By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
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ATHENS, Ga. – The Auburn men and Georgia women lead the 2014 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships following the opening day of the event on Tuesday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.
The Georgia women swept each of the three events contested on Tuesday and lead the overall team scoring with 187 points. Tennessee is second with 153 points, while Florida is third with 139.
Auburn leads the men’s team race with 192 total points, while Texas A&M is second with 142. Florida, which swept the relay events on Tuesday, is third with 139.
Georgia’s Ann-Perry Blank became the first athlete in school history to capture the women’s 1-meter diving championship, winning the 2014 crown with a score of 325.50. Missouri’s Lauren Reedy was second with a 322.50, while Georgia’s Laura Ryan was third with a 320.50.
The Georgia quartet of Olivia Smoliga, Melanie Margalis, Lauren Harrington and Chantal Van Landeghem took home the women’s 200-yard medley relay in a school record time of 1:35.52. It was the first title for Georgia in that event since 2006. Tennessee placed second in 1:35.81, while Florida was third in 1:36.20.
Florida used a school-record and nation-leading time to claim the men’s 200-yard medley relay in 1:24.53. The Gators’ quartet consisted of Christian-Paul Homer, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak and Brad deBorde, giving Florida its first SEC championship in that event since 2011. Georgia was second in a school-record time of 1:24.73, while Alabama and Tennessee tied for third in 1:24.84.
Texas A&M diver Ford McLiney claimed the men’s 3-meter diving championship with a score of 424.95, to give the Aggie men their first-ever SEC title. Mauricio Robles of Tennessee was second with a score of 418.10, while Missouri’s David Bonuchi was third at 416.45.
Georgia won its fifth consecutive SEC championship in the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay, doing so in a time of 6:53.04 with the quartet of Shannon Vreeland, Amber McDermott, Melanie Margalis and Brittany MacLean. Texas A&M was second in 6:58.80, while Florida was third in 7:00.05. LSU also set a program record in the event finishing eighth in 7:11.39.
Florida broke its own SEC meet record from 2011 en route to winning the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay in a time of 6:13.03. The foursome of Corey Main, Sebastien Rousseau, Cieslak and Dan Wallace bested the previous SEC meet record of 6:13.74. It was the second consecutive title for the Gators in that event. Auburn was second in a school-record time of 6:17.36, while Tennessee was third in 6:19.71.
Day two of the 2014 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships begins on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET with the prelims and 6 p.m. ET with the finals. Wednesday’s final events will be streamed live at GeorgiaDogs.com.
For all of the latest information on SEC Swimming and Diving, please log on to www.SECDigitalNetwork.com.
2014 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships: Day One (February 18, 2014 – Athens, Ga.)
Tuesday Finals Results
Men’s Team Results (through 3 events): 1. Auburn 192; 2. Texas A&M 142; 3. Florida 139; 4. Tennessee 135; 5. South Carolina 131; 6. Kentucky 130; T7. Georgia 124; T7. Missouri 124; 9. Alabama 115; 10. LSU 107.
Women’s Team Results (through 3 events): 1. Georgia 187; 2. Tennessee 153; 3. Florida 139; 4. Texas A&M 135; 5. LSU 128; 6. Missouri 127; T7. Alabama 117; T7. Kentucky 117; 9. Arkansas 108; 10 Auburn 80; 11. South Carolina 77; 12. Vanderbilt 64.
Women’s 1-Meter Diving
1. Ann-Perry Blank, UG (325.50); 2. Lauren Reedy, MU (322.50); 3. Laura Ryan, UG (320.50); 4. Christa Cabot, UK (316.20); 5. Tori Lamp, UT (315.90); 6. Alex Bettridge, LS (314.80); 7. Madison Hudkins, AM (303.30); 8. Kahlia Warner, UF (293.25).
Women’s 200 Medley Relay
1. Georgia (1:35.52) – Smoglia, Margalis, Harrington, Van Landeghem; 2. Tennessee (1:35.81) – Solernou, Hannis, Bruens, Johnson; 3. Florida (1:36.20) – Russell, Luthersdottir, Zalewski, Hinds; 4. Texas A&M (1:36.40) – Benjamin, Larson, Miller, Bosma; 5. Alabama (1:37.24) – Kinsey, Burchell, Vourna, Panian; 6. LSU (1:37.34) – Oquist, Bussey, Carter, Troskot; 7. Missouri (1:37.56) – Doucette, Ross, Barbiea, Patterson; 8. Arkansas (1:38.49) – Mayfield, Daniels, White, Drolc); 9. Kentucky (1:39.42) – Bechtel, Crew, Myers, Wilson; 10. Vanderbilt (1:42.07) – Oberg, Coughlin, Moran, Thomas; 11. South Carolina (1:42.23) – Pierce, Rutqvist, Bixler, Elliott; --. Auburn (DQ) – Bos, Lloyd, Fonteno, Purcell.
Men’s 200 Medley Relay
1. Florida (1:24.53) – Homer, Solache-Gomez, Cieslak, deBorde; 2. Georgia (1:24.73) – Dale, Fink, Reynolds, Trice; T3. Alabama (1:24.84) – Oslin, McKee, Walsh, Caciuc; T3. Tennessee (1:24.84) – Rairden, Prono, Hetland, Percy; 5. Auburn (1:24.90) – Patching, Duderstadt, Chierighini, Disney-May; 6. Kentucky (1:25.43) – Gerotto, Greenhalgh, Bruck, Lott; 7. Missouri (1:25.55) – Tierney, Conroy, Mosley, Chadwick; 8. Texas A&M (1:26.12) – Theocharidis, Burley, Lindau, Troskot; 9. South Carolina (1:26.13) – Warner, Leithold, Flach, Lethander; 10. LSU (1:27.17) – Young, Rooker, Greeff, Gonzalez; 11.
Men’s 3-Meter Diving
1. Ford McLiney, AM (424.95); 2. Mauricio Robles, UT (418.10); 3. David Bonuchi, MU (416.45); 4. Greg Ferrucci, UK (412.60); 5. Fraser McKean, AU (389.65); 6. John Santeiu, AU (362.55); 7. Cole Miller, SC (360.50); 8. John Fox, UK (343.45).
Women’s 800-Freestyle Relay
1. Georgia (6:53.04) – Vreeland, McDermott, Margalis, MacLean; 2. Texas A&M (6:58.80) – Ibanez Lopez, Oliver, Benjamin, Henry; 3. Florida (7:00.05) – Zalewski, Beisel, McKnight, Russell; 4. Tennessee (7:03.70) – Johnson, Bruens, Griffith, Gendron; 5. Arkansas (7:08.61) – Mayfield, Stoehr, Jordan, Menzel; 6. Auburn (7:10.57) – Merritt, Krakoski, Vitarius, Fonteno; 7. Kentucky (7:10.59) – Wilson, Casey, Myers, Galyer; 8. LSU (7:11.39) – Stirratt, Cox, Kopcso, Weber; 9. Missouri (7:16.07) – Patterson, Hammond, Spivak, Suek; 10. South Carolina (7:17.35) – Mitchell, Brown, Ferguson, Galbreath; 11. Alabama (7:17.44) – Saunders, Gilbert, Burchell, MacDonald; 12. Vanderbilt (7:21.94) – Bencic, Faulkner, Torres, Martin.
Men’s 800-Freestyle Relay
1. Florida (6:13.03) – Main, Rousseau, Cieslak, Wallace; 2. Auburn (6:17.36) – Disney-May, Grothe, Darmody, Mendes; 3. Tennessee (6:19.71) – Rairden, Aberg Lejdstrom, Slater, Lehane; 4. Georgia (6:20.26) – Koski, Kalisz, Hill, Cohen; 5. South Carolina (6:20.59) – El Kamash, Leithold, Flach, Rodriguez; 6. Texas A&M (6:21.20) – Schweitzer, Shaw, Muzek, Funk; 7. Alabama (6:24.77) – Hornikel, Wellford, Oslin, Deaton; 8. Missouri (6:28.09) – Chadwick, Phillips, Glogoza, Groome; 9. LSU (6:28.48) – Greeff, Linge, Rysemus, Swietlicki; 10. Kentucky (6:30.61) – Heidler, Crosthwaite, Gerotto, Grimmett-Norris.
SEC Swimming Championships – Day One Quotes
Men’s Overall Leader - Auburn
Auburn Head Coach Brett Hawke
“We were one bad turn from a great night. Marcelo (Chierighini) slipped on the wall on the fly, it was just a mental error. The rest of the guys swam really well, especially with the 800 free relay setting the school record at the end. It was a really strong performance that gives us some momentum back for the morning.”
Diving did an outstanding job today and they’ve been working hard all year. It’s good to see them get rewarded for that. It gives us a buffer heading into tomorrow morning.”
“The women were solid and they set themselves up for tomorrow. We’ve got to come back stronger tomorrow and I’m sure they will.”
Women’s Overall Leader – Georgia
Assistant Coach Stefanie Williams
“It definitely was electric and I think both men’s and women’s swimming and diving did a phenomenal job to kick off the SECs 2014.”
“I’m pretty excited. This is what we train for. I think for our relay’s to step up and do a phenomenal job and our divers with AP (Blank) and Laura (Ryan) going one and three it’s pretty remarkable.”
Winner Women’s 1 Meter Diving – Ann-Perry Blank (Georgia)
"I didn't come into the meet expecting this at all. I was just really happy to make finals. I thought that was awesome. So coming into finals, I told myself to just have fun and dive. It happened to work in my favor. This is not like anything I've ever experienced before. I'm really excited about it."
Diving Coach Dan Laak
"Ann-Perry was solid. She's been great all year long. She stepped it up and took care of business tonight. She was only four points from her highest score ever. But I'm super excited for Ann-Perry. She worked really hard this year and deserved to win. Having two on the awards stand is pretty special. I just love having these girls on the team."
Winner Men’s 3 Meter Diving – Ford McLiney (Texas A&M)
“This is a huge surprise and I don’t think it’s hit me yet. To be honest, this was a complete shock. I was expecting third…everyone else was hitting 8’s, but like (coach) Jay (Lerew) says, I just took it one dive at a time and it paid off. The gainer twister is my best dive so Jay likes for me to save it for last. To be the first SEC Champion for the men’s team is a huge honor and I’m happy I was able to do that for Texas A&M.”
Winner Women’s 200 Medley and 800 Free Relays – Georgia
Lauren Harrington (member of 200 Medley Relay)
"We've come a long way from last year. That used to be our relay that people would poke fun at. But with these awesome new underclassmen stepping up to the plate, it's cool to see what we can do."
Shannon Vreeland (member of 800 Free Relay)
"Right before the race, Harvey [Humphries] came up to us and said, "Just remember this race is our baby." We love the 800 free relay. We love 200 freestyles. It's always really fierce competition for who gets on the relay. But we know that no matter who gets on the relay, it's going to be fast. So whoever is on the relay wants to go out there and swim as fast we can. I think we had some really outstanding swims today.
Winner Men’s 200 Medley and 800 Free Relays – Florida
Head Coach Gregg Troy
“Really good start to this evening’s meet. Anytime we can swim four relays like that and break school records with the fastest times in the country, we’re pleased with the evening. Marcin Cieslak and Brad deBorde kind of set the tone this evening on the men’s medley relay. They just refused to lose. We were a little sloppy on the start and got behind, but they swam in rough water and got us back. They refused to lose that race. It set the tempo for everyone.”