the three-meter and took third on the platform, while Cole Miller was second the three-meter and platform. Lauren Lamendola finished third on the one and three, and Jordan Gotro finaled in all three events, finishing in the top six.

    “We still have some work to do to sure up some of the mistakes we made, but I think this team is improving at a steady pace. We are on track at this point to have a strong SEC finish.”

    As a team, both the South Carolina men’s and women’s squads finished second to Virginia Tech with the men earning 728 points and the women with 509.5. Virginia Tech had a 972 on the men’s side and 1018.5 on the women’s.  

    The Gamecocks will take December off before returning to action on Jan. 11 as they host Duke at the Carolina Natatorium at 2 p.m.






    Florida Responds at Night, Breaks Two School Records on Day 2 of Ohio State Invite

    Columbus, Ohio- On the second day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational, the Florida Swimming and Diving teams entered the finals session hungry after an under-par morning session. Using a total team effort, the Gators responded with a pair of individual school records, eight NCAA 'A' cuts and six meet records.

    The Gators set a pair of UF records behind seniors Hilda Luthersdottir (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) and senior Ellese Zalewski (Melbourne, Australia). Luthersdottir became the first Gator to swim a sub-one minute breaststroke, touching in 59.55. Zalewski topper her program record in the 100 butterfly, stopping the clock in 51.13.

    The Orange and Blue dominated the 400 individual medley, registering some of the fastest times in the country on the men and women's side. Senior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) won the event in 4:00.55. Redshirt senior Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) and junior Dan Wallace (North Berwick, Scotland) were neck-and-neck the whole race, each notching NCAA 'A' cut times of 3:41.26 and 3:42.18, respectively.

    The Gator relays extended their goal of automatically qualifying for NCAA's. The women have now earned NCAA 'A' cuts in all four relays and will go for a perfect five-for-five tomorrow night in the 400 freestyle relay. The men began their path to a repeat NCAA championship performance in the 800 free relay, touching in an NCAA 'A' cut mark of 6:20.94.

    After two days of competition, both Gator teams are in striking distance with some of their best events still in front. The No. 1 UF men trail No. 10 Ohio State 795-716 and the No. 4 UF women trail No. 12 Virginia 766-717. Florida has won seven of eight relays over the course of the meet.






    Bechtel Swims to School Record on Second Day of OSU Invite

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior Christina Bechtel swam to a school-record 51.36 in the 100 yard butterfly final as the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team raced to eight individual event top-10 finishes in the second day of competition at the Ohio State Invitational at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

    Bechtel’s 51.36 in the A Final is the best time in the 100 yard butterfly in UK history and gave her a second-place finish in the event and an NCAA A qualifying time. It came on the heels of a 52.06 in the prelims, which stood as both the school and OSU Invite record for a matter of hours before it was broken again. Prior to Saturday’s competition, a 52.10 set in 2009 by Megan Pulskamp was the fastest time in the event in Kentucky history.

    “Christina was awesome,” UK head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “A school record, that was world-class swim from her. All around, today was a great day, I thought our freshman swam well, which is exciting. Our depth was good too. We had some good swims in the 400 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Abby Myers continues to get better and swam really well, Lucas Gerotto had a really nice 100 fly for the guys. It really kept going from there. We made some nice strides and want to keep working to get better.

    Bechtel, who notched two top-six finishes and an 11th-place finish in the first day of competition, now owns the fastest two times and three of the top four times in school history in the women’s 100 yard butterfly event.

    “I’m excited about it,” Bechtel said. “Going into finals I was really excited and pumped up. Setting the record was one of my goals this year, so it feels good to accomplish that. Hopefully I can continue to break the record this year, because I definitely want to keep getting faster.”

    Three divers notched top-five finishes to go along with Bechtel’s runner-up finish. Senior Greg Ferrucci finished second in the men’s 3-meter springboard with a 355.40, while fellow senior John Fox placed fourth with a 338.75. In the women’s 1-meter competition, junior Christa Cabot placed fifth with a 285.85.

    Through the second day at the Ohio State Invitational, the UK women have 275 points, behind No. 5 Virginia, No. 3 Florida, Purdue and No. 14 Ohio State. The Wildcat men have 341 points and trail No. 11 Ohio State, No. 1 Florida and No. 10 Virginia.

    Saturday’s competition featured eight individual events, with prelims in the morning and 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, though no prelims were held for the relays. The OSU Invite concludes Sunday, and live results can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

    In addition to Bechtel in the women’s 100 butterfly, junior Abby Myers placed sixth with a time of 53.69 and earned an NCAA B qualifying time. Myers finished 0.25 ahead of seventh place. Bechtel’s time of 51.36 was 0.23 shy of first place and over one second ahead the third-place finisher.

    The Wildcats also placed sixth in the men’s 100 butterfly and women’s 200 freestyle. Senior Lucas Gerotto’s 47.89 in the 100 fly is an NCAA B qualifying time. The 47.89 sat just 0.08 out of the top five and 0.10 ahead of seventh place. In the 200 free, freshman Kendal Casey notched a 1:48.02, nearly a half second faster than her split time and 0.24 ahead of the seventh-place finisher.

    Kentucky posted a trio of sixth-place finishes in relay competitions. In the men’s 200 medley relay, freshman Kyle Higgins, junior George Greenhalgh and seniors Lucas Gerotto and Eric Bruck touched the wall in 1:28.58, a time half a second faster than OSU’s relay in seventh place.

    In the day’s final events, UK finished sixth in both the men’s and women’s 800 free relay. Myers, along with freshman Kendal Casey and juniors Blair Kuethe and Kristen Wilson finished in 7:16.75. In the men’s race, senior Will Heidler, freshmen Grimmett-Noris and Brandon Flynn and sophomore Scott Crosthwaite placed a time of 6:41.71.

    Greenhalgh registered another B qualifying time and a top-10 finish in the men’s 100 yard breaststroke, with a 55.06 to finish eighth. His time was an improvement by 0.09 seconds over his prelim time and just 0.01 seconds shy of seventh place.

    Rounding out UK’s top-10 finishes in individual events was Flynn. The freshman, who finished 13th in the 500 freestyle yesterday, placed 10th in the men’s 400 yard individual medley with a time of 3:52.53. His time earned him an NCAA B qualifier.






    LSU Swimming and Diving Wraps Up Art Adamson Invitational

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – LSU Swimming and Diving wrapped up the Art Adamson with another successful day in the pool including a win by Frank Greeff in the 200 butterfly with a mark of 1:44.77. That time was almost four seconds faster than the second place finisher.

    “Frank is such a tough competitor. To knock out that fly as his twelfth race of the weekend shows how disciplined his training has been,” LSU swimming coach Dave Geyer said.

    For the first time this season LSU Divers took to the platform in a competition setting. Cassie Weil, the LSU record holder in that event, won the women’s platform with 270 points. Alex Bettridge placed third with 236.10 points.

    For the men, Sean McKinney finished in third with 349.30 points and Kevin Leong tallied 321.20 points for fourth place.

    “We can expect some really good results going into the championship season,” LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “We did some remarkable things throughout the weekend, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication that our divers have put forth so far this season.”

    In championship finals, Danielle Stirrat finished eighth in the 200 backstroke with a mark of 1:56.10. Sophie Weber touched the wall last with a mark of 1:58.83 but it’s the sixth fastest time in LSU Swimming history.

    In the men’s 200 backstroke, Michael Young was the runner up with a time of 1:45.92. Freshman Logan Rysemus finished last but his time of 1:45.83 is eighth all-time in LSU Swimming history.

    Sophomore Alex Linge finished fourth in the men’s 100 freestyle with a mark of 44.53.

    Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez touched the wall second in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:0.74. Gabe Rooker followed him in fourth place with a mark of 2:02.32.

    Kara Kopcso continued her phenomenal freshman campaign with a time of 1:59.08 in the 200 butterfly. Kopcso’s time is enough for fourth in LSU Swimming history.

    To finish off the invitational, LSU’s “A” men’s team consisting of Alex Linge, Marco Gonzalez, Michael Saco and Frank Greeff finished second in the 400 relay with a time of 2:57.25.

    LSU’s “A” women’s team finished fifth in the 400 relay with a mark of 3:25.35. The women’s team consisted of Leah Troskot, Megan Cox, Sophie Weber and Amber Carter.

    In the consolation final of the men’s 200 backstroke, Daniel Swietlicki finished third with a time of 1:48.37.

    Marco Gonzalez (44.64) and Michael Saco (45.34) took first and second in the consolation final of the 100 freestyle.

    Colleen O’Neil touched the wall first in the consolation final of the 200 breaststroke with a mark of 2:14.66 for fifth in LSU Swimming history. In the “C” final of the 200 breaststroke, Taryn Mackenzie finished first with a mark of 2:19.34

    “This was a really great weekend for our program,” Geyer said. “It was exciting to see some development from our freshmen classes. Our upperclassmen also did a terrific job. We are certainly ahead of where we were a year ago”

    The LSU Divers return to competition when they travel to Austin, Texas for USA Diving Winter Nationals, Dec. 17-22.






    Four More Automatic Cuts For Georgia At Auburn Invitational

    AUBURN, Ala. - The Georgia swimming and diving teams notched four more NCAA automatic qualifying times and won 10 races on Saturday in the Auburn Fall Invitational.

    The No. 2 Lady Bulldogs have 1,023 points, with host Auburn second with 578.5. The No. 7 Bulldogs pulled ahead of Auburn on the men's side 732-705.

    Melanie Margalis won twice for the Lady Bulldogs, taking the 400 individual medley in 4:01.70 (spearheading a 1-2-3-4 finish) and the 100 breaststroke in 59.15. Each of her efforts was an NCAA automatic qualifying time.

    Olivia Smoliga won the women's 100 backstroke in 51.97, reaching the automatic qualifying standard.

    The women's 200 freestyle crown went to Shannon Vreeland as she stopped the clock in 1:43.92, with the Lady Bulldogs taking the top four spots.

    Laura Ryan took the women's 3-meter springboard title with 373.65 points, improving her Zone qualifying score.

    Smoliga, Margalis, Lauren Harrington and Chantal Van Landeghem claimed the women's 200 medley relay in an A-cut time of 1:36.97.

    Vreeland, Amber McDermott, Margalis and Brittany MacLean took the women's 800 freestyle relay in 7:01.78, another A cut.

    Chase Kalisz won the men's 400 individual medley with an A-cut time of 3:39.03.

    Matias Koski took the men's 200 freestyle in 1:34.41.

    The men's 800 freestyle went to the Bulldogs as Koski, Kalisz, Will Freeman and and Nicolas Fink combined for a time of 6:25.33.

    The Auburn Fall Invitational will conclude on Sunday.
     




    Alabama Swimming and Diving Junior Wins 100 Butterfly, Turns in Top-5 Time Nationally on Day Two of the Auburn Invitational

    AUBURN, Ala. – Junior Kristel Vourna grabbed Alabama swimming and diving’s first individual win of the weekend on day two of the Auburn Invitational, earning top honors in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.14.

    Vourna, who was seeded seventh after the preliminaries, shaved more than a second off the 54.60 she swam in the morning session. Her time, a season-best for the 20012 Olympian who redshirted last season, ranks her third in the nation among times posted coming into the weekend.

    Senior Paige McCleary took third off the 3-meter board, tallying 330.10 points after earning 342.15 took take first coming out of prelims.

    In the 100 breaststroke, junior Kaylin Burchell shaved nearly two seconds off her prelims time to go from eighth place after the morning to fourth in finals with a season-best 1:01.35 in a tightly packed race that saw six swimmers go under 1:02, which ranks them all in the top-12 nationally among times coming into the weekend.

    The 200 medley relay of senior Stephanie Kinsey, Burchell, Vourna and sophomore Justine Panian, combined to touch the wall at 1:39.18 and take third place overall. Kinsey went on to take eighth in the 100 backstroke with a season-best 55.16.

    The Tide men took fourth in the 200 medley relay when freshmen Connor Oslin and Anton Mckee combined with sophomore Brett Walsh and senior BJ Hornikel to post a 1:27.48.

    Mckee took fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a season-best 54.06. Already ranked in the top-10 nationally coming into this weekend, Mckee shaved a half second off his previous best in a star studded field that includes 12 swimmers ranked in the top-25 nationally.

    Freshman diver Brent Sagert took seventh off the 1-meter board with a score of 311.55 in finals after scoring 298.78 in prelims.

    Alabama, competing against Auburn, Georgia and Florida State in the invitational, closes out the invitational on Sunday with the 100 and 1650 freestyles, 200 breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke, the 400 freestyle relays and the men’s and women’s platform diving events.