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    Swimming And Diving Athletes Of The Week

    SEC FEMALE CO-SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
    Melanie Margalis, Georgia
    Sr. • Clearwater, Fla.

    Margalis registered four individual wins and was on four victorious relays in Georgia's victory in the Auburn Fall Invitational. She swept the 100 and 200 breaststroke races in 59.15 and 2:08.10, respectively, and won gold in the 200 (1:54.08) and 400 (4:01.70) individual medley events. All four individual efforts are NCAA automatic qualifying times. She is No. 2 in the nation in the IM events, No. 2 in the 100 breast and No. 3 in the 200 breaststroke. The senior lowered her own school records in the 200 and 400 IM and moved to No. 2 in the 100 breaststroke.

    SEC FEMALE CO-SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
    Christina Bechtel, Kentucky
    Jr. • Franklin, Tenn.

    Bechtel broke two school records, set two meet records and notched three NCAA ‘A’ or ‘B’ qualifying times in seven events Nov. 22-24 at the Ohio State Invitational. Competing against four teams, three of them ranked in top 14 nationally, Bechtel notched career best times in all individual events. The junior swam an NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 51.36 in the 100 butterfly, marking the best time in UK history. Her time of 1:54.21 in the 200 fly is the fastest in UK history by over four seconds and is the record time in the eight year history of the OSU Invite. Among SEC teams, Bechtel owns the two fastest times in the 100 fly and two of the top three fastest times in the 200 fly.  

    SEC FEMALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
    Laura Ryan, Georgia
    Sr. • Elk River, Minn.

    Ryan won the 3-meter springboard with 373.65 points and came in second on the 1-meter board (307.95 pts.) during action at the Auburn Invitational. The senior improved her Zone qualifying scores on both springboards during the invitational and placed fifth on platform, despite scratching her final dive, with 245.80 points.

    SEC FEMALE FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
    Olivia Smoliga, Georgia
    Glenview, Ill.

    In Georgia's victory in the Auburn Fall Invitational, Smoliga registered two individual wins and was on three victorious relays. She won the 100 backstroke in 51.97, an NCAA ‘A’ cut time, and claimed the 100 freestyle in 48.35. Smoliga ranks second and third in the SEC in those events, respectively. The Illinois native also took second in the 50 freestyle (22.19) and sixth in the 100 butterfly (54.12). She helped the 400 freestyle and 200 and 400 medley relays post wins. All three relay times are NCAA automatic qualifying marks.

    SEC MALE CO-SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
    Marcelo Chierighini, Auburn
    Sr. • Sao Paolo, Brazil

    Chierighini posted the nation’s best time in the 50 free (19.25) and 100 free (42.04) at the Auburn Invitational on Nov. 22-24. The senior was a part of five NCAA automatic qualifying events over the weekend and swam a 20.30 during the third leg of the 200 medley relay, helping Auburn to an ‘A’ cut mark in that event. Chierighini also helped the 200 free relay and 400 free relay teams to A cut finishes in 1:17.22 and 2:52.35, respectively.

    SEC MALE CO-SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
    Sebastien Rousseau, Florida
    R-Sr. • Cape Town, South Africa

    Rousseau swam two individual ‘A’ cuts, contributed to two relay ‘A’ cuts and set three meet records at the Ohio State Invite. He registered the nation’s top 200 butterfly in a meet record and NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 1:42.88. Rousseau also posted the nation’s second fastest 400 individual medley mark in a meet record time of 1:42.88. The South Africa native also led off the nation’s fastest 800 free relay and had the nation’s second best 200 free time of 1:34.19 in the process.

    SEC MALE DIVER OF THE WEEK
    Mauricio Robles, Tennessee
    R-So. • San Francisco, Mexico

    Robles took first-place honors in all three diving events during action at the Georgia Tech Invite over the weekend. He recorded season or career highs in all three events as well. The redshirt sophomore’s score of 387.85 on the 1 meter is a career best and the fourth-best six-dive score in UT history. He competed on platform for the first time in a year and ended the meet with a winning score of 380.30. Robles has won the 1 and 3-meter boards four times each this season.

    SEC MALE FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
    Joe Patching, Auburn
    Ascot, England

    Patching earned the first NCAA ‘A’ cut time of his career last weekend at the Auburn Invitational. He  posted the seventh-best 200 backstroke time in school history at 1:40.98 and won the 100 back in 46.77. Patching ranks second in the SEC in both events and third nationally in the 200 back. He also has a top-five NCAA finish in the 100 back. Patching led off the 200 (1:25.98) and 400 (1:40.98) medley relay teams and helped both squads to NCAA automatic qualify times. The freshman also turned in a season-best time of 1:46.77 in the 200 IM.