The women of Texas A&M took on the Miami Hurricanes, along with the Incarnate Word Cardinals, in a double-dual that was all-Aggies yesterday in College Station. The Aggies came away with the win in both meets, winning against Miami in a score of 162.5 to 128.5 and against Incarnate Ward in a score of 199-93. The story was the same on the men’s side, as Texas A&M men competed against the Incarnate Word men and commanded the meet from start to finish, resulting in a score of 174-114.
Surprisingly, in the midst of the Texas A&M win, the Aggies only had one double winner on the day in the form of junior Sarah Gibson. Gibson won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:49.19 and followed that up with a 500 freestyle victory in a time of 4:53.85.
The Aggies’ star Beryl Gastaldello was held to just two individual events with one of those being an exhibition 200 backstroke and the other being the 50 freestyle, an event she won in a time of 22.84, now the NCAA’s 10th fastest of 2015. In her absence, Miami’s weapon, Angela Algee, took charge of both butterfly events. Algee registered a winning time of 2:02.16 in the 200 and a to-the-wall-first time of 54.85 in the 100, highlighting the Aggies’ need for depth in the event. With Gastaldello absent, the highest 100 fly finisher for the 12th man was Laura Norman’s 56.21.
The Aggie women were able to step it up, however, in the 100 breaststroke race, where Sycerika McMahon topped the field in a winning time of 1:01.48. She was followed by teammate Jorie Caneta who touched in 1:02.70 to give Texas A & M a 1-2 finish. That bodes well for the Aggies, seeing how their top breaststroker, Ashley McGregor is delaying her senior season in favor of training solely for the Olympics.
Colleen Konetzke and Caitlynn Moon formed another pair of Aggies who packed a 1-2 punch, touching first and second in the 1000 freestyle. Konetzke’s time of 16:58.72 logged the only sub-17-minute swim of the morning, while Moon scored a mark of 17:14.02.
Lisa Bratton nabbed an NCAA top 20 time in the 100 backstroke with her time of 54.44 and was followed by Miami’s Christina Leander, a former NCAA qualifier who transferred from Tennessee, who clocked a time of 55.93. Leander also logged a runner-up result in the 200 backstroke, touching in 2:02.27 to Aggie Claire Brandt’s 1:58.36.
An off-the-record battle ensued between two Aggies, Bethany Galat and Meredith Oliver, both of whom exhibitioned the 200 IM event. Galat ultimately snagged the in a time of 2:03.23, while Oliver finished in 2:03.91. Relatively even after butterfly portion, Galat made her move during the breaststroke leg, out-splitting Oliver 35.11 to 36.93.
Another exhibition race not to be overlooked was the Aggie 200 freestyle relay, where the foursome of Claire Brandt (24.08), Katherine Huff (24.79), Kristin Malone (22.20) and Lexie Lupton (22.84) stepped it up to register a time of 1:33.91.
With their win today, the Aggie men improve their record to 2-0 on their young season, but it’s been several years since the squad from College Station has looked this good this early. Winning 15 of the 16 events on the day’s meet, four Aggies would end up winning 2 individual events over the course of the competition.
Mateo Muzek got the job down in two freestyle events, the 200 and 500, where he won in times of 1:40.67 and 4:32.69, respectively, a confidence-building feat for the freshman. Teammate junior Jacob Gonzales impressed in the sprinting events, winning the 50 free in a mark of 20.33, just over a tenth off of the “B” standard, as well as the 100 in a mark of 45.70.
Brock Bonetti doubled down on the backstroke races, winning the 100 in a time of 48.48 and the 200 in a time of 1:46.59, legitimizing him as a bona fide star, much in the way Amini Fonua was when he won the 100 breaststroke Big 12 title in 2012. Mateo Gonzalez also scored a pair of wins, taking the men’s 200 fly (1:49.32) and 200 IM events (1:50.33, although it was exhibition).
The lone winner on the Incarnate Word’s men’s squad came in the form of Kyrylo Shvets, whose 1650 freestyle time of 15:50.70 just sneaked by Texas A&M’s Gonzalo Carazo Barbero’s time of 15:50.74 by .04 of a second.
Of note, Miami and Texas A & M house two of the top diving squads in the nation and it showed in yesterday’s scoring. Sam Thornton scored 375.20 in the men’s 1 meter for the win, while Carolyn Chaney from Miami registered the win for the women in 311.80. The 3 meter for women was won by Aggie Madison Hudkins in 362.35, while the men’s 3 meter also saw an Aggie win, with Tyler Henschel finishing in a remarkable 386.50.