March 24, 2006
Atlanta, Ga. -
With one day remaining at the 2006 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championship, Auburn will look to take the lead back from Arizona who narrowly holds the edge by five points, 336.5-331.5. The Tiger 200 medley relay and senior Doug Van Wie turned in runner up finishes on Friday evening at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center.
"Arizona really had a magical night," Auburn head coach David Marsh said. "They were on fire tonight. This is two weeks in a row now that they have great swims through the first two days. It is going to be kind of a knock down, drag out, tomorrow. Arizona's strength is their quality and our strength is our depth. It is reminiscent of last week and I am just hoping the end result is the same."
The Tigers opened up Friday finals with a splash, turning in a runner up finish in the 200 medley relay. Anchor Matt Targett secured the Tigers top finish as he sprinted to the wall with the fastest freestyle split of the field - 18.72.
"Our goal is always to go out and win," Targett said. "Arizona had a terrific swim and my hat goes off to them, they had a great swim. I think we did our best and I am happy for that."
Van Wie put the Tigers in the race for the title swimming leadoff and posting a bettered split from morning prelims of 21.49. James Wike continued the race to the finish line, swimming breaststroke and touching the wall with a 24.47 split. Alexei Puninski made waves on the third leg with a 20.40 split to put the Tigers in contention. Arizona's strong second and third leg's help propel them to the title in a new NCAA record time of 1:23.88.
"Being on a relay at Auburn is always a huge honor and we take great pride in it," Van Wie said. "We always want to win and that is our goal every time we go out but Arizona had a great swim and we also had a good swim, they were just a little better today."
Van Wie battled back in the 100 back to make it an interesting final 25 yards but Northwestern's Matt Grevers was able to stretch in the for the win. Van Wie took the runner up spot to improve one place from last year at the championships and did so with the second fastest time, 46.22, at a championship. His time was a mere .05 off his lifetime best mark set last year in the 100 back finals at NCAAs.
"I gave it my all and tried to stay underwater as long as I could," Van Wie said. "It was close at the touch and it was a great race. It is a busy night for me, I had three swims, so I am just trying to keep looking forward to the next race and swim fast."
Senior Eric Shanteau concluded his collegiate career in the 400 IM in the same fashion he finished a year ago - third. Shanteau put together an exciting final 200 yards as he turned in a breast split of 31.98, just .01 from being the fastest of the field. Shanteau gained ground after the breast and concluded with the third fastest free time of 24.90, to put together a total time of 3:44.27, his second fastest ever at an NCAA meet.
"The best thing about the race is that I kept my spot," Shanteau said. "I wanted to stay third, that was the main goal, as far as the time goes, I was about two seconds off my personal best, so I wasn't as happy with that. Right now there are bigger things to worry about and that is the team title. I really can't complain with my performance."
Just two and a half points off his own Auburn record, Steve Segerlin put on a show on 3-meter to grab third place for the second year in a row, tonight with a six-dive score of 401.20. He made a 23.55 point increase on his total from the morning prelim, where he earned the No. 3 seed for tonight's final. With one day remaining at the championships, Segerlin will look to continue Auburn's win streak on platform to four straight years.
"Anytime you score over 400 points we are very pleased with that results," Auburn head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "Chris [Colwill] was outstanding and Joona [Puhakka] was solid and had some beautiful dives. I can't be more proud of Steve and his efforts. He could have been a little sharper on his third and fourth dive entries. It is a touch situation for him, he is just so in to the team race that he expends a lot of energy on that and we need for him to sharpen up for tower tomorrow."
The time final 800 free relay concluded the evening as Auburn was seeded in the second of three heats based on their fastest time during the regular season. After the first two legs, Auburn stood in second in their heat before Rory Connell took over on the third leg. Connell put together a remarkable 1:34.75 200 free split to take charge and put anchor Bovell in position to bring home the win in the heat and a strong time for the overall finish. Bovell did as he know best, turned in the fastest split of the group to dominate the final 200 to conclude with a time of 6:21.90. The time after a strong third heat positioned the Tigers in sixth overall with Arizona taking the win.
With the All-American finish of the 800 free relay, Bovell earns his 23rd All-American honor which moved him into first all-time at Auburn. He jumped ahead of former AU greats Rowdy Gaines and Brock Newman who each concluded their careers with 22.
Swimming the 100 fly less than 30 minutes after opening up on the 200 medley relay, Puninski was unable to duplicate his top performance from the morning prelim (46.38) as the freshman swam a 46.60 in the finals to take seventh. In consolation action, Jakob Andkjaer bettered his personal best set this morning by .09, 47.11, to take 10th overall (second in consols).
Connell kept his position in the 200 free, placing sixth with a 1:34.80, just .02 off his morning prelim time. In the consols, Bovell ended up 10th overall with a finals time of 1:35.06 and Joey Schneider was 15th, 1:37.21. For the second straight year Scott Goodrich finished 14th in the 100 back with a time of 48.02.
Saturday's prelims begin at 12 p.m. ET. Live stats from all rounds of competition can be found on the Georgia Tech athletic web site at www.ramblinwreck.com.
- With 23 total All-American honors, senior George Bovell now owns the most of any Auburn male swimmer in history of Tiger swimming and diving. He passed Rowdy Gaines and Brock Newman who each concluded their careers with 22.
Auburn NCAA Champions
200 Free Relay - Cesar Cielo, Matt Targett, Bryan Lundquist, George Bovell
Jakob Andkjaer - 100 Fly HM, 800 FR
George Bovell - 50 Free, 200 Free HM, 200 FR, 800 FR
Kurt Cady - 200 IM HM
Cesar Cielo - 50 Free, 200 FR, 400 MR
Rory Connell - 200 Free, 800 FR
Scott Goodrich - 50 Free HM, 100 Back HM
Bryan Lundquist - 50 Free HM, 200 FR
Alexei Puninski - 50 Free, 100 Fly, 200 MR, 400 MR
Joey Schneider - 200 Free HM
Steve Segerlin - 1-meter, 3-meter
Eric Shanteau - 200 IM, 400 IM
Matt Targett - 200 FR, 200 MR
Doug Van Wie - 100 back, 200 IM HM, 800 FR, 200 MR, 400 MR
James Wike - 200 IM, 200 MR, 400 MR
Men's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships Day 2 Finals - Winner and Auburn Results
200 Medley Relay
1. Arizona (Albert Subirats, Dave Rollins, Lyndon Ferns, Simon Burnett) - 1:23.88 (NCAA Record)
2. Doug Van Wie (21.49), James Wike (24.47), Alexei Puninski (20.40), Matt Targett (18.72) - 1:25.08
1. Ryan Lochte (Florida) - 3:38.15 (NCAA Record)
3. Eric Shanteau - 3:44.27
1. Lyndon Ferns (Arizona) - 45.89
7. Alexei Puninski - 46.60
10. Jakob Andkjaer - 47.11
1. Simon Burnett (Arizona) - 1:31.20 (NCAA, American, US Open, Pool Records)
7. Rory Connell - 1:34.80
10. George Bovell - 1:34.60
15. Joey Schneider - 1:37.23
1. Henrique Barbosa (California) - 52.52
1. Matt Grevers (Northwestern) - 45.93
2. Doug Van Wie - 46.22
14. Scott Goodrich - 48.02
1. Chris Colwill (Georgia) - 460.95
3. Steve Segerlin - 401.20
800 Free Relay
1. Arizona (Simon Burnett, Lyndon Ferns, Tyler Deberry, Adam Ritter) - 6:16.67 (pool record)
6. Doug Van Wie (1:36.36), Jakob Andkjaer (1:36.70), Rory Connell (1:34.75), George Bovell (1:34.09) - 6:21.90
1. Arizona - 336.5
2. Auburn - 331.5
3. Stanford - 244.5
4. Texas - 220
5. Florida - 203