Feb. 23, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Senior Kyle Owens and junior Marcelo Chierighini posted the nation's fastest times in their respective events, and senior Micah Lawrence and freshman Jillian Vitarius also advanced to championship finals Saturday at the 2013 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.
Owens, fresh off a win in the 100 backstroke Friday night, was the top qualifier in the 200 back this morning with a 1:40.71, the fastest time in the country so far this year. The defending champion in the 200 back, Owens will look to become the first Auburn swimmer to win two titles in both backstroke events at the SEC Championships. Fellow senior Brandon Siemasko will have a return swim as well, posting a 1:45.09 to qualify for the consolation final. And freshman Jacob Siar clocked a personal-best 1:46.26 to qualify 20th overall and swim the C-final tonight.
Chierighini will also look to defend his 2012 SEC title tonight after posting the country's top time this year in the 100 freestyle, a 42.09 that was a personal-best, more than a half-second faster than anyone else in the field, and an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Junior James Disney-May and freshman Arthur Mendes earned spots in the consolation final with Disney-May clocking a 43.81 and Mendes posting a 43.84 in his first collegiate attempt at the 100 free. And TJ Leon (44.14) and Alex Hancock (44.52) qualified for the C-final with the 18th and 24th-best times of the morning, respectively.
Senior Micah Lawrence will be one of three 2012 Olympians swimming in the championship final of the women's 200 breaststroke. She posted a 2:09.26 for the fifth-fastest time of the morning heats to join Texas A&M's Breeja Larson and Florida's Hilda Luthersdottir in a mini-reunion of London Olympians. Fellow Auburn senior Lauren Norberg recorded the fifth-fastest time in school history with a 2:12.21, which placed her 12th overall and into the consolation final. Another senior, Laura Johnson, put up the best time of her career with a 2:13.64, finishing 19th in the prelims and making the C-final; she will be joined by Abby Duncan, whose 2:13.84 placed her 22nd.
Auburn's women will have one other championship finalist Saturday night. Freshman Jillian Vitarius earned the sixth seed in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:54.35, the seventh-fastest swim in school history. Junior Aubrey Peacock will swim the consolation final with an 11th-place time of 1:55.98, and freshman Caitlyn Forman will be in the C-final with a 1:57.82.
Men's senior Stuart Ferguson just missed the championship final with a ninth-place time of 1:57.38, and junior Peter Haas swam a personal-best and the 10th-fastest time in school history with a 10th-place mark of 1:57.65. Freshman Jordan Jones (2:01.35) and senior Chandler Gerlach (2:01.93) qualified for the C-final.
In the women's 100 free, Hannah Riordan and Emily Bos qualified for the consolation final. Riordan will be the 11th seed tonight with a 49.06, and Bos posted a personal-best mark of 49.15 to qualify 13th. Haley Krakoski was the second alternate with a 49.74.
Prelims in men's platform diving begin at 1 p.m., and timed final heats of the 1650 freestyle get underway at 2 p.m. Finals start at 6 p.m., and ESPN3.com will have live coverage.
Auburn Swimming & Diving
2013 SEC Championships - Day 5 Prelims
February 23, 2013
Texas A&M Student Rec Center - College Station, Texas
Men's 100 Freestyle
1. Marcelo Chierighini (42.09) (PR) (A-Final)
13. James Disney-May (43.81) (B-Final)
14. Arthur Mendes (43.84) (PR) (B-Final)
18. TJ Leon (44.14) (C-Final)
24. Alex Hancock (44.52) (C-Final)
Women's 100 Freestyle
11. Hannah Riordan (49.06) (B-Final)
13. Emily Bos (49.15) (PR) (B-Final)
27. Haley Krakoski (49.74)
28. Olivia Scott (49.83)
30. Alex Merritt (49.93) (PR)
32. Lindsey Norberg (50.15) (PR)
53. Hallie Stupp (52.35)