In the final home (regular season) meet of their careers, Auburn seniors Anna Vanderpool-Wallace and diver Vennie Dantin came through huge with a combined 6 wins in 6 events.
Vanderpool-Wallace’s night didn’t start off with a great time; she anchored the Tigers’ 400 medley relay in a split of only 49.30, but by the time she hit the water the Tigers had an insurmountable lead. They cruised to a solid mid-season 3:37.38 victory, with Texas’ top squad taking 2nd in 3:42.65.
The rest of AVW’s swims would be significantly better than that. This includes a 48.44 win in the 100 free (in a showdown with Texas’ ace Karlee Bispo in 49.13), and a 22.41 in the 50 free. Vanderpool-Wallace is a mile ahead of the rest of the country in the two sprint distances this season.
Her final victory came when she led off the Tigers’ 200 free quartet with a flat-start 22.87, as the Tigers took another easy victory in 1:31.99. Sophomore Haley Krakoski also had a solid anchor leg of 22.79 for the winning Auburn squad.
Auburn’s B relay also took 2nd, with a time of 1:32.89. The best split in that group was sophomore Emily Bos in 22.67. For the 2nd-straight meet, Texas left Bispo off of their free relay in favor of three individual events, and they took 3rd place.
In between Vanderpool-Wallace’s wins, however, Texas had some very good swims of their own. Bispo continued to be very impressive in the 200 free (1:46.87), and also won the 200 IM (2:01.29). Super-freshman Kaitlin Pawlowicz showed some versatility by swimming the 200 fly, and winning, in 1:59.12. Even in relatively heavy training, that’s only a few-tenths off of her season-best from the Texas invite, where the Longhorns were rested more than they were here.
Auburn sophomore Olivia Scott took the 100 fly in 53.22. She leads the country in that event this season. The two programs split the breaststroke races, with Texas’ Laura Sogar winning her preferred 200 in 2:13.51 and Auburn’s Lauren Norberg taking the 100 in 1:01.78.
The Longhorn women are continuing a brutal week of competition that included a narrow victory against Georgia on Saturday and a trip back to Austin for this weekend’s Grand Prix meet that begins Friday.
The Texas and Auburn men will have a two-day showdown beginning Thursday at 5 central, and continuing Friday at 1, in Auburn.