Another Busy Schedule For The SEC (Nov. 7-8)

by Jeff Gonder 1

November 06th, 2014 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC

Last week. This week. The SEC is busy. The conference sees almost all of its team in race action this Friday and Saturday except Auburn, Alabama and Tennessee, who all take deserving breaks from competition after big meets and honors.

Auburn Can Enjoy Win And Honors Before Next Contest

An SEC tri-meet win plus honors in and out of the pool made last week a great one for Auburn, as the they take a break from competition before traveling to Knoxville, Tenn. on Nov. 14 to face Tennessee and Louisville in another tri-meet.

Tigers and Patching Deliver SEC Win
Auburn swept Alabama and LSU on Saturday in Tuscaloosa with a strong team performance. Read the full recap here.

Joe Patching’s contributions were recognized on Tuesday with SEC Male Swimmer of the Week honors for the heavy lifting he did on Saturday. Patching, who is undefeated this season, earned NCAA ‘B’ cuts on his way to individual wins in the 200-yard back (1:45.32), 200-yard free (1:37.91), and the 400-yard individual medley (3:53.04). For good measure, he collected another ‘B’ cut in the 100-yard back (47.94) to spark the Tigers to a win in the 400-yard medley relay.

Auburn Alumni Claim Texas Titles
Auburn alumni Adam Brown and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace showed the world, at least for a day, that the fastest man and woman in Texas are ones that visit the Lone Star State, when they won their respective titles at the 3rd annual Fastest Man and Woman in Texas meet in San Antonio last Saturday. Read the full report here.

Out of the pool and into the classroom, former Auburn swimming captain TJ Leon has been named a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. He will interview in Birmingham, Ala. in November for one of 32 spots awarded to American students. Read the full report here.

Alabama Has Eye on H2Okie Fall Invitational

Alabama is out of competition for a few weeks after a close battle in their own barn on Saturday, losing to Auburn and splitting wins with LSU. The Crimson Tide’s next test is at Virginia Tech’s three-day H2OKie Fall Invitational at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center on Nov. 20, 21 and 22.

The Tide went into last Saturday’s meet against Auburn and LSU wanting to improve on their last result against Auburn, when they lost 32 of 34 events against their state rivals.

“One of the things we’re focused on is closing the gap with teams that are at the top,” Tide head coach Dennis Pursley said in a story posted on the team’s website. “We swam hard today and we definitely showed that we’re making up ground.”

Alabama rose to the occasion, especially on the men’s side by sweeping the freestyle sprints and distance events and keeping the score close with Auburn, 167-133 and dominating LSU, 220-80. The women kept it close, but were defeated 145-155 against LSU and 126-174 to Auburn. Read the full recap here.

Gkolomeev and Westlake Help Close the Gap
Greek national Kristian Gkolomeev is the reigning NCAA sprint king and backed it up last Saturday in the 50-yard freestyle (19.65) to remain undefeated with an NCAA season best. Alabama made a statement in the race with junior Brett Walsh touching the wall in second place (20.15), narrowly missing a sub 20-second performance. Gkolomeev later won the 100-yard free (44.38) to sweep the freestyle sprints for Alabama.

On the long end of the freestyle events, junior Brian Westlake made it finger-nail close, touching the wall four-hundredths of a second ahead of Auburn’s Grant Schenk to win the 1000-yard free (9:17.56). Westlake proved he was deserving later in the meet when he won the 500-yard free (4:31.11) again in a close one over Schenk (4:31.76).

The Alabama women made their meets close with individual wins from junior Emma Saunders in the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.13), senior Kaylin Burchell in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.00), and freshman Mia Nonnenberg in the 400-yard individual medley (4:14.96) by nearly five seconds.

Arkansas Can Even Record in Nebraska on Saturday

After a week out of competition, the Razorback are in Nebraska on Saturday with a chance to even the all-time record against the Big Ten Conference’s Huskers at the Devaney Natatorium in Lincoln, NE.

Something Has To Give
Arkansas is 5-6 all-time against Nebraska. The good news for the Razorbacks is that the fifth win came last year with a convincing 205-95 win. Match-up momentum looks to be on the side of the Arkansas, but the Huskers can make their own case for momentum, having won their last three meets against Nebraska-Omaha, Iowa State and South Dakota State. Ironically, the Arkansas women arrive in Lincoln with three straight losses to the Florida Gators, Texas A&M and the Missouri Mizzou.

Best Bets
Arkansas junior and backstroker Anna Mayfield has produced good results for the Razorbacks in the back events and the 200-yard individual medley. Look to breaststrokers and seniors Nikki Daniels and Julia Banach to produce. Freshman Taylor Weiss should contest in the butterfly events, and junior Nina Drolc can potentially sweep the sprints with Aiden Lister doing the same in the middle distance freestyle events.

Nebraska’s Natalie Morris and Katt Sickle are good bets to compete for wins, as the two earned multi-event victories for the Huskers in their last contest. Morris is a middle distance freestyler, while Sickle brings versatility with scoring results recently coming in the 1000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley.

Gators Look To Regroup Against Gophers

It is not often a team produces 11 NCAA ‘B’ cuts and gets swept, but that was the Gators’ fate last Friday as they were defeated by the Bulldogs in Athens, GA. Florida aims to regroup Saturday as they host the Minnesota Gophers in Gainesville, Fla.

Leading the Gators in last Friday’s elite match-up were junior Natalie Hinds and freshman Caeleb Dressel, who secured the sprint sweep for the visitors.

Hinds stopped the clock in the 50-yard free with a 22.55 and a 49.37 in the 100-yard free. Dressel continued his successful debut season with a 20.06 in the 50-yard free (he has gone 19.94 this season) and a season-best 44.35 in the 100-yard free. Read the full recap here.

The Gator men go into the weekend with a 172-124 victory over the Gophers in Minneapolis last year. The women have not dueled since 2007, when the Gators defeated Minnesota, 168-132.

The Minnesota women are coming off a win last Friday, when they hosted and defeated Iowa’s Hawkeyes 195-105 in the annual Pack-the-Pool meet at the Aquatic Center.

Georgia Rolls Into Friday With Honors

It’s a good bet that honors are coming your way when you defeat an NCCA elite team in convincing fashion, but the victorious Bulldogs will be the first to tell you celebrations are short when it is November and you race on Friday. The ‘Dawgs head to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech and the Savanna College of Art and Design (SCAD) at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

The Bulldogs took a bite out of the Florida Gators last Friday, winning 23 events with several top-position sweeps, including the women’s two relays. Read the full recap here.

SEC Honors for McDermott, Stewart, and Forlini
Honors were awarded on Tuesday to Amber McDermott, freshman Kylie Stewart and diver Ian Forlini for their results against the Gators.

McDermott took Female Swimmer of the Week, Stewart was honored for the third time this season with Female Freshman of the Week and Forlini received Male Diver of the Week for the second time this season.

Last Friday, senior McDermott won the 500-yard free (4:46.79) with an NCAA ‘B’ cut and the 1,000-yard free (9:43.00), which is the fastest time this season. She also contributed to the women’s dominance in the relay as a member of the second-placed 400-yard free relay.

Georgia native Stewart had individual wins in the 100-yard back (53.42), which is an improvement an already achieved NCAA provisional cut, the 200-yard back (1:55.42) and was on the winning relay teams. Individually she is ranked fourth in the 200-yard back and sixth in the 100-yard back.

Pennsylvania freshman Forlini won both springboards and improved his NCAA qualifying scores in each.

Kentucky Hosts A Two-Day Quad

It’s a big week for the Wildcats, as they return home from a loss in Knoxville to host Missouri, Northwestern and Southern Illinois in a two-day, quad meet at the Lancaster Aquatics Center in Lexington, Ky.

The meet begins Friday at 6 p.m. and resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Live results will be provided here.

Kentucky returns from their first road of the trip to Knoxville, Tenn., where they faced host and SEC rival Tennessee and the Indiana Hoosiers last Friday afternoon.

The women lost 176.5-123.5 to the Hoosiers and 191-109 to Tennessee. The men were bested 234-64 by the Volunteers and 240-58 by Indiana. Read the full recap here.

Seniors Christa Cabot and Christina Bechtel each won two events for the Wildcats. Cabot, who earned an SEC Diver of the Week honor for her results against the Gators on Oct. 16, won the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Bechtel produced convincing wins in the 100-yard fly (53.72) and 200-yard fly (1:57.21).

“I’m also proud of how the women raced in the breaststroke events,” said Wildcats head coach Lars Jorgensen in a story posted to the school’s website. “For the men, Kyle Higgins raced well today against tough competition. We’ll use today to continue to get better as we work toward our home meet next weekend.”

Earning Jorgensen’s praise in the breaststroke were Kendra Crew and Sam Shaheen. Crew finished second (1:05.01) and Shaheen (1:05.06) placed fourth to lead the Wildcats in the 100-yard breaststroke. Later Crew went second (2:18.79) and Shaheen third (2:20.03) in the 200-yard breaststroke behind Tennessee’s Molly Hannis, who easily won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.57) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:09.24).

Higgins placed third for the Wildcat men in the 200-yard fly (1:48.81), fourth in the 200-yard back (1:51.61), and sixth in the 100-yard fly (50.06) in tight races narrowly missing the second-, third- and fifth-place spots by less than a combined half a second for all three races.

LSU Off Until Nov. 15 When They Host Incarnate Word

After last Saturday’ SEC tri-meet against Auburn and host Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Fighting Tigers are out of competition until Nov. 15, when the full team hosts San Antonio’s Incarnate Word in an out-of-conference match-up.

With the exception of the LSU women’s effort against Alabama, the Fighting Tigers suffered losses at last Saturday’s SEC tri-meet. The LSU women defeated Alabama 155-145 but fell to Auburn 124-176. The men were in tough, losing 75-225 to Auburn and 80-220 to Alabama. Read the full recap here.

For the LSU, the wins came from the women with diver and senior Alex Bettridge winning both springboard events, senior Amber Carter taking the 50-yard free (22.90) and 100-yard fly (53.56) titles, and sophomore Kara Kopsco winning the 200-yard fly (1:59.89) in under 2 minutes.

“It was a total team effort from our women today” said LSU head coach Dave Geyer said in a story posted on the Fighting Tiger’s website.” We fought both SEC programs hard and were able to win one of the dual meets.  Getting a win, against an SEC opponent, caps off a challenging month for us.”

As for the LSU men’s performance, Geyer said, “I thought we should have been more physically prepared to race than we were and I put that on my shoulders. We know we are capable of better performances in the near future.”

Volunteers Take a Break From Competition

It was a sweep last Friday for the Volunteers against Kentucky, but it was a loss to Indiana. Tennessee will return to race action at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center, where they will host Louisville and Auburn on Nov. 14 in Knoxville, Tenn.

The men defeated the Wildcats 234-64, while the women won 191-109 for their first conference win of the season. Against the Hoosiers, it came down to the final races with Indiana taking the men’s win 157-143 and the women’s contest 169-129. Read the full recap here.

McHugh Earns Freshman Honor

Freshman Sam McHugh received SEC Male Freshman of the Week for his performance last Friday, when he won the 500-yard free (4:27.26), 400-yard individual medley (3:52.60), and 200-yard fly (1:46.72) with personal best times.

“Sam McHugh is very professional,” said Tennessee’s head coach Matt Kredich in a story posted on the Volunteer’s website. “He’s been very well-coached and it seems like a seamless transition to college for him. He’s pretty surgical in the way that he not only performs but prepares his races.”

International Assignments for Volunteers

The Tennessee program received an indirect nod from USA Swimming last week, when a few Volunteers were given some international assignments for the coming summer.

Sean Lehane will represent the U.S. in the 200-meter backstroke this summer at the 2015 Pan-American Games to be held in Toronto, Canada. Lehane will be joined by Tennessee breaststroker Brad Craig, who will swim the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events for the U.S. Craig also made the roster for the 2014 Short Course National Team, which will compete in Doha, Qatar next month.

Also announced was the news that Molly Hannis made the 2015 World University of Games U.S. team, which will compete next July in Gwangju City, South Korea. Hannis will compete in the 200-meter breaststroke. Hannis dominated the breaststroke events last weekend against Kentucky and Indiana by winning the 100-yard by almost five seconds and the 200-yard race by nearly ten seconds.

Battle Of Texas And The Undefeated

It’s an all-Texas battle on Friday, as the women from A&M visit Austin, Tx. to take on the Big 12’s Longhorns at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The A&M men remain in College Station to prepare for their big Nov. 20 date, when they host their Art Adamson Invitational.

A&M’s women took first place in 12 of 13 events to thump the University of Houston and University of North Texas last Friday, winning 140-95 against the Cougars and 140-86 against the Mean Green. Read the full recap here.

Texas Tilt

The Aggies (3-0) will face a much tougher opponent on Friday against an undefeated Longhorn team (5-0), who finally make their first competitive appearance at home after compiling a string of wins against California, Stanford, Michigan, Indiana and Louisville. It was October 2013 when the two Texas teams last met. The Aggies defeated the Longhorns then by four points with a 152-148 win.

The make-up of the teams have changed since they last met with A&M losing NCAA Champions Cammile Adams (200-yard fly), Breeja Larson (100-yard breaststroke) and Paige Miller (100-yard back), but they do have a strong team led by seniors Kelli Benjamin, Sammie Bosma, Sarah Henry and Liliana Ibanez.

For the Longhorns, count on senior Gretchen Jaques and sophomore Madisyn Cox to lead the way. Jaques has the nation’s fastest time in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.15) and the sixth fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:12.10).  Cox, who is from Lubbock, Tx., has the fastest 200-yard individual medley time this season (1:58.56). Cox will represent the U.S. next summer at the World University Games in South Korea.

Live results will be provided here.

Lanné Goes into Longhorn Hall of Honor

Longhorn Colleen (Lanné) Cox will be inducted into the University of Texas Athletics Women’s Hall of Honor on Friday morning. The former two-time NCAA champion will be honored prior to the meet, which starts at 7 p.m. with free admission.

South Carolina & Vanderbilt Host While Missouri Visits Kentucky

South Carolina Gamecocks
The South Carolina women go into Saturday’s meet with momentum, defeating Florida Gulf Coast University 166-131 last Friday. Read the full recap here.

The Gamecocks host East Carolina and College of Charleston, when competition starts at noon on Saturday at the Carolina Natatorium in Columbia, S.C.

Missouri Mizzou
Mizzou easily swept Missouri State last Friday at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, MO. The women were victorious with a 200-43 victory, while the men won with a 189-54 score. Read the full recap here.

The team is in Lexington, Ky. for a quad Friday and Saturday against Northwestern, Southern Illinois and host Kentucky.

Vanderbilt Commodores
On the strength of 10 of 16 first-place finishes, the Commodores defeated Marshall and Xavier in a tri-meet last Saturday in Huntington, W.V. Read the full recap here.

This Saturday, Vanderbilt hosts Tulane and Western Kentucky at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville, Tenn.

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5 years ago

Kylie Stewart is not a diver.