Grassi Swims Nation-Leading 19.86; Auburn Tigers Defeat Louisiana State Tigers

by Robert Gibbs 6

October 21st, 2019 College, News, SEC

Auburn vs. Louisiana State

  • Saturday, October 19th, 2019
  • James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn, AL
  • Dual meet format
  • SCY
  • Full Results
  • Scores
    • Women: Auburn 185, LSU 108
    • Men: Auburn 187, LSU 111

Women’s Meet

Auburn took the top two spots in the 200 medley relay to start the meet off, with Claire Fisch‘s 22.03 anchor propelling the Tigers’ ‘A’ team to a 1:41.40 victory. Fisch had a relatively light schedule, only swimming the 50 free individually, which she won in 22.65, and then splitting 48.92 on Auburn’s 400 free relay.

Sophomore Emily Hetzer currently has the 2nd-fastest time in the nation in the 500 free, and while she wasn’t able to match her times from the SMU Invite (where teams were suited up), she still pulled off the distance double for the Tigers, first winning the 1000 free in 9:51.76, then touching first with a 4:49.36 in the 500 free.

Auburn Senior Sonnele Oeztuerk also doubled up; she narrowly won the 100 back over LSU’s Cassie Kalisz, 55.02 to 55.13, then again beat Kalisz in the 200 back, 1:57.27 to 1:58.48.

Carly Cummings also got a sweep for Auburn, going 1:01.50/2:14.15 in the breaststroke events.

LSU only touched first in two events. Helen Grossman just touched out Auburn’s Jewels Harris in the 100 fly, 55.06 to 55.10, and freshman Niamh Robinson won the 200 IM in 2:04.55.

Auburn exhibitioned the 400 free relay, but touched first in 3:22.00, LSU officially won in 3:24.97, with Katarina Milutinovich leading off with 50.70, faster than any of the other three splits on her team.


The Auburn men defeated the LSU men by almost the same score as the women, but the big story was Auburn senior Santiago Grassi‘s 50 free. He won the event by six-tenths of a second over LSU’s Matthew Klotz, touching in 19.86. That’s the fastest time in the NCAA so far this season, surpassing last year NCAA champion Ryan Hoffer’s 19.88 from two weeks ago.

Grassi also split 20.85 on Auburn’s victorious 200 medley relay, won the 100 fly in 47.67, and led off an Auburn 400 free relay in 44.70.

Spencer Rowe got two wins for Auburn, sweeping the breaststrokes events with times of 56.38/2:03.02. Freshman Jack Armstrong won the 100 free with a 44.68, and led off Auburn’s ‘A’ 400 free in 44.98. That relay won in 2:59.20, with all four men splitting 44s, and that didn’t even include Grassi.

Auburn also got a double from Aryan Makhija, who swept the distance events with  a 9:22.88 in the 1000 and then a 4:32.84 in the 500 free.

Karl Luht was the only LSU swimmer with two victories, going 48.05/1:47.70 in the backstrokes. Freshman David Boylan won the 200 fly with a 1:50.15.

Auburn Release

AUBURN, Ala. – In the first home meet of the season, the Auburn swimming and diving teams combined to win 26 of the 32 events as both the men and women earned convincing victories over LSU at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center on Saturday.

“I’m really excited about both programs,” Auburn head coach Gary Taylor said. “Anytime you come out of your first meet of the season 1-0 on both sides, you’ve got to be excited. I’m really proud of the energy that I saw from both teams today. They competed hard. They were loud and raucous on deck, and that started from the first relay performer to the final relay performer.”

The No. 13 Auburn women opened the meet by taking first and second place in the 200 medley relay and then won the next 10 swimming events en route to a 185-108 victory. The trio of Emily Hetzer (500 free, 1000 free), Sonnele Oeztuerk (100 back, 200 back) and Carly Cummings (100 breast, 200 breast) all won two individual races apiece.

It was more of the same on the men’s side as No. 25 Auburn beat LSU, 187-111, in their first competition of the 2019-20 season. The home Tigers started and finished the meet with relay wins and closed with 11 total wins in the swimming events.

Senior Santiago Grassi finished the 50 free in 19.86 to claim first place, and he also won the 100 butterfly with a time of 47.67. Junior Spencer Rowe (100 breast, 200 breast) and sophomore Aryan Makhija (500 free, 1000 free) also earned a pair of first-place finishes for Auburn on the men’s side.

For both the men and the women, it was a big day for the freshmen. Combined, five different Auburn freshmen won races. Averee Preble (200 butterfly), Abbey Webb (100 free) and Jack Armstrong (100 free) all won individual races while Ella Miller and Annie O’Dare both swam a leg for the winning women’s 200 medley relay team.

“I thought our freshman really competed well both on the men’s and women’s sides,” Taylor said. “For their first time out, having the opportunity to wear that AU for most them, they represented really well, and the future looks bright.”


Auburn won all four of the diving events in Saturday’s meet. Senior Alison Maillard won the 1-meter (326.55) and 3-meter (323.78) competitions on the women’s side, and her score in the 1-meter event was nine points off the Auburn record.

On the men’s side, sophomore Conner Pruitt also finished first in the 1-meter (349.65) and 3-meter (388.43) events to begin his 2019-20 season the right way.

“I was really pleased,” head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “I think starting the season with a very competitive LSU squad – obviously coached by my brother so there’s a little bit of competitiveness between us – we were fortunate to come out on top and winning all four events. I’m very pleased with Allison and Conner’s leadership. They definitely showed their experience and stepped up.”

Auburn had three freshmen divers make their debut Saturday, and among them, Gretchen Wensuc earned a zone qualifying score (289.20) in the women’s 3-meter competition.


The Auburn women will be back in action next Saturday, Oct. 26 when they travel to Arkansas to face the Razorbacks at 11 a.m. CT. The men won’t make that trip, but they will be back in the pool Saturday, Nov. 2 for a men’s only meet on the road at Navy.

Both teams will return home for another dual meet against Alabama on Dec. 5.

LSU Release

AUBURN, ALA.– The LSU Swimming and Diving Team dropped their first SEC dual meet of the season on the road against the Auburn Tigers. The men fell by a final score of 187-111 and the women fell 185-108.


Karl Luht led the way for the men as the senior won the 100 and 200-Yard Backstroke with times of 48.05 and 1:47.70, respectively. David Boylan brought home a victory after swimming a 1:50.15 in the 200-Yard Butterfly. The freshman also took the silver in the 200-Yard IM by swimming a 1:51.34.

Two other men found themselves with multiple top-three finishes Saturday morning. Brooks Curry finished in second place in the 200-Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:38.29. He then finished in third place in the 100-Yard Freestyle after swimming a 44.94. Luca Pfyffer had three top-three finishes on the day. Pfyffer brought home the silver in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 2:03.51 and had two third place finishes in the 100-Yard Breaststroke and the 200-Yard IM with times of 57.39 and 1:52.76.

“For the men’s first dual meet, I felt we came out a little tight,” said LSU head swim coach Dave Geyer. “Some of the details we emphasized in training were a little off. However, as the meet wore on, we improved in those areas and got to see what our lineup looks like. We came into the meet a little short on depth and that showed by having to move some people around. With that being said, we did have solid swims during the meet.”

For the women, Helen Grossman led the way as the New Jersey native won the 100-Yard Butterfly after touching the wall in 55.06. Grossman then finished in second place in the 200-Yard Butterfly with a time of 2:01.44. Niamh Robinson also earned a victory for the Lady Tigers as the freshman won the 200-Yard IM with a time of 2:04.55. Along with that victory, Robinson earned the bronze in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 1:03.87.

Three other Lady Tigers earned multiple top-three finishes. Katarina Milutinovich came in third place in both the 100 and 200-Yard Freestyle with times of 50.71 and 1:48.79. Cassie Kalisz earned the silver in both backstroke events. The junior swam the 100-Yard Backstroke in 55.13 and the 200-Yard Backstroke in 1:58.48. Summer Stanfield also had two top-three finishes as she came in second place in the 500-Yard Freestyle and third place in the 200-Yard IM with a time of 2:05.61.

To close out the meet, the team of Milutinovich, Olivia Taylor, Kit Hanley and Grossman won the 400-Yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:24.97.

“We had some really tight races across the meet on the women’s side today,” said Geyer. “If we could have had a couple of those races go in our favor I think you’re looking at a much closer meet.”


For the men, Manny Vazquez Bas finished the meet with two second place finishes on the springboard events. The freshman dove to a score of 355.28 on the three-meter and a 281.85 on the one-meter. Dakota Hurbis had two third place finishes after diving to scores of 328.43 and 267.00 on the three and one-meter, respectively. In his first collegiate meet, Cayden Petrak finished in fourth place on the one-meter with a score of 264.00 and fifth on the three-meter with a score of 290.18.

For the women, Aimee Wilson led the way as the sophomore came in second place on both springboard events. Wilson dove to a score of 292.80 on the one-meter and 300.00 on the three-meter. Hayley Montague took the bronze on both events after diving to scores of 250.50 and 239.18 on the one and three-meter springboards.

“Coming into this meet, I felt Auburn would be strong on the boards,” said LSU head diving coach Doug Shaffer. “It’s their own pool and they have more experience. For three of our Tiger Divers it was their first SEC road dual meet experience. With that being said, it was a great learning experience for us. We did some really positive things which we’ve been working on and that’s exactly what I want to see right now.”


For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LSUSwimDive.

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2 years ago

Auburn is becoming a sprint school again

Reply to  John
2 years ago

Only if it’s a 19.8 50 fly we’re talking about

2 years ago

Is there any relation between Cassie Kalisz and Chase Kalisz?

Reply to  Marsh
2 years ago

Siblings. Chase, Connor, Courtney, and Cassie.

2 years ago

This speed is a direct result from eating Panda Express

Reply to  DropTheHammer
2 years ago

I’ve had the reverse results from eating Panda Express

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