SEC Swimming Championships: Day Two Preliminaries
Feb. 17, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Auburn swimming team qualified a total of 20 student-athletes to Thursday night's finals session after day two's preliminaries of the 2011 SEC Swimming Championships held at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on the campus of the University of Florida.
"Today was a solid day for us," head coach Brett Hawke said. "I'm very proud of our sprinters for stepping up and qualifying. We knew we had to be good in the areas where we were going to struggle and we did that as well so it was a good morning overall."
Highlighting the preliminaries was Auburn's performance in the 50 free. Junior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace swam the nation's fastest time in the event and broke a SEC and Auburn record in the process when she clocked a 21.46 to qualify first overall.
"I wanted to swim as fast as I could, but I wasn't expecting that," Vanderpool-Wallace said. "My goal was to go 21.8 and to go even faster is a great feeling."
Also qualifying for the championship final was sophomore Hannah Riordan, who came in fifth with a time of 22.36. Three Tigers reached the consolation final as freshman Olivia Scott was 11th (22.83), freshman Emily Bos was 13th (23.04) and sophomore Lindsey Norberg was 16th (23.09).
Five Auburn men earned a spot in the championship final of the 50 free with senior Adam Brown leading the way. His time of 19.09 is the second-fastest time in the nation and an NCAA "A" cut time. Junior Karl Krug was second after the prelims with an "A" time of 19.27, while Drew Modrov was third (19.53), Marcelo Chierighini was seventh (19.78) and Chris Manning was eighth (19.79).
"We knew that this was our strength and we had to come out in numbers," Hawke said. "We are confident that we have some of the top swimmers in the country and we proved that."
A pair of Tigers qualified for the men's 200 IM championship final. Sophomore Kyle Owens logged the fifth-fastest time of 1:46.13 and senior Andrew Mitchell was eighth in 1:47.02. Freshman Nimrod Hayet qualified for the consolation final with the 11th-fastest time of 1:47.82, while sophomore Stuart Ferguson was 16th in 1:48.41.
Senior Caitlin Geary had a season-best performance in the women's 200 IM as the Orlando, Fla., native was second in the field with a time of 1:57.31.
Freshman Zane Grothe put together season-best performance in the 500 free for the Tigers. The Boulder City, Nev., product qualified for the championship final after he recorded the sixth-fastest time in the field of 4:20.12.
"Zane (Grothe) getting in the championship final as a freshman is great for him and the moral of the team," Hawke said.
Thursday's finals kick off at 6 p.m. ET from the Stephen C. O'Connell Center with the 500 free, following with the 200 IM, 50 free and 200 free relay. Live results and live streaming are available at www.gatorzone.com.
Auburn Swimming and Diving
Auburn Top Finishers - Women: 500 Freestyle - Consolation Final: 13. Gardocki (4:44.75); 16. Martindale (4:48.58); 200 IM - Championship Final: 2. Geary (1:57.31); 50 Free - Championship Final: 1. Vanderpool-Wallace (21.46); 5. Riordan (22.36); Consolation Final: 11. Scott (22.83); 13. Bos (23.04); 16. Li. Norberg (23.09).
Men: 500 Freestyle - Championship Final: 6. Grothe (4:20.12); 200 IM - Championship Final: 5. Owens (1:46.13); 8. Mitchell (1:47.02); Consolation Final: 11. Hayet (1:47.82); 16. Ferguson (1:48.41); 50 Free - Championship Final: 1. Brown (19.09); 2. Krug (19.27); 3. Modrov (19.53); 7. Chierighini (19.78); 8. Manning (19.79); Consolation Final: 9. Norys (19.86); 12. Cox (19.98).
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