SEC Swimming and Diving Weekly Notebook (January 28, 2014)
The Alabama men's and women's swimming and diving teams earned easy victories over Emory on Senior Day in the Alabama Aquatic Center Saturday, with the Crimson Tide men winning 15 of 16 events while the UA women won 13 of 16 events on the day. Alabama's women won their meet 178-110 while the men won 196-92. In addition to being Senior Day, Saturday was also the Tide's Power of Pink meet, which is part of the Alabama Athletics Department's breast cancer awareness initiative. On the women's side of things, senior Paige McCleary went out without a splash, closing out her home career by breaking both the school record off both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards. She scored 377.70 to break Carrie Dragland's 2012 3-meter mark and she posted a 325.88 to break Lane Bassham's 2004 record. Alabama closes out the regular season in Athens, Ga., site of the 2014 SEC Championships, against Georgia on Saturday, at 11 a.m. ET.
The Razorback swimming and diving team (7-1, 2-1 SEC) defeated Rice 207-86 and Clemson 230-19 in a double-dual meet at the Arkansas Natatorium on Jan. 25. The meet was highlighted by Razorback wins in 14 events, including the first NCAA zone qualification scores for two Arkansas divers. Junior Meghan Clark (Frisco, Texas) won the three-meter diving event with a score of 297.90. Sophomore Hannah Bortnick (Mission Hills, Kan.) placed second with a score of 291.68. The Razorbacks will return to the Arkansas Natatorium on Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. to host Kansas and Vanderbilt in a double-dual meet. The meet will be the last home meet of the season and will serve as Senior Day. A special presentation of the seniors will preface the races. Admission is free.
Auburn competed in its final road dual meet last Saturday at Florida as the Tigers fell in both contests to the Gators. Marcelo Chierighini paced Auburn with wins in the 50 free (19.71) and 100 free (43.81), while Joe Patching (1:43.81) earned his fourth victory of the year in 200 back. On the women’s side, senior Emily Bos and junior Megan Fonteno recorded individual wins for the Tigers, while Auburn won the women’s 200 medley relay over the Gators. Fonteno’s victory in the 100 fly (54.94) was her first of the year in that event, while Bos went 49.55 in the 100 free. John Santeiu IV swept the diving events on the men’s side, posting a score of 342.00 as the Tigers finished 1-2-3 on the 1-meter springboard. In the 3-meter competition, Santeiu provided the Tigers with another first-place showing with a 375.90, while teammate Fraser McKean took second at 359.79. The Tigers wrap up their regular season schedule on Saturday, Feb. 1 as Auburn hosts South Carolina for Senior Day at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
The second ranked Florida men and eighth ranked Florida women relied on the 2014 senior class to sweep Auburn’s No. 10 men and No. 12 women at the O’Connell Center on Saturday. Florida returns to action next weekend as the Gators head to Knoxville, Tenn., for the season ending dual against Tennessee.
Georgia swept SEC rival Tennessee last Saturday at Gabrielsen Natatorium. The No. 3 Lady Bulldogs topped the No. 15 Lady Volunteers 177.5-114.5, improving their season record to 9-0-1 (4-0-1 SEC). The No. 12 Bulldogs defeated the No. 18 Volunteers 161.5-135.5 and now sit with an 8-2 overall mark with a 4-1 record in the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs extended their all-sports home win streak to 88 consecutive dual-meet victories. The record dates back to 1996 and accounts for dual meets won in Gabrielsen Natatorium. The Georgia swimmers and divers will return to action on Saturday at 11 a.m. to face Alabama on Senior Day.
University of Kentucky divers claimed the top two scores in all four events, including three events where the Wildcats swept the field, as UK suffered a defeat at No. 7/13 Louisville Saturday afternoon. Wins in three of the first four events for the women gave UK a lead early over the 13th-ranked Cardinal, and helped set up a closely-scored meet halfway through the competition. The Wildcats were unable to hang on for the upset and lost 193-107. The men fell by a final score of 212.5-87.5 to the Cardinals, ranked seventh nationally. Junior Christa Cabot won both the 1- and 3-meter dive, while fellow junior Lindsay Keahey placed second in both events to round out UK’s scoring. On the men’s side, seniors Greg Ferrucci and John Fox won the 1- and 3-meter, respectively. Fox placed second in the 1-meter, while senior Zack Peterson was second in the 3-meter. The Wildcats also claimed third and fourth place in the 1-meter to sweep the competition. Along with four diving wins, freshman Kelly Berger won the 1,000 yard freestyle and senior Kristen Wilson claimed victory in the 200 yard freestyle. Berger added a second-place finish, while Wilson finished third in three additional races. The Wildcats host their final home contest of the season, Feb. 1 at 12 p.m. ET against Cincinnati at the Lancaster Aquatics Center. The senior day meet marks the end of the regular season for Kentucky before the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Championship competitions.
The LSU swimming and diving teams took off from competition this week. The Lady Tigers travel to Houston, Texas for a quad meet Jan. 31-Feb. 1 against Rice, Tulane and Houston.
The Mizzou men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams earned a sweep over Drury on Saturday to close out dual meet action. The men posted a 149-92 win over Drury, while the women prevailed 121-118. Tigers David Bonuchi (1-meter and 3-meter), Eegan Groome (500 and 1000 free), Anna Patterson (50 free and 100 fly), Andrew Phillips (200 free and 200 fly) and Sam Tierney (100 back and 200 breast) all claimed two event wins on the day. Missouri next competes in the two-day Tiger Invite Friday-Saturday at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
With the senior class competing for the final time at home, it was a bittersweet ending to for the group as the finished off their careers at Carolina Natatorium with a pair of sweeps over Queens and Wingate. The men defeated Wingate 187-130 and Queens 176-141, while the women won 182-129 over Wingate and 172-136 over Queens. The two teams combined to post the top time in in 27 events during the two-day meet. The Gamecocks depth shined as they collected eight total 1-2-3 finishes for the weekend. Carolina also had at least 18 1-2 finishes. Individually, Kevin Leithold led Carolina on the weekend with five total wins, with three coming from relays. Elizabeth Maltby (500 and 1,000 free), Elise Weisert (100 and 200 breaststroke) and Taylor Vincent (50 and 100 free) each led the women in individual wins as each picked up two.
The Tennessee swimming and diving program wrapped up their final road dual meet of the season in a loss to Georgia. Among the bright spots on the men's side was a trio of two-event winners for Tennessee: Sean Lehane (100 backstroke, 200 backstroke), Luke Percy (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and Mauricio Robles (1-meter board, 3-meter board). In the women's competition, Molly Hannis won the 200 breaststroke after finishing second in the 100 breaststroke. Lauren Solernou also had her best day of the season, clocking an NCAA B-cut time in the 100 backstroke and swimming on the A medley relay team. UT hosts Florida on Saturday for senior day at 10 a.m.
The Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team ended its regular season with a win on the road in Dallas. The 143-100 win over SMU brought the Aggies to a final record of 2-3. After a close loss to LSU last week, the men’s squad came ready to win, taking 10 first place finishes out of 13 total events including wins in both relays. The next step for the Aggies is the Air Force Academy Diving Invitational in Colorado Springs, Co. on January 30. The full team will compete next at the Southeastern Conference Championship in Athens, Ga., February 18-22.
The Vanderbilt swim team wrapped up action at Western Kentucky, Saturday, winning two out of the three head-to-head match ups. The Commodores defeated Marshall and Cumberland, and fell to the WKU. Vanderbilt won three of the first five events on Saturday, starting with a first place finish in the 400-yard medley relay team. Chrissy Oberg, Elly Faulkner, Kayla Moran and Hannah Martin touched the wall with a time of 3:53.05, just .4 seconds ahead of WKU's A team. Freshmen Alexandra Blankenburg and Moran each picked up individual wins over the next four events. Blankenburg took first in the 400 IM with a time of 4:31.05, more than five seconds faster than the second place finisher. Moran took first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.10. Vanderbilt will be back in action next weekend, with two consecutive meets on Friday and Saturday. The `Dores take on Arkansas-Little Rock Friday evening before heading to the University of Arkansas on Saturday for a tri-meet with the Razorbacks and the Kansas Jayhawks.