March 26, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS - The Auburn men's swimming and diving team capped off the 2010-11 season by taking sixth place at the NCAA Championships held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minn. It marks the 10th consecutive year for Auburn to finish among the top six teams in the nation.
The Tigers finished the meet with 269.5 points. California took the overall team title with 493 points, followed by Texas (470.5) and Stanford (403). Arizona took fourth with 302 points while Florida finished fifth with 291 points.
"It was a great way to finish the meet and I am very proud of our seniors like Adam Brown and Kohlton Norys for the way they stepped up and led this team to a top-six finish in the meet," said Auburn head coach Brett Hawke. "We also got a great glimpse of the future this week with some great swimmers like Max Murphy, Kyle Owens and Zane Grothe working their way up.
"Overall, I was really proud of the way this team battled when things were not going our way. But, we know we have to get better and get stronger moving forward from here."
Senior Adam Brown led the Tigers in the meet, tallying six All-America honors while scoring 62 of Auburn's points.
"In a short two years, Adam has gone down as one of the greatest sprinters to ever come through Auburn," said Hawke. "He has a bright future ahead of him, including the Olympics in his home country of England next year. I'm very proud of Adam for what he has accomplished at Auburn."
Grothe, one of four freshmen on Auburn's NCAA Championship squad, scored 25 points, set two Auburn records and tallied a pair of All-America honors at the meet.
"Zane was amazing this week, especially being a freshman," said Hawke. "He was one of the best we had all week and we are very excited for what the future holds for him."
Grothe opened the session by breaking his own Auburn record in the 1650 free, clocking in with a time of 14:47.09. He surpassed his time of 14:57.46, set at the 2011 SEC Championships. He finished sixth overall in the event, making him one of just four Tigers ever to earn first-team All-America honors in the 1650 free.
"It felt pretty crazy - I was going so hard, I felt numb for most of it," said Grothe. "I knew I had to go out hard, and it is like coach said, `you don't die, it just hurts more.' So, you just have to go out for it: I did and my first 500 was four seconds faster."
Kyle Owens and Max Murphy teamed up to score 15 points for the Tigers in the 200 backstroke, finishing ninth and 11th, respectively, in the event. After having to do a swim-off earlier in the day, Owens clocked his fastest time of the three tries, winning the consolation final for ninth overall with a time of 1:41.57.
Murphy was right behind him, taking third in the consolation final for 11th overall, with a time of 1:42.36.
Senior Adam Brown notched his second top-three finish of the championships in the 100 free, checking in at third with a time of 41.84. Also in the championship final was freshman Marcelo Chierighini, finishing eighth in a time of 42.49.
Brown was just off his time of 41.75 from the morning preliminary - a time that ranks third all-time at Auburn behind Cesar Cielo (40.92) and Matt Targett (41.55).
"It was a tough race, I really wanted to win that one with it being my event," said Brown. "I swam my competitor's race instead of my own, and it caught me in the end. My hat's off to Nathan Adrian, though, he swam a great meet."
Senior diver Dan Mazzaferro, who finishes his Auburn career a nine-time All-American, took 15th in platform diving. He tallied a score of 332.60 in the consolation final to earn his second All-America honor of the meet.
Auburn capped off the championships by taking runner-up honors in the 400 free relay, clocking in with a time of 2:49.47. After leading at the mid-point of the race, a surging California team took over and pulled out the win.
"I knew that was going to be a tough race," said Norys. "I knew I would be going against Nathan Adrian as the anchor, but I tried not to think about that. It was the last race of my college career and I just wanted to go out and put it all on the line."
A tape-delayed broadcast of the 2011 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will air at 12:30 p.m. CT, on Wednesday, April 6 on ESPN2. Auburn swimming legend Rowdy Gaines is a part of the ESPN broadcast team for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
Follow Auburn Swimming and Diving on twitter at twitter.com/AuburnSwimming.
Adam Brown (50 Free, 100 Free, 200 FR, 400 FR, 200 MR, 400 MR HM)
Marcelo Chierighini (50 Free HM, 100 Free, 200 FR, 400 FR, 200 MR)
Tony Cox (100 Back, 400 MR HM)
Stuart Ferguson (400 MR HM)
Zane Grothe (500 Free, 1650 Free)
Adam Klein (100 Breast HM, 200 MR, 400 MR HM)
Karl Krug (50 Free, 200 FR, 400 FR, 400 MR HM)
Chris Manning (200 FR, 50 Free HM)
Dan Mazzaferro (3-Meter HM, Platform HM)
Drew Modrov (50 Free HM, 200 MR)
Max Murphy (200 Back HM)
Kohlton Norys (200 FR, 50 Free HM, 400 FR, 400 MR HM)
Kyle Owens (100 Back, 200 Back HM, 200 MR, 400 MR HM)
Jared White (400 MR HM)
6 - Zane Grothe - 14:47.09
9 - Kyle Owens - 1:41.57
11 - Max Murphy - 1:42.36
3 - Adam Brown - 41.84
8 - Marcelo Chierighini - 42.49
15 - Dan Mazzaferro - 332.60
400 Free Relay
2 - Adam Brown (41.97), Marcelo Chierighini (42.51), Karl Krug (42.86), Kohlton Norys (42.13) - 2:49.47
Auburn Records Set At NCAA Championships
500 Free - Zane Grothe - 4:16.57
1650 Free - Zane Grothe - 14:47.09