Feb. 17, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Auburn put together a strong morning Friday that saw 28 Tiger swimmers earn spots in their respective finals on the third day of the 2012 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.
"It's one of those mornings where you're proud to be the head coach of a great team," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "They really came out and fought for themselves and for the team. It was just a great morning; happy to be a part of it.
In a meet filled with highlights from senior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, she provided another in the 100 butterfly prelims. Her time of 51.52 was an NCAA `A' cut, the second-fastest time in the nation this year, and a new Auburn record. Right behind her was sophomore Olivia Scott - who had broken Vanderpool-Wallace's record in December - with a 51.89 to qualify third. Along with Tennessee's Jenny Connolly swimming a 51.21, the three fastest times in the nation were posted in the women's 100 fly prelims this morning. In addition, freshman Megan Fonteno earned a `B' cut time of 54.48 and qualified 16th to earn a spot in the consolation final.
Freshman Sarah Peterson started off the morning strong for the Tigers, putting together the sixth-fastest 400 IM in Auburn history with a 4:10.59 to win her preliminary heat and earn a spot in the championship final. She was Auburn's only entry in the event.
"I always look at the first swim of the day," Hawke said. "Sarah Peterson really set the tone for us, dropping four seconds. That just set up the whole morning for us. It was the best swim of the day."
Auburn got two women into the championship of the 100 breaststroke as Lauren Norberg (1:00.53) tied for third and Abby Duncan (1:00.94) was sixth. Lindsey Norberg missed the championship by a scant .06 seconds, finishing ninth with a 1:01.16. And junior Laura Johnson will swim in an SEC final for the first time, clocking a 1:01.89 to finish 13th overall and earn a spot in the consolation.
Junior Becca Jones set a personal record in the 200 freestyle with a 1:46.31, qualifying third and earning a spot in the championship for the second straight year. Haley Krakoski was .13 seconds shy of a championship spot, finishing ninth with a 1:47.81, and Katie Gardocki added another in the consolation final with a 1:47.98.
Emily Bos wrapped up the morning for the women with a 53.23 in the 100 backstroke to qualify fourth overall and advance to the championship for the second straight year. Hannah Riordan earned a spot in the consolation with a 54.74, qualifying 12th.
On the men's side, it was a banner day in several events. The biggest and most pleasant surprise was Auburn getting three men into the 200 freestyle final, the most Auburn entries in that event's championship since 2007. Sophomore James Disney-May led the way with a 1:35.57 to finish third overall, while Drew Modrov tied for fifth place with a 1:35.89. Sophomore Zane Grothe took the seventh spot with a 1:35.92. Senior Karl Krug, swimming the 200 free for the first time this year, went 1:37.50 to finish 12th and make it back for the consolation final.
"We've been embarrassed the last few years in the 200 freestyle," Hawke said. "And we've got three up in the men's 200 free. We're just turning things around, trying to switch things up and be unpredictable."
Auburn also got three championship finals spots in the 100 backstroke. Junior Kyle Owens posted the second-fastest time in the country this year and the fifth-fastest in Auburn history with an `A' cut time of 46.03 to earn the top qualifying spot. Senior Max Murphy took fourth with a 47.26, and Brandon Siemasko was eighth in 48.38.
Defending SEC Champion Stuart Ferguson was the top qualifier in the 100 breaststroke, posting an NCAA `A' cut time of 52.85 to claim the top spot. Chris Manning was third overall with a 53.66, and junior transfer Chandler Gerlach made his first SEC final with a 13th-place time of 55.66.
Auburn also earned two spots in the men's 100 butterfly championship. Sophomore Marcelo Chierighini went 47.28 in the preliminary to earn fifth place overall, and TJ Leon grabbed the eighth and final championship spot with a 47.73. Freshman Alex Hancock made his first SEC final with a 15th-place time of 48.47.
Finals in all the aforementioned events, along with men's platform diving, begin at 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT). Live stats and live video are available through UTSports.com, and fans can follow a live blog at AuburnTigers.com or @AuburnSwimming on Twitter for updates from the pool deck.
Diving Update - 2:20 p.m. ET: Sophomore John Santeiu advanced to the finals of the men's platform event with a second-place score of 378.65. Freshmen Michael Beran and Fraser McKean barely missed a return trip tonight as Beran finished ninth with a 328.55 - less than two points behind the eighth-place finisher - and McKean was 11th with a 326.00.
Auburn Swimming & Diving Results
2012 SEC Championships - Friday Prelims
Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatics Center - Knoxville, Tenn.
February 17, 2012
400 IM: 11. Kramer (3:53.23), 12. Browning (3:54.30)
100 Fly: 5. Chierighini (47.28), 8. Leon (47.73), 15. Hancock (48.47)
200 Free: 3. Disney-May (1:35.57), T4. Modrov (1:35.89), 7. Grothe (1:35.92), 12. Krug (1:37.50)
100 Breast: 1. Ferguson (52.85), 3. Manning (53.66), 13. Gerlach (55.66)
100 Back: 1. Owens (46.03), 4. Murphy (47.26), 8. Siemasko (48.38)
Platform Diving: 2. Santeiu (378.65), 9. Beran (328.55), 11. McKean (326.00)
400 IM: 3. Peterson (4:10.59)
100 Fly: 2. Vanderpool-Wallace (51.52); 3. Scott (51.89); 16. Fonteno (54.48)
200 Free: 3. Jones (1:46.31), 9. Krakoski (1:47.81), 11. Gardocki (1:47.98)
100 Breast: 3. La. Norberg (1:00.53), 6. Duncan (1:00.94), 9. Li. Norberg (1:01.16), 13. Johnson (1:01.89)
100 Back: 4. Bos (53.23), 12. Riordan (54.74)