In a renewed SEC rivalry matchup, Auburn topped Alabama as Kyle Darmody beat out defending NCAA 100 free champ Kristian Gkolomeev.
The Auburn women picked up a dominating 192-108 road win with a run of 9 straight events, while the men had a tougher test, winning 158-142.
Full results (Medley relay splits are incorrect, but the overall times are accurate)
In a clash of sprint powerhouses, the Auburn men triumphed despite losing both 200-yard relays.
Leading that charge was junior Joe Patching, who won three individual events over longer distances to help a well-rounded Auburn attack top Alabama’s sprint-based roster.
Patching won the 200 free (1:37.06), 200 back (1:43.66) and 400 IM (3:50.26), all in highly-ranking NCAA times. Patching’s 200 back and 400 IM sit #1 in the nation this season, and his 200 is second overall.
One of the night’s biggest wins came in the 100 free, where Auburn’s Kyle Darmody topped the reigning NCAA champ Kristian Gkolomeev for a huge momentum swing. Darmody went 44.56, with Gkolomeev putting up a 44.81. Sophomores Jacob Molacek and Peter Holoda very nearly beat Gkolomeev, too, going 44.83 and 44.84, respectively.
Gkolomeev would win the 50 free in 19.87, and split an outstanding 19.06 to help the 200 free relay win in 1:19.54. Gkolomeev ran down Molacek for that win as Auburn went 1:19.62.
The rest of the meet was peppered with great races. Auburn’s Michael Duderstadt and Alabama’s Anton McKee traded blows in the breaststrokes, with Duderstadt winning the 100 (53.51) and McKee the 200 (1:57.52).
Things started out very even for the women, with Auburn and Alabama trading blows back and forth through the first five events.
But Auburn ripped off a run of 9 straight events starting with Bailey Nero‘s 1:58.49 win in the 200 fly.
Included in that run was a 1-2-3 of the 50 free led by Allyx Purcell at 22.59. Purcell also went 49.97 to take the 100 free for the Tigers.
Also winning twice for Auburn was Jillian Vitarius, who topped the 100 back (54.76) and 200 back (1:58.07).
Alabama got in a hole early points-wise after that big Auburn run, but a late highlight came from sophomore Mia Nonnenberg. An NCAA qualifier as a freshman, Nonnenberg started off her sophomore year in a big way with a 4:11.87 win in the 400 IM – that time now leads the NCAA by almost 7 seconds.
Alabama also got a 100 breast win from Bridget Blood at 1:01.33, touching out Auburn’s Annie Lazor by half a second. Lazor came back to win the 200 breast in an outstanding 2:13.21. Blood was second in 2:14.05 and those two rank 1-2 in the nation there.