Nov. 22, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn recorded the nation’s top time in the 200 freestyle and the 400 medley relay, while the women’s team posted an ‘A’ cut time of 1:28.64 to highlight the first day of the Auburn Invitational on Friday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
The Tigers recorded four NCAA ‘A’ cut times on Friday along with 13 ‘B’ cuts on the first day of competition. Marcelo Chierighini posted the nation’s best time in the 50 free with a mark of 19.25. The senior's automatic qualifying time finished second to former Auburn swimmer Adam Brown in the event, who won with a mark of 19.04. Senior James Disney-May and freshman Kyle Darmody earned ‘B’ cut times in the 50 free final. Disney-May clocked in fourth at 19.71, while Darmody finished at 19.99.
“Overall, we wanted to have 100 percent improvement from the swimming this morning. Once we put our fast suits on I knew our confidence would go up and our team morale was really high," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "It was nice to win the first two relays as we beat a good Georgia team on the women’s side to get the ball rolling.”
The team of Allyx Purcell, Emily Bos, Megan Fonteno, and Aubrey Peacock opened the evening session by posting an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:28.64 to out-touch runner up Georgia by six-hundredths of a second. Emily Bos’ split of 21.85 gave the Tigers a lead and nearly identical outings from Megan Fonteno (22.17) and Aubrey Peacock (22.18) pushed Auburn to the top.
For the men in the 200 free relay, the team of Chierighini, Disney-May, Leon and Darmody cruised to the nation’s top time of 1:17.22 to earn an NCAA automatic qualifying time. Disney-May’s split of 19.05 on the second long powered Auburn to the win. The Tigers also earned a second-place finish from the grouping of Arthur Mendes, Alex Press, Youseef Hammoud and Alex Hancock with a time of 1:19.81.
“The two wins in the 200 free relay really gave everyone a big sigh of relief and we settled in to some fast swimming and that’s all it takes,” Hawke said. “It was a spark of confidence and it changed the momentum of our night.
In the final event of the night, Auburn’s men took the win in the 400 medley relay, besting Georgia with a time of 3:09.21, the top-mark in the NCAA to record the second relay ‘A’ cut time of the night. Freshman Joe Patching led off with a split of 46.92, his fastest time of the season, while Chierighini anchored the Tigers down the stretch with a split of 42.25 to close the race.
Auburn’s women turned in its top time of the year in the 400 medley relay and finished second to close out the night with a time of 3:37.91. Bos led off the race with a 52.18 split, her fastest time in the backstroke of the fall.
Zane Grothe sliced six seconds off his prelim time and finished fourth in men’s 500 free recording a time of 4:19.15 to earn a ‘B’ cut time. On the women’s side, freshman Ashley Nedigh won the consolation final with a time of 4:49.62, cutting nine seconds off her prelim time to earn a season-best.
In the women’s 50 free, Bos led the way for Auburn recording an NCAA ‘B’ cut mark with a season-best time of 22.41. Bos missed setting a personal best in the event by just .06 to finish third. The Tigers placed the top-four finishers in the 50 free consolation as Purcell continued to improve on her ‘B’ time with a mark of 22.42 with the win, the fourth-fastest finish of the night. Fonteno (2nd – 22.67), Peacock (3rd – 22.73) and Haley Krakowski (4th – 22.79) rounded out the top-four spots for Auburn to earn ‘B’ cut times.
Sarah Peterson posted a ‘B’ cut time in the 200 women’s IM final with a victory in the consolation finals. The junior’s time of 2:00.59 is a season-best and was the fifth-best mark of the night.
Patching continued to cut down his time in the men’s 200 IM, finishing fourth to earn a ‘B’ cut at 1:46.77, while teammate Alex Hancock also added a ‘B’ cut mark at 1:47.36. Duderstadt cruised to the win in the consolation final winning by a second-and-a-half with a time of 1:48.24 en route to ‘B’ cut time. Allen Browning bested Arthur Mendes to take the victory in the C-final with a mark of 1:49.01, while Mendes finished at 1:49.78.
In the men’s 3-meter diving, John Santeiu guided the Tigers to a win in the event posting a score of 396.60 to improve his NCAA Zone Diving scores. Fraser McKean finished as the runner-up with a season-best mark of 377.65. Junior Michael Beran scored 353.50 for a fourth-place finish for Auburn with his best score of 2013. Justin Youtsey finished ninth, but turned in a terrific performance in the finals to post a personal-best score of 355.25 to record NCAA Zone Diving marks.
Auburn’s trio of Carly Scheper, Cinzia and Shanna Schuelein finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively for the Tigers. Scheper posted the top score for Auburn at 279.05, earning NCAA Zone Diving marks. Calabretta scored 271.75 her season-best in the event, while Scheulein recorded a score of 264.10 to post her best mark of 2013. All three Auburn divers earned NCAA Zone Diving scores during Friday's competition.
The Tiger men lead the competition after the first day of action with 334 points, followed by Georgia with 321 points. Florida State ranks third with 250 points, while Alabama is in fourth with 137. Auburn’s women enter Saturday’s prelims in third with 240.5 points; Georgia leads with 461.
The second day of the Auburn Invitational begins on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Diving prelims are scheduled to begin at noon with the men’s 1-meter and women’s 3-meter.