Tiger Men Flex 200 Free Depth, Halden Nears FSU Record In 100 Fly At Auburn Invite

2024 Auburn Invite

  • February 9-10, 2024
  • Auburn, Alabama
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results

The Auburn Tigers hosted their annual AU Invite over the weekend in what was the final tuneup for a number of teams prior to next week’s SEC Championships.

HALDEN LOCKS IN NCAA SPOT, VEAR SETS FSU RECORD

The top performance of the two-day invite arguably came from Florida State’s Jenny Halden, who dropped a big best time in the 100 fly to position herself for NCAA qualification.

Halden, a senior out of Norway, clocked 51.83 to mark her first time dipping under the 52-second threshold, ranking her #3 all-time in FSU history with the school record sitting at 51.60 from Tayla Lovemore in 2017.

Halden’s previous best time stood at 52.15, set in February 2021 at the UGA Last Chance Meet that locked up her first NCAA qualification. After serving as a relay-only swimmer last season, Halden’s 51.83 should easily qualify for the 2024 NCAA Championships, with 52.20 having been the invite cut-off in 2023.

Halden also played a pivotal role on the FSU women’s 200 medley relay, as Sarah Evans (24.56), Maddy Huggins (27.56), Halden (22.47) and Gloria Muzito (21.93) combined for a time of 1:36.24 to hit the NCAA auto standard, allowing them to field all five relays at NCAAs.

The Seminoles also saw a new school record fall at the hands of diver Samantha Vear, who scored 380.13 in the women’s 3-meter event to lower the 2013 mark of 373.05 set by Kelsey Goodman.

“We had a fantastic day,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “The women getting the NCAA cut opens up all of our relays for (the) postseason. Jenny swimming her best was awesome. She should be in NCAAs, and Sammy getting the school record just set us up to have great performances all around.”

HUSBAND, ZANZANDT LEAD AUBURN CHARGE IN MEN’S 200 FREE

The Auburn men put their freestyle depth on display as four swimmers went sub-1:35 in the 200 free on Friday, led by senior Ryan Husband who put up a new season-best of 1:33.62 and came within nearly a half-second of his PB from this meet last year (1:33.11).

Also going sub-1:34 was sophomore Jon Vanzandt, who clocked 1:33.88 in what was his second time swimming the race at the meet—he first went 1:34.38 which was also a PB. Coming in, his fastest swim came at last year’s Auburn Invite (1:35.35).

Vanzandt, who moved to #8 all-time in Auburn history in the 200 free, went on to add lifetime bests in the 100 free (42.98), and then at the end of the second day, in the 50 free (19.75) in a time trial.

Also setting personal bests and cracking 1:35 for Auburn were freshman Benjamin Chateigner (1:34.37) and sophomore Danny Schmidt (1:34.73).

Both Husband and Schmidt contributed on the Tigers’ 8th-place finishing 800 free relay from the 2023 NCAA Championships, with others being Michael Bonson and Mason Mathias. Mathias went 1:36.73 on the weekend, while Bonson was 1:36.95. Both will be aiming to peak for SECs.

FSU fifth-year Peter Varjasi doubled up with wins in the men’s 50 free (19.50) and 100 free (42.43), the former being a season-best and in the 100 fly, he set a PB of 46.07 to place a close second to Auburn’s Sohib Khaled, who set a lifetime best of his own in 46.04.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Auburn senior Meghan Lee dropped a massive personal best of 1:45.64 in the 200 free, dismantling her previous mark of 1:49.15. She also swam the 200 IM in 1:58.41, a new season-best.
  • Ellie Waldrep paced the women’s 200 back (1:55.77) and was the runner-up to FSU’s Halden in the 100 fly (52.85). The Auburn junior’s PBs stand at 1:53.72 and 52.64, respectively.
  • Tiger senior Hannah Ownbey recorded new personal bests in the women’s 200 free (1:46.42) and 100 breast (1:00.98).
  • Russian fifth-year Elizaveta Klevanovich, who joined Auburn at the beginning of the second semester, topped the women’s 100 free in a PB of 48.80, cracking the 49.02 she established in January. An Olympian in 2021, Klevanovich also split 21.70 on Auburn’s 200 free relay.

The teams will gear up for the 2024 SEC Championships, which Auburn will host from Feb. 20-24.

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MarshFAN
21 days ago

WocoWoco have the Tigers moving smoothly upward – Well done Ryan, swimmers, divers and coaches!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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