The Texas men’s and women’s swim teams traveled nearly 1,000 miles from College Station to Lexington, KY to take on their SEC rivals, the Kentucky Wildcats, this afternoon. The Aggies won the women’s meet handily, putting up 179 points to Kentucky’s 121, but the men’s meet was a nail biter. The meet started off with both squads tying for the win in the 200 medley relay at 1:31.08. The Aggie men held strong all the way to the end of the meet, winning the meet 155-145.
Texas A&M’s youth helped the men takedown the Wildcats today. Sophomores Brock Bonetti and Mauro Castillo swept the backstroke and breaststroke events, respectively, while freshman diver Sam Thornton won both diving events. Bonetti won the 100 back in 48.87 and the 200 back in 1:47.10, while Castillo won the 100 breast in 55.64 and the 200 breast in 2:00.11.
Kentucky’s Isaac Jones and Kyle Higgins kept the Wildcats in the hunt with 4 individual victories between them. Jones posted winning times in the 200 and 500 freestyles while Higgins swept the butterfly events. Jones was 1:38.84 in the 200 free and 4:32.64 in the 500 free while Higgins was 48.99 in the 100 fly and 1:47.94 in the 200 fly.
The first tie of the day came in the men’s 200 medley relay, but that wasn’t the only race that finished in a tie. Texas A&M’s Jacob Gonzales and Kentucky’s Sean Gunn both touched the wall at 20.63 to tie for first in the men’s 50 freestyle. Gunn later edged Gonzales in the 100 freestyle, 45.08 to 45.40.
Texas A&M’s final victory from freshman Mateo Gonzalez helped lock in the win. Gonzalez won the 200 IM with a final time of 1:51.32. His nine points were enough to push the Aggies ahead of the Wildcats, regardless of the outcome of the 400 freestyle relay. Kentucky ended up sweeping the 400 freestyle relay with a 1-2 finish after A&M’s top relay was disqualified.
On the women’s side, Texas A&M claimed 11 of the 16 events to run away with the meet. Sydney Pickrem, Sarah Gibson, and Sycerika McMahon all doubled up for the Aggies, claiming two individual events. Pickrem is coming off a strong summer and it paid off in the pool today, winning the 200 free at 1:49.50 and the 200 IM at 2:02.18.
Gibson and McMahon were the other two to double up for A&M. Gibson won the 1000 freestyle in 10:02.67 and the 100 fly in 55.03. McMahon earned her individual victories in the 100 breaststroke in 2:02.25 and the 500 freestyle in 4:53.98.
Kentucky shot back with a double event winner of their own, but it wasn’t enough to tackle their depth. Danielle Galyer swept the backstroke events, winning the 100 in 54.13 200 in 1:56.85.