“I thought the women came in focused and energized this morning and that’s when you win championships, by getting people back in the finals; I thought we did a real good job this morning of coming to race,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. “Tonight was just an expression of all the hard work they have been doing. It just exploded tonight. The women swam their best session of the meet, came together and performed every race.”
Tetzloff, who had already earned a pair of runner-up individual finishes in the previous two days, capped her weekend with a win in the 100 free in 48.01, a personal best by over a half-second and now the fifth-fastest time in the country. It also made her the fourth-fastest performer in school history with what was then the 19th-fastest performance ever by an Auburn women.
Those personal best times and school rankings stood for just about an hour for both Tetzloff and Meynen as Auburn blitzed the field in winning the 400 free relay in a nation’s best 3:13.88, the only time under 3:15.00 to this point. Meynen led off in a new personal best 47.61, which then made her the second-fastest performer in school history with the 12th-best performance in Auburn annals. Erin Falconer swam the second leg in 48.45, Ellzey took the third leg in 49.57 and Tetzloff anchored in 48.25.
“Aly was outstanding from start to finish,” Hawke said. “She was probably the overall performer of the meet with the swims she had and how she did. Winning the 100 free was huge and then on the 4 by 100 relay posting the fastest time in the country and getting the A cut.”
Nero earned her first individual win of the weekend with a 1:57.92 in the 200 fly, now the 14th-fastest time in the country. Freshman Jaden Bellina was just two spots behind her in third in 1:59.39, giving her a NCAA B cut in the event. Jewels Harris took 10th in 2:05.45.
“Bailey was great with her double and winning the 200 fly,” Hawke said.
Falconer swam a 1:54.44 200 backstroke to take second in a time that was just .04 seconds off a personal best. She was the first of four Auburn swimmers in the A final, as Nero took fifth (1:56.87), Caroline Baddock took seventh (1:57.86) and Abi Wilder took ninth (1:59.17).
Zoe Thatcher swam a 16:45.21 to take fourth in the mile to open the night.
In the diving well, Alison Maillard went 3-for-3 with second place finishes on the week, scoring a 252.95 to finish second on the platform. She was just .65 points ahead of teammate Erin Norton, who finished third with a 252.30. Both scores surpassed the Zone Qualifying mark.
“The biggest bright spot (today) was Erin Norton,” diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “Four of her dives that she competed for the first time were new dives that she learned over the last two weeks. She has a great future ahead and it was an excellent start to her platform career at Auburn.”
Auburn won the eight-team invitational with a total score of 1140.5 points, besting second-place Alabama (1054 pts) by 86.5 points. Florida State finished third (958.5 pts), host Georgia Tech was fourth (923 pts) and South Carolina fifth (622 pts).
Auburn’s male divers also competed at the invitational. Scott Lazeroff won the platform title with a 397.70, besting second-place by 22.85 and earning his fourth individual title this season. Pete Turnham finished fourth with a 342.75, Logan Andrews scored a 244.10 to finished 10th and Justin Checchin scored a 241.95 to finish 11th, with all scores being personal bests.
“Scott was real solid in our first platform meet of the season,” Shaffer said. “Pete was really solid as well and I was really pleased with what he did. All-in-all it was a great opportunity to see where we are.”
Auburn returns to competition when it sends the men’s team to the Georgia Invitational, Dec. 1-3, in Athens, Ga.