March 28, 2008
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Six Auburn swimmers and a relay team advanced to Friday night finals following this morning's preliminary competitions at the 2008 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
The three-day meet is being contested at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.
Auburn's 200 medley relay team of Scott Goodrich, David Maras, Alexei Puninski and Cesar Cielo got things going for the Tigers by winning the preliminary with a time of 1:24.27. The time is the fastest of the season in the event for Auburn and the team will look to improve upon it in tonight's finals as the Tigers prepare to defend their title in the event.
Freshman Andrew Mitchell followed by qualifying for his first final, clocking a 3:48.95 in the 400 IM to finish in a tie for 14th and advance to the consolation final. Mitchell is the first Auburn swimmer to qualify for a 400 IM final since Eric Shanteau did in 2006.
Fresh off his swim in the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay, senior Puninski stepped back up to the blocked and swam a 45.78 in the 100 fly, winning the preliminary. Teammate Tyler McGill will join him in the championship final as he finished seventh with a time of 46.17.
Puninski was just short of his personal-best in the preliminary heat, but McGill's time is good enough for third all-time at Auburn.
Junior Cielo will also get a second swim in the 200 fly as he touched in at 46.50, earning a consolation final berth as he tied for 10th.
Also competing in the 100 fly were senior Luke Weniger and sophomore Jordan Anderson. Weniger missed out on the finals by five hundredths of a second as he finished 18th with a time of 46.07. Anderson came in 25th with a 47.45.
In the 200 freestyle, sophomore Will Dove was Auburn's lone competitor as he finished 29th with a 1:36.57.
Sophomore Michael Silva earned his first individual finals appearance in the next event, finishing 14th in the 100 breaststroke to advance to the consolation finals. Silva clocked a time of 53.54, a personal-best that ranks 10th all-time at Auburn.
In the final event of the morning session, freshman Kohlton Norys earned his first individual finals berth as he came in 13th in the 100 backstroke preliminary, advancing to the consolation finals. Norys touched in a 47.28, registering the 10th-fastest time all-time at Auburn.
Sophomore Pascal Wollach and Goodrich barely missed out on a second swim. Wollach came in 17th with a time of 47.57, three-hundredths of a second behind 16th-place Jason Bergstrom, while Goodrich finished in a tie for 18th with a 47.58.
Also on the schedule tonight is the 800 free relay. No preliminaries are swum in the 800 as it is a timed final. Auburn is seeded in the last of the three heats of the relay with a time of 6:24.20.
In the 3-meter diving, Auburn was well-represented as sophomores Dan Mazzaferro and Kelly Marx both advanced to the championship finals. Mazzaferro led the duo, finishing third with a score of 389.40 while Marx was right behind him in fourth with a 384.15.
Action in the 2008 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships continues at 9 p.m. CT tonight with finals in the second-day events.
Fans can follow the meet this week with live stats at www.ncaaswim.com/men08/. A live video Web cast will also be available by going to www.SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.
2008 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
Day 2 Auburn Preliminary Results
200-Yard Medley Relay
1 - Goodrich (21.66), Maras (24.05), Puninski (19.95), Cielo (18.61) - 1:24.27
400-Yard Individual Medley
T14 - Andrew Mitchell - 3:48.95
29 - Will Dove - 1:36.57