Sept. 27, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Auburn’s women’s swimming and diving team won its opening meet of the 2013-14 season Friday afternoon, defeating Vanderbilt 158-44 to move to 1-0 on the year. The Tigers won all 12 events in the meet to kick off the year in style and take plenty of momentum into the Notre Dame Tri-Meet next month.
“It was the first meet of the year for our team and it was good to see where we are at in these early stages of training,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke. “I thought the freshman were solid in their first collegiate meet and overall the performance was good. Attention to details were what the coaching staff was looking for.”
Not only did the Tigers win each event on Friday, they also took the top two spots in 10 out of 12 events. Only the 200 breast and 500 free did Auburn not take second place along with first. In both those events, freshman Annie Lazor and Ashley Neidigh came away with their first wins as Tigers.
Lazor scorched the competition in the 200 breast, clocking a time of 2:21.46 and winning by over three seconds. Lazor followed up her performance with a third-place finish in the 400 IM (4:29.96) to complete a 1-2-3 finish for the Tigers. As for Neidigh, she notched her first collegiate win, touching the wall in the 500 free in 5:02.08, scoring nine points for her team.
Neidigh wasn’t finished though as she also claimed victory in the 1,000 free to kick off the individual portion of the meet. The freshman clocked a time of 10:02.49, winning by over 20 seconds over teammate Siena DeVenuto (10:23.59).
Along with Neidigh, sophomore Jillian Vitarius was the only other multi-event winner as an individual for the Tigers. Vitarius took home the 200 free and 200 back events notching times of 1:50.94 and 1:59.48, respectively. Her 200 free time was just off a personal-best.
As the meet transferred into the sprint portion, Auburn continued its winning ways as senior Emily Bos took the 50 free title (23.12), just one second off a personal-best and a few hundredths of a second from an NCAA ‘B’ cut time. Bos and fellow senior Aubrey Peacock went one-two in the fastest race of the day. Peacock finished in 23.94, also one second off a personal-best.
Freshman Kristen Murslack became the third first time Tiger winner on the day as she claimed victory in the 400 IM with a time of 4:26.03, winning by over two full seconds. That win was followed up by a 200 fly victory from veteran Megan Fonteno. She continued Auburns dominance by winning by almost three full seconds (2:04.88).
The freshman surge continued as Allyx Purcell headed a 1-2-3 finish for the Tigers in the 100 free, winning with a time of 50.52, just off the NCAA ‘B’ qualifying time. Purcell’s win marked three of the first six individual events being topped by Auburn freshmen.
Auburn also swept the two relays in the meet, winning the 400 free and 400 medley relay, taking the top three times in both events. Freshman Sarah Reynolds, Murslack, Fonteno and senior Haley Krakowski made up the winning 400 medley relay time, clocking a 3:47.58.
Senior Hallie Stupp, Bos, Fonteno and junior Aimee Middleton took the win in the 400 free relay (3:29.97) completing the 1-2-3 finish to complete the meet.
The Auburn women will hit the water again when they travel to South Bend, Ind., to take part in the Notre Dame Tri-Meet against Indiana and Notre Dame. The men will be in competition for the first time of the year as they will also be at the Notre Dame Tri-Meet to take on the Irish and Michigan. That meet is scheduled for Oct. 11-12 on the Notre Dame campus.
For complete coverage of the Auburn swimming and diving team, log on to AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter, @AuburnSwimming, or ‘like’ the team on Facebook, Auburn Swimming and Diving.