SEC Swimming and Diving Weekly Notebook (January 15, 2014)
The Alabama swimming and diving teams opened up the New Year with decisive wins over Southeastern Conference competition Saturday afternoon at the Alabama Aquatic Center. The Tide women beat Kentucky (152-110) and Arkansas (149-113) while the men downed the Wildcats (184-96). Alabama closes out its home schedule on Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. against Emory.
Arkansas is idle until Saturday, January 25, when it entertains Clemson and Rice in Fayetteville with a 12 p.m. CT start.
The Auburn swimming and diving team fell to No. 2/8 Texas on the road in its first action of 2014 last Thursday. The Tiger men were defeated 162.5-132.5 by the Longhorns, while the women dropped their first dual meet since the 2011-12 season, falling to Texas, 168.5-129.5. Senior Marcelo Chierighini and freshman Joe Patching led the Auburn men with a pair of individual wins against Texas as the Tigers swept both the 200 free and medley relays. Patching earned his second SEC Weekly Honor on Wednesday after begin named the league’s Co-Male Freshman of the Week. On the women’s side, Emily Bos picked up a victory in the 100 free and 100 back, while Auburn secured a win in the 200 free relay. Sarah Reynolds also provided a win in the 200 fly for Auburn’s women and a second-place finish in the 400 IM as the junior returned to compete in her home state. Auburn’s full squad returns to action on Jan. 25 as the Tigers travel to face Florida.
The third ranked Gator men and fifth ranked Gator women did not compete this past week. Florida send a nine-man split squad to Dallas, Texas compete in the two-day Class at SMU. The Florida women and the rest of the Gator men’s team will host Florida Atlantic on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Georgia's swimming and diving teams toured the Lone Star State last weekend, visiting Texas A&M and Texas. On Friday, the No. 4 Lady Bulldogs battled No. 2 A&M to a 150-150 tie. That is just the second tie in the history of Georgia’s program, which dates back to 1973. The 1982 Georgia-Tennessee meet finished 74-74. The meet came down to the final race: the 400 freestyle relay. Texas A&M won in 3:17.89 and Georgia was second in 3:18.74, giving the Aggies a 150-148 edge. The Lady Bulldogs’ B relay of Jessica Graber, Lauren Harrington, Jordan Mattern and Amber McDermott got home in 3:22.67 for a three-100ths of a second edge over A&M and the final critical two points of the meet. On Saturday, Georgia dispatched No. 8 Texas in Austin. The Lady Bulldogs are now 8-0-1 on the season. On the men's side, the No. 10 Bulldogs topped A&M 173-127 and fell to No. 2 Texas 169-126. The Bulldogs are now 7-2 on the season. Georgia's teams will be idle until Jan. 25 when they entertain Tennessee.
After over six weeks off from competition, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving team returned to action Saturday against Alabama and Arkansas. Against the two Southeastern Conference foes, the Wildcats registered eight wins and 10 second place finishes. Christina Bechtel and Abby Myers, both juniors, along with Kelly Berger, a freshman, each recorded a win and runner-up finishes. Bechtel finished second twice, while Berger placed second in the women’s 1650 freestyle. Myers tallied her first win of the season, with a 2:00.74 in the women’s 200 yard butterfly. Berger, a Northport, Ala., native, came away with the win in the women’s 500 yard freestyle and Bechtel won the women’s 100 yard butterfly by 0.01 seconds. Bechtel, who owns the school record in the event, finished in 54.72. Freshman Kendal Casey, junior Christa Cabot, seniors Greg Ferrucci, Blake Freeman and Lucas Gerotto also notched wins for UK. The Wildcats travel to in-state rival Louisville on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. ET. The meet comes a week before UK’s final home contest of the season, Feb. 1 against Cincinnati at the Lancaster Aquatics Center.
The LSU men’s swimming and diving team returned to action with a win against SMU Thursday, Jan. 9 at the LSU Natatorium. The Tigers were led by the freshmen Brandon Goldman and Elliot Dewlen who won a combined five events. Goldman posted wins in the 200 butterfly (1:49.95), 200 backstroke (1:48.34) and 200 IM (1:51.10). Goldman’s times were season highs. Dewlen touched the wall first in the 1000 freestyle (9:25.05) and 500 freestyle (4:34.73). Junior Frank Greeff also earned two victories on the day in the 200 freestyle (1:39.22) and 100 butterfly (49.58). The LSU men and women then competed against Oklahoma Baptist in the LSU Relays. LSU Divers Sean McKinney on 3-meter (425.70) and Alex Bettridge on 1-meter (336.07) broke the school records. The men and women relay teams also won 14 out of 16 events on the day. The entire squad competes in the final dual meet of the season Saturday, Jan. 18 at the LSU Natatorium against Texas A&M.
Missouri returned to the pool on Jan. 11 with a double dual against Tennessee and Virginia Tech. The women earned a split with a 163-137 win over Virginia Tech and a 192.5-106.5 loss to No. 15 Tennessee, while the men fell to No. 15 Virginia Tech (164-136) and Tennessee (175-125). Juniors Danielle Barbiea and Loren Figueroa each won two events for the women, with Barbiea taking the 50 free and 100 fly races and Figueroa sweeping the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards. On the men’s side, junior Sam Tierney took both the 100 and 200 breast events, while senior David Bonuchi claimed first on the 3-meter.
In their first meet in 49 days, both the South Carolina men's and women's swimming and diving teams came away with convincing wins over Duke on Saturday afternoon at the Carolina Natatorium. The Gamecock men claimed their win with a score of 184-116, while the women won 167-133. Carolina won 19 of 32 events on the day and finished 1-2-3 in five events (men's 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 500 freestyle; women's 200 butterfly and 500 freestyle) and claimed at least the top two spots in 12 races. The men were led by redshirt senior Michael Flach who picked up three wins. Sophomore Marwan El Kamash and redshirt freshman Kevin Leithold each chipped in with two wins. The women got three wins from junior Victoria Mitchell, while sophomore Lauren Lamendola took two wins with a sweep in the diving events.
The Tennessee swimming and diving team return to dual meet action Saturday with a home contest against Missouri and Virginia Tech. The The men (5-2, 3-0 SEC) beat No. 7 Missouri 164-136 and No. 15 Virginia Tech 169-131. The women (7-0, 3-0) were victorious over No. 21 Missouri 192.5-106.5 and Virginia Tech 192-108. Lindsay Gendron led the UT women with individual wins in the 200 freestyle and the 200 IM and also picked up a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly. Sean Lehane and Luke Percy with both multi-race winners for UT. Lehane swept the 100 and 200 backstroke once again and Percy enjoyed his first career two-win day in the 50 free and 100 free. In a highly competitive diving field, Mauricio Robles won the 1-meter springboard with a score of 354.35. Tennessee returns to action Jan. 25 with a road meet at Georgia.
The Texas A&M women return to action on Thursday when they host to Houston at 3:30 p.m. CT in College Station, while both Aggie teams are in action on Saturday, traveling to LSU.
Vanderbilt returns to competition on Saturday, January 18, when it plays host to Liberty and West Florida at 1 p.m. CT in Nashville.