Courtesy: Auburn Athletics
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn’s swimming and diving teams will be in Knoxville, Tenn., for a dual meet with SEC foe Tennessee on Friday at 11 am CT at the Jones Aquatics Center. Auburn goes into the meet ranked 17th by the CSCAA in its Top 25 women’s poll while the men are receiving votes. Tennessee is ranked No. 24 on the women’s side and No. 15 on the men’s side.
“Tennessee is really good on both the men’s and women’s side,” Auburn head coach Gary Taylor said. “Our women had a major challenge two weeks ago at Virginia and they have another great challenge as Tennessee is one of the best programs in the SEC and one of the best in all of NCAA swimming. I think on their home turf, (Tennessee) knows whose coming to town, they know what we did against UVA and we know what they’ve done. I think there is going to be some pretty good energy and hype behind us.”
Auburn’s women are coming off of a big victory over No. 7 and defending ACC Champion Virginia last month in which Auburn won 12 events, including all four relays. Following the meet Claire Fisch was named the SEC Swimmer of the Week after she won the 50 free, finished second in the 100 free and swam on all four winning relays.
On the season, Auburn’s women are 2-0 in dual meets having also defeated Florida Gulf Coast in the opener.
Auburn currently has 11 swims that are among the 16-fastest in the country:
Bailey Nero’s 1:59.81 in the 200 IM is ninth-fastest nationally, her 1:58.28 in the 200 fly is 14th and her 4:16.81 in the 400 IM is 16th;
Emily Hetzer’s 9:48.20 in the 1000 free is second-fastest and her 4:46.71 in the 500 free is fifth;
Aly Tetzloff’s 53.53 in the 100 fly is 12th-fastest and her 1:47.55 in the 200 free is 13th;
Erin Falconer’s 53.76 in the 100 back is 12th-fastest and her 9:54.25 in the 1000 free is 13th;
Sonnele Oeztuerk’s 1:55.45 in the 200 back is sixth-fastest;
Carly Cumming’s 1:01.15 in the 100 breast is 13th-fastest.
In addition, Auburn’s relays are among the fastest in the nation as the 400 free relay (3:18.50) is second, the 200 medley relay (1:39.08) and 400 medley relay (3:37.23) are both sixth and the 200 free relay (1:31.06) is eighth.
In diving, Alison Maillard is looking for her third straight win on the 1-meter and a second win on the 3-meter, having earned Zone Diving Qualification scores on both. Wendy Espina also has a Zone score on the 3-meter.
“I’d like to think our women can compete with anyone in the SEC so now we’ll find that out,” Taylor said.
Having competed just once, Auburn’s men do not have any top-16 times nationally but they do have a three of top-8 times in the SEC as Santiago Grassi is fourth in the 200 fly (1:47.55) and sixth in the 100 fly (48.19) and Josh Dannhauser is eighth in the 500 free (4:26.31). Additionally, Scott Lazeroff has already claimed Zone Diving Scores on both springboards and Conner Pruitt has a 3-meter qualifying score.
“Tennessee’s men have had some tough dual meets as well and they have performed at a high level,” Taylor said. “Our men will be ready to go. We are looking forward to the opportunity and we know they will be ready for us.”
Auburn’s women are 12-4 all-time in dual meets against Tennessee, which included a 181-172 win last year at Auburn. Auburn’s men are 5-8 all-time in dual meets against Tennessee after falling 180-173 a year ago.