College Station, TX – The Texas A&M men took on the Missouri State Bears and the Tennessee Volunteers in a double dual event on their home turf today. Today’s meet marks the first time the Bears have met the Tennessee Volunteers in competition, and only the second time they’ve competed against the Texas A&M team. As the Tennessee Vols finished 6th and Texas A&M Aggies finished 7th at the 2013-14 SEC Championships, the Bears certainly faced a challenge, as the final team scores reflect below:
Texas A&M 175, Missouri State 119
Tennessee 184, Texas A&M 115
Tennessee 210, Missouri State 89
The Tennessee men started off the meet dominantly, as they took a 1-2 finish in the 200y medley relay. The “B” team of Jimmy Dagley (23.09), Tristan Slater (25.31), Jacob Thulin (21.24), and Troy Tillman (19.70) combined for a time of 1:29.34, narrowly defeating their “A” teammates Sean Lehane (22.69), Ross Dibblin (24.98), Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom (21.56), and Chris Sadsad (20.36) and their time of 1:29.59.
Tennessee continued on their event-winning streak, as Ben Miller got things done in the men’s 1000y freestyle in a time of 9:21.76. Second place finisher Miguel Davila (Missouri State) clocked a 9:22.81 to give him his second-best time of the season behind the 9:12.97 he clocked at the Louisville Invitational in November. Davila would also claim runner-up in today’s 500y freestyle, as he touched the wall behind Aggie winner Gonzalo Carazo Barbero. Barbero’s first place 500y free time was 4:32.56 to Davila’s 4:33.13.
Texas A&M put the hammer down in the men’s 200y free, however, as they finished 1-2 with Luke Shaw leading the field in a time of 1:39.18 followed by teammate Hayden Duplechain in 1:40.15. Missouri State’s Uvis Kalnins rounded out the top three with his time of 1:40.35. For Shaw’s performance, his time today beat the 1:39.80 he clocked at the Art Adamson Invitational earlier this NCAA season.
Tennessee fired right back with another quick victory in the men’s 100y backstroke, as Sean Lehane touched the wall first in a time of 48.09 (NCAA “B” cut). As perspective, Lehane clocked a 48.15 around this time last year. In today’s race, Missouri State’s Paul Le touched just .04 behind in 48.13, as both swimmers were the only racers of the field to clear the 50.00 mark.
Englishman Tristan Slater (freshman) of the Volunteers continued the Tennessee point run, earning wins in both the 100y (55.36) and 200y breaststroke (1:59.74) distances. Both of Slater’s performances cleared the NCAA “B” cuts.
Tennessee’s Sam McHugh also ran away with multiple victories tonight, as he earned the men’s 200y butterfly, 200y backstroke, and 200y IM wins. McHugh clocked a commanding 1:46.30 in the 200y fly to win by over 5 seconds, and came away with the men’s 200y backstroke win in 1:46.26. His 1:48.33 in the 200y IM was enough to finish ahead of a charging Paul Le from Missouri State who touched the wall just .4 behind in a time of 1:48.75.
50y freestyle third-place finisher, Jacob Gonzales (Texas A&M) nabbed the win for the Aggies in the men’s 100y freestyle. Gonzales’ season-best time of 45.15 just touched out that of Tennessee swimmer Jacob Thulin’s 45.29; Thulin himself just beat third-place finisher by .01, as teammate Troy Tillman clocked a 45.30 to round out the top three spots.
In the final event, the Tennessee men claimed the top two spots, finishing the men’s 400y free relay in a time of 2:59.64 (Tennessee “A”) and 3:00.70 (Tennessee “B”).