Meynen Wins Double as Auburn Beats GT; Pumputis Swims Lifetime Best 100 Fly

AUBURN vs. GEORGIA TECH

  • Jan. 11, 2020
  • Atlanta, GA
  • McAuley Aquatic Center
  • Short Course Yards
  • Full Results on Meet Mobile

TEAM SCORES

WOMEN

  1. Auburn, 202
  2. Georgia Tech, 93

MEN

  1. Auburn, 166
  2. Georgia Tech, 134

The Auburn men and women each earned a road win on Saturday as they traveled to Georgia Tech for a dual meet. The Tiger women dominated, sweeping the events. All-American senior Julie Meynen was among the multi-event winners. In the 200 free, she was the lone woman under 1:50 (1:49.24). She followed that up with the only sub-50 in the 100 free, dominating in 49.90.

Fellow Tiger All-American Sonnele Oeztuerk also notched a pair of wins. In the 100 back, she came from behind to beat Georgia Tech’s Allie Paschal 55.10 to 55.33. She battled with Tech’s Emily Ilgenfritz (4:55.48) in the 500 free, clocking in at 4:54.05. Behind them, the Jackets’ Brooke Switzer swam a lifetime best 4:59.90.

Jaden Bellina claimed a pair of victories in the 200 fly and 200 IM. She used her front-end speed to win the 200 fly in 2:01.82. In the 200 IM, she battled with Georgia Tech’s Kristin Hepler, building a lead through the back leg. Hepler closed the gap on breaststroke to make it a close race heading into the final leg, but Bellina pulled ahead again with her closing speed to win 2:03.20 to 2:04.31.

All-American and ACC Champion Caio Pumputis was one of the top performers for the Georgia Tech men. Pumputis topped the 200 free by over a second in 1:36.85. He was neck-and-neck with Auburn’s Lleyton Smith through the first 100 of the 200 back, but pulled away to win it 1:47.75 to 1:48.17. Pumputis also swam the 100 fly, placing 2nd behind Auburn’s Santiago Grassi (47.78). His 48.27 was a new lifetime best.

The 200 fly went to Tech’s Christian Ferraro, who outswam Grassi 1:46.79 to 1:47.34. Ferraro came back to win the 200 breast. He distanced himself from the field in the first 100 yards, going on to win the race in 2:01.63. That was a new lifetime best for Ferraro.

Auburn freshman Smith took a win of his own in the 100 back to put up a highlight for the Tigers. He was slightly behind teammate Christian Ginieczki at the 50 flip, but came home to win 49.37 to 49.47.

PRESS RELEASE – AUBURN:

ATLANTA – It was a successful road trip for the Auburn swimming and diving team Saturday thanks to a pair of wins over Georgia Tech.

The No. 14 Auburn women were especially dominant, winning all 14 swimming events and both diving events to earn 202 points in a 202-93 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

“I’m really happy with the way the women performed,” Auburn head coach Gary Taylor said. “My message to them prior to the meet was, ‘You’re the better team on paper. Come out, dominate start to finish and handle your business.’ I thought the women absolutely did that.”

The Tigers started strong with a 1-2-3 sweep in the 400 medley relay. Junior Sonnele Oeztuerk, the first leg of that relay, also picked up individual wins in the 100 back and 500 free.

Other two-race winners for Auburn included senior Julie Meynen who won both the 100 and 200 free and junior Jaden Bellina who took first in the 200 fly and the 200 IM. For Bellina, it was the second and third races she’s won this season.

On the men’s side, it was a much tighter matchup, but the Tigers still found a way to prevail with a 166-134 victory that included seven swimming wins and two diving wins.

“Just like last week, the men stepped up and performed well,” Taylor said. “I wouldn’t say it was a crisp meet. I wouldn’t say it was an easy meet. But we found a way to win on a day when everything didn’t just happen for us and it didn’t come easy. It was an ugly win, but it’s important to find ways to win ugly and scratch and claw until the end of the meet.

“That was important. This is a meet that if we performed this way last year, I don’t think we win. We found a way to get it done today, so I’m proud of our men.”

Thomas Heinzel (100 free), Santiago Grassi (100 fly), Lleyton Smith (100 back), and Spencer Rowe (100 breast) were among the individual winners for Auburn. Sophomore Brogan Davis also earned a huge win in the 200 IM with a season-best time of 1:50.76.

DIVING RECAP 

It was a clean sweep for Auburn in the four diving events Saturday.

Senior Alison Maillard led the women with wins in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. Maillard narrowly missed her personal best with 347.55 points on 3-meter, and then she was steady once again with 310.50 points on 1-meter.

“A really strong performance,” head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “She did one of her best ever two-and-a-half pikes to finish that list on 3-meter, so that was really encouraging. She also hit both of her backs and gainers, which is a step in the right direction.”

On the men’s side, sophomore Conner Pruitt earned two victories with 372.90 points in the 1-meter competition and 382.20 points in the 3-meter competition.

“Conner was pretty solid on both springboards,” Shaffer said. “He could’ve been a little sharper on some of his finishes but pleased with the overall performance. He competed against a really good freshman at Georgia Tech. That was good to be pushed.”

WHAT’S NEXT 

The men’s and women’s swimming teams will be back in the pool next Saturday for the final home dual meet of the season against Gardner-Webb. The meet, which will also include Senior Day festivities, is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT from the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.

The divers won’t compete again until a dual meet at Florida on Saturday, Jan. 25.

PRESS RELEASE – GEORGIA TECH:

THE FLATS – Despite seven gold medals and 22 in the top 2, Georgia Tech swimming and diving was unable to down nationally ranked Auburn on Saturday morning at the McAuley Aquatic Center.

“I’m super proud of the way we competed today,” head coach Courtney Shealy Hart said. “I think we’re better than we were a year ago, which is great. Our freshmen stepped up in a big way, which is always fun to see. From this point forward it’s about sharpening up the little things as we go into championship season.”

Caio Pumputis and Christian Ferraro led the way for the Yellow Jackets, recording two first-place finishes apiece on the day. Pumputis touched the wall first in the 200 free (1:36.85) and 200 back (1:47.75), while Ferraro garnered gold medals in the 200 fly (1:46.79) before he swam a career-best 2:02.63 in the 200 breast.

Tech also got impressive performances out of Miles Corben and freshman Dylan Scott. Corben led the field of swimmers in the 50 free with a time of 20.18, while Scott kicked hard to a 500 free time of 4:28.89.

The men’s relay team in the 200 free also took home the gold to cap the day strong. The squad of Corben, Pumputis, Ferraro and Darren Lim touched first with a time of 1:20.51.

Men’s Highlights

Scott continued his terrific meet, hitting a second-place finish in the 1000 free (9:27.93). Touching the wall second behind him was freshman Josh Cohen, who PR’d with a 9:30.70 before Cale Russell scored with a fifth-place 9:33.53.

On the boards, freshman Ruben Lechuga recorded a pair of second-place finishes – (321.23 – 1-meter; 375.38 – 3-meter). Also on the 3-meter board, freshman Sam Witcher finished fourth (season-best 310.13) and Jacob Kreider finished fifth (309.68). Witcher and Kreider also finished fourth (273.23) and fifth (272.10) in the 1-meter, respectively.

Also finishing second was Jonathan Yang, who turned in a time of 56.08 in the 100 breast. Behind Yang was Tanner Doan, who swam a fifth-place time of 57.42.

In the first relay of the day, Georgia Tech started with a second-place 400 medley relay time of 3:19.36 by Kyle Barone, Yang, Ferraro and Darren Lim. Individually, Lim also touched second in the 50 free with a time of 20.66.

Pumputis then hauled in a third top-2 time in the 100 fly, swimming a career-best 48.27 before senior Clay Hering finished sixth with a 49.98 time.

Lim also turned in a top-2 time in the 100 free, swimming a 45.18 (second), before Albert Zhi turned in a fifth-place time of 45.36. Zhi also scored for Tech in the 200 free, swimming a 1:38.56 for fourth place.

Georgia Tech then owned the field of finalists in the 200 IM, finishing 2-3-4, respectively – Tanner Doan (1:51.42), Jackson Harvin (1:53.07), Joonas Koski (1:54.53).

In the 100 back, Barone led the way with a time of 49.74 (third), before Leon Warnakulasuriya touched the wall fifth (54.08). Barone was also able to score for Tech in the 200 back, touching fifth with a time of 1:53.08.

Behind Ferraro in the 200 fly, Clay Hering kicked hard to a time of 1:48.53 to finish third. Then behind Ferraro in the 200 breast, Yang finished third with a time of 2:03.63.

Behind Scott in the 500 free, senior Koski finished fourth (4:33.77) before Cohen’s fifth-place finish (4:37.75).

Women’s Highlights

Allie Paschal had a fine day, beginning with a second-place time of 55.33 in the 100 back. On her heels was senior Caroline Lee, who finished third with a time of 56.38. Paschal then captured her second top-2 time of the day with a 1:59.65 (second) performance in the 200 back. On her heels again was Lee (2:04.65), who finished fourth.

On the boards, Camryn Hidalgo dove to back-to-back second-place honors, scoring 312.23 in the 3-meter and 289.28 in the 1-meter. Right behind her on the day was freshman Carmen Woodruff, who finished third in the 1-meter (247.20) and fifth in the 3-meter (266.03).

Georgia Tech then swept the 2-3-4 in the 200 IM, with Kristen Hepler (2:04.31), Catriona MacGregor (2:06.42) and McKenzie Campbell (2:07.82) scoring in the event.

Senior Emily Ilgenfritz best individual performance on the day came in the 500 free, where she finished second with a time of 4:55.48. Trailing her was freshman Brooke Switzer, who touched fifth for a PR of 4:59.90. Senior Hepler also scored another second-place finish for Tech, hers coming in the 200 breast where she swam a 2:17.16. Right behind her was Nicole Williams (fourth – 2:21.43).

Three Jackets scored in the 1000 free with Ilgenfritz (third – 10:15.33), Morgan Johnson (fourth – 10:20.00) and Lindsay Wallace (fifth – 10:23.28).

The White and Gold turned in back to back finishes in the 200 fly, as Campbell finished third (2:02.19) and Ilgenfritz finished fourth (2:02.76). Switzer then also led a pair of freshman scorers in the 200 free, touching the wall third with a time of 1:51.78 before Kyrsten Davis finished fifth (1:53.06).

Freshman Campbell then led the way in the 100 fly, finishing third with a time of 56.24 before senior Chloe Miller finished fifth (56.52).

In the 100 breast, Tech finished back-to-back as Hepler (1:04.17) and Williams (1:04.79) finished fourth and fifth place, respectively. The Jackets then recorded another back-to-back finish in the 50 free with MacGregor (23.95) and Amanda Hoejberg (24.35) finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the relays, Georgia Tech started the day with a fourth-place 400 medley relay time of 3:48.33 (Paschal, MacGregor, Miller, Switzer). The Jackets’ squad of Davis, Hoejberg, Paschal and MacGregor also turned a third-place time of 1:36.20 in the 200 free relay to cap the day.

Scoring for Tech in the 100 free was Switzer and Davis. Switzer finished sixth with a time of 52.48 while Davis swam a 52.59.

Tech Tidbits

  • Josh Cohen set a new personal record in the men’s 1000 free, swimming a 9:30.70.
  • Caio Pumputis set a new personal record in the men’s 100 fly, turning in a 48.27.
  • Christian Ferraro swam a personal-best 2:02.63 in the men’s 200 breast
  • Ruben Lechuga turned in two more Zone Qualifying Scores on Saturday. His scores in the 1-meter (321.23) and 3-meter (375.38) both qualified.
  • Camryn Hidalgo turned in two more Zone Qualifying Scores on Saturday. Her scores in the 1-meter (289.28) and 3-meter (312.23) both qualified.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.   

For the latest information on Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Swimming & Diving, follow us on Twitter (@GTSwimDive), Instagram (@GTSwimDive), and Facebook (Georgia Tech Swimming & Diving) or visit us at www.ramblinwreck.com.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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