SEC Swimming and Diving Weekly Notebook (February 5, 2014)
Alabama swimming and diving's last meet of the regular season was a coming out party for freshman Kristian Gkolomeev, who joined the Crimson Tide in January for the spring semester. Gkolomeev won both the 50 and 100 freestyles at Georgia in the first road meet of his Alabama career. As a team, the Alabama men fell to the Bulldogs 164.5-116.5 while the Tide women lost 181-102 in Athena, Ga. during Georgia's Senior Day. Gkolomeev posted a time of 20.02 to win the 50 freestyle, which ranks him sixth all-time at Alabama in the 50 just three meets into his Alabama career. His time was more than a quarter of a second faster than the rest of the field. The rookie from Athens, Greece then came back and won the 100 freestyle with a 45.08, again more than a quarter of a second ahead of the field. The Tide men also picked up wins off the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events when freshman Brent Sagert posted a 341.48 off the 1-meter to finish more than a dozen points better than his nearest competitor before coming back and winning the 3-meter with a 345.90. On the women's side of the meet, Alabama was led by junior Kristel Vourna who won the 100 butterfly with a 54.69. With the regular season behind them, Alabama opens the postseason with the Southeastern Conference Championships Feb. 18-22 back in Athens, Ga.
The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team (9-1, 3-1 SEC) swept Kansas and Vanderbilt at the Arkansas Natatorium during Saturday’s meet, which also served as Senior Day. Arkansas defeated Kansas 207-91 and Arkansas defeated Vanderbilt 203-83, with Razorbacks winning 14 of 16 events. Arkansas posted two additional NCAA zone-qualifying scores in diving with a win on the one-meter springboard by senior Kesha Naylor and a win on the three-meter springboard by sophomore Hannah Bortnick. On the swimming side, the team earned two NCAA ‘B’ cuts in the 100-yard breaststroke by junior Nikki Daniels and in the 200 individual medley by junior Susanna White. On Feb. 8-9, select Razorback swimmers will represent Arkansas at the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va.
Auburn swept South Carolina in its last dual meet of the regular season Saturday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Auburn’s men downed the Gamecocks, 170-124, while the women defeated South Carolina, 177-118. Auburn’s men and women both collected 12 wins on Saturday. Auburn’s senior class added wins throughout the day as Zane Grothe took the men’s 500 freestyle, while Emily Bos swam the 200 back for the first time since 2010 and picked up the victory. James Disney-May collected a first-place finish in the men’s 50 free at 19.87. The men and women both won 12 of the 16 events on Saturday. Joe Patching was a double winner for the Auburn men. The freshman took the 100 back and 200 IM with times of 48.35 and 1:49.94. Auburn’s freshman combined to earn seven individual wins on the day in eight events, respectively. On the women’s side, freshman Allyx Purcell returned to her winning ways by sweeping the women’s 50 and 100 free with times of 22.61 and 49.85, respectively.
The second ranked Florida men (8-0, 5-0 SEC) completed a perfect dual meet season for the third consecutive season with a 179-121 win over No. 18 Tennessee on Senior Day for the Volunteers. The eighth ranked Florida women (5-3, 3-2 SEC) dropped a nail biter to No. 12 Tennessee. Florida men dominated the meet with wins in 10 of the 16 events. The Gators were led by senior and the only UF men’s two individual event winner Brad deBorde. deBorde swept the sprint events and led off the first place 400 freestyle relay. The Gator women only tallied five event wins, but showed enough depth to take a five-point lead into the final event. The Volunteers captured the 400 free relay and also took third in the event to win the meet by a mere four points, the second smallest margin of victory possible in the dual format. Florida’s distance group was one of the highlights of the meet for both UF teams. The women swept the 1000 free with a 1-2-3 finish behind senior Alicia Mathieu’s 9:51.75 and freshmen Autumn Finke and Danielle Valley. The men matched the women with a 1-2-3 finish. Finke’s swim of 9:52.27 was a career low. Sophomore Arthur Frayler won the race in 9:06.52 and was followed to the wall by junior Carlos Omana and redshirt sophomore Austin Manganiello.
In Georgia's final dual meet of the season, the swimming and diving teams swept Alabama and honored the 11 seniors on Saturday. The No. 12 Bulldogs (9-2) defeated the Crimson Tide and the No. 2 Lady Bulldogs (10-0-1) topped the No. 23 Alabama women 181-102. The Lady Bulldogs accomplished their third 10-win season in the last four years. They also extended their Georgia all-sports home win streak to 89 consecutive dual meet victories in Gabrielsen Natatorium. The record dates back to 1996. Georgia will return to action in the 2014 SEC Championships on Feb. 18-22. Georgia will host the event in Gabrielsen Natatorium.
The University of Kentucky swimming and diving teams closed out the 2014 home slate of meets with a bang on Saturday afternoon, winning 26 of the 32 events held, as the Wildcats overall defeated the University of Cincinnati Bearcats 400-186. The UK men defeated the Bearcats 213-80, with the Wildcats also coming out on the winning side for the women, collecting a 186-106 win. In the pool, Kentucky dominated from start to finish, winning 26 of the 32 events contested, including each of the first 16. Saturday marked Kentucky's final meet before heading to Athens, Ga., for the 2014 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. The University of Georgia will host the event, with the championships scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 18 running through Feb. 22.
The LSU women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Houston, Texas for its final regular season meet of the season. LSU defeated Houston, Tulane and Rice in the University of Houston quad meet. Lady Tiger divers swept the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events. Alex Bettridge took first on 1-meter with a score of 308.50. Cassie Weil then finished in first place on 3-meter with a score of 331.50. Bettridge also followed in second place. On the swimming side, junior Amber Carter took victories in the 100 fly and 50 free. Carter also set a career high in the 100 fly. Freshman Kara Kopcso also continued her tremendous season with three wins over the weekend. Kopcso now has 11 total individual wins on the year. Other key contributors were Hallie Petersohn in the 1000 free, Katlin Sepp in the 100 backstroke, Stacey Stanfield in the 500 free, and Megan Cox in the 200 fly. The LSU swimming and diving teams begin the championship season when they travel to Athens, Ga. for SEC Championships Feb. 18-22.
The Mizzou men's and women's swimming team competed at the two-day Tiger Invite last weekend. During the meet, 12 different Tigers combined to win 16 individual events. Sophomore Anna Patterson led the way with wins in the women's 50 free, 100 free (in career best 49.12) and 100 fly. On the men's side, senior Logan Mosley (50 free and 100 fly) and junior Sam Tierney (100 back and 200 breast) each claimed two event wins.
The Gamecock men fell to No. 10 Auburn by the score of 170-124, wrapping up the regular season at 6-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. On the women's side, Carolina lost to No. 15 Auburn, 177-118, to finish the year at 4-4 and 0-3 in the conference. South Carolina finished the day with eight wins, with six coming in the pool and two on the boards. Sophomore Marwan El Kamash led the way for the Gamecock men as he touched first in the 1,000 freestyle with a mark of 9:25.04 and finished second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:30.87. In the women's events, junior Victoria Mitchell had a solid day to pace the Gamecocks. She claimed first in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:57.20 and finished runner-up in the 1,000 freestyle with a personal record of 10:01.26, which is the sixth fastest time in school history.
The Tennessee swimming and diving program wrapped up the regular season with a split against Florida at home. The UT women (7-1, 4-1 SEC) defeated eighth-ranked Florida for the second time in program history, and the second time in the last three years. The men (5-3, 3-2) lost to the No. 2 Gators. Lindsay Gendron led the way for Tennessee on her senior day. She won the 200 freestyle, the 500 freestyle and the 100 butterfly, in addition to swimming the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle to clinch the victory. Senior Sam Rairden was part of two winning performances in his final home meet, taking first in the 100 backstroke and swimming the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay. Mauricio Robles swept both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards, posting a season best score of 407.70 on the 3-meter board. The UT squad honored its 11 seniors prior to the meet and now sets its sites on the SEC Championships.
The Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team ended its regular season Saturday with a 153-97 victory over North Texas at the A&M Recreation Natatorium. The Aggies finish the season unbeaten with a final record of 8-0-1 as they prepare to move on to the Southeastern Conference Championships. The squad of seven seniors who swam their final meet at A&M made the most of it taking 6 individual wins and contributing to both relays victories. Overall the women’s squad won 14 of 14 events, sweeping 1-2-3 in 11 events. The team will have two weeks to rest and prepare for the SEC Championships, which will be held in Athens, Ga. from February 18-22. The Aggies finished runner-up in the SEC last season when they hosted the championship meet.
The Vanderbilt swim team wrapped up its season this past weekend with meets on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the Commodores took down Arkansas-Little Rock, 120-54 before falling to both Arkansas and Kansas on Saturday in Fayetteville. Numerous season-bests were set over the weekend including both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle times for Caroline Thomas. Kathryn Babbin also set a career best time in the 1000 free with a time of 10:30.18. Vanderbilt finished the regular season with a 5-7 overall record, including 0-3 against conference opponents.