Dec. 1, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn swimmers earned three more NCAA automatic qualifying times, and the Tigers put together another strong night in both the pool and on the boards Saturday at the Georgia Fall Invitational.
Much like Friday's evening session, the Auburn relays were the buzz around the Gabrielsen Natatorium as both the men's and women's 200-yard medley relay squads earned NCAA `A' cuts, guaranteeing their entry to the 2013 NCAA Championships in March. And junior Olivia Scott picked up a huge win for the Tigers with an NCAA `A' cut time of her own in the 100-yard butterfly.
"We set the night up really well, coming in and getting `A' cuts in both our men's and women's medley relay," Auburn Head Coach Brett Hawke said. "Strong stuff for us. They gave us some momentum in some other races. I thought our women's breaststroke was kind of the highlight of the meet. Just the depth and the way they competed.
"I was happy with Olivia Scott's 100 fly; thought it was a gritty win. You could tell we were getting tired by the end of the night, but they kept fighting. It's going to be challenging coming back in the morning, but it's really going to be a dress rehearsal for the SEC and NCAA Championships. I just want to see us be competitive in the morning and try our best, then come back at night and try to get some more `A' cuts."
Scott, a junior from Aurora, Ill., returned to the site where she initially broke the school record in the 100 fly last year and put together another outstanding performance. Her time of 51.83 won the championship final as she chased down Cal's Rachel Bootsma in the final 50 yards to take the victory. It marks the first individual `A' cut of the year for an Auburn swimmer.
"She's been the best trainer of the year so far on the female side," Hawke said. "She's consistently great in practice, and I think it's showing up in her racing. Olivia's training harder than she did last year, and she's swimming faster. She's just a great competitor."
Scott was also part of the women's 200 medley relay team that opened the night with an `A' cut of their own. The team of Emily Bos, Micah Lawrence, Scott and Hannah Riordan posted a 1:38.01 to finish second in the race and eclipse the NCAA automatic standard, qualifying them for the 2013 NCAA Championships in March. The Tigers' B-relay squad of Sarah Reynolds, Lauren Norberg, Megan Fonteno and Aubrey Peacock took third place, nearly hitting the A-cut mark themselves with a 1:38.73.
The men followed suit with a victory in the 200 MR as Kyle Owens, Stuart Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and James Disney-May ran away from the field with a 1:25.18, the third NCAA automatic qualifying time of the meet for an Auburn men's relay. Owens started the race off with a blazing 20.98 split in his 50 yards of backstroke, and Chierighini's 20.53 split in the butterfly leg put the race out of reach before Disney-May went 19.30 in the freestyle.
Auburn's divers turned in a strong performance as well. Sophomore Cinzia Calabretta earned a third-place finish in the women's 1-meter event with a 285.30, just shy of her lifetime best score, and Shanna Schuelein finished 10th overall and second in the consolation final with a 277.25. On the men's side, Fraser McKean took a third-place finish of his own in the 3-meter final with a 354.90, and John Santeiu and Andrew Laing finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Laing's score of 341.00 in the preliminaries was an NCAA Zone qualifying score, giving him a berth in the postseason.
"Overall, I was really pleased with how we competed," Auburn Diving Coach Jeff Shaffer said. "On the women's side, Cinzia had two really solid lists on 1-meter. Shanna did an outstanding job on her back and reverse one-and-a-halfs in the finals; that was very encouraging. The freshmen continue to get better, too.
"On the men's side, I'm really pleased with Fraser. Two solid lists. He's really starting to perfect his more difficult dives. John did two new dives on 3-meter - a forward one-and-a-half with two twists and an inward three-and-a-half - which are huge (degree of difficulty) dives that will help him score more points. We haven't done enough of them for him to be really ready. I guess the diver of the day would go to Andrew Laing. Really solid performance on the first list, getting his Zone score. That was really encouraging. We keep improving and stepping up, and now it's just focus on finals and we're into the championship season."
Micah Lawrence missed an `A' cut of her own in the 100 breaststroke, clocking a 59.69 to finish second in the championship final. Lauren Norberg was just behind Lawrence with a season-best 1:00.67 to earn a B-cut of her own. Lindsey Norberg won the C-final with a personal-best time of 1:00.87 for the ninth-fastest time in Auburn history, and Abby Duncan (1:01.26) and Tryshia Centeno (1:02.39) had B-cut times in the consolation final while Laura Johnson (1:02.77) was just shy of the `B' standard.
Stuart Ferguson earned a fourth-place finish in the 100 breast with a time of 54.25, lowering his B-cut time, and Peter Haas missed the `B' standard by a scant .12 seconds with a 55.51 to take runner-up honors in the consolation final. Chandler Gerlach tied for third in the B-final with a 55.83.
Owens took runner-up honors in the men's 100 backstroke with a 46.90. Emily Bos earned a seventh-place finish in the women's 100 backstroke with a season-best 53.09, and newcomers Aubrey Peacock (53.73) and Jillian Vitarius (54.66) posted NCAA `B' cut times of their own.
Several other Auburn swims provided highlights. Micah Lawrence swam the 10th-fastest 400 IM in Auburn history with a 4:13.72 for a personal-best and NCAA `B' cut to finish third in the consolation final. Sarah Peterson won the C-final in the event with a 4:16.90, also an NCAA `B' cut.
Freshman Jordan Jones dropped three seconds off his preliminary time in the men's 400 IM to finish fifth in the championship final with a B-cut time of 3:51.07, and Chris Kramer took eighth in the final with a 3:54.22. Tommy McKee had another strong evening swim with a 3:54.55 to finish second in the C-final, and Spencer Kerns touched in a 3:59.54.
Zane Grothe and James Disney-May won their respective finals in the 200 freestyle. Grothe posted a 1:36.80 to win the consolation final, and Disney-May went even faster with a 1:36.50 to win the C-final. Allen Browning also had a strong swim, posting a B-cut time of 1:37.75 to finish second behind Disney-May.
The men's 800 freestyle relay team of Alex Hancock, Disney-May, Tommy McKee and Grothe wrapped up the night with a fourth-place finish in the 800 free relay, clocking a B-cut time of 6:27.40. Hancock's leadoff split of 1:36.17 was another B-cut for Auburn and the best 200 free time of the year.
The Tigers will wrap up the weekend Sunday with one more day of prelims and finals. On tap for Auburn Sunday will be the 1650 freestyle (timed finals), 200 back, 200 breast, 100 free, 200 fly, platform diving and the 400 freestyle relay. Prelims get underway at 9:30 a.m., the 1650 free finals will be contested following prelims, and finals get underway at 3 p.m. Live results are available at GeorgiaDogs.com, and fans can follow @AuburnSwimming on Twitter for constant updates.
Auburn Swimming & Diving Results
Georgia Fall Invitational - Day 2 Finals
December 1, 2012
Gabrielsen Natatorium - Athens, Ga.
Auburn Top Performers - Men
200 Medley Relay: 1. Owens, Ferguson, Chierighini, Disney-May (1:25.18); 400 IM: 5. Jones (3:51.07); 100 Fly: 21. Leon (49.96); 200 Free: 17. Disney-May (1:36.50); 100 Breast: 4. Ferguson (54.25); 100 Back: 2. Owens (46.90); 3M Diving: 3. McKean (354.90); 800 Free Relay: 4. Hancock, Disney-May, McKee, Grothe (6:27.40)
Auburn Top Performers - Women
200 Medley Relay: 2. Bos, Lawrence, Scott, Riordan (1:38.01); 400 IM: 11. Lawrence (4:13.72); 100 Fly: 1. Scott (51.83); 200 Free: 30. Gardocki (1:50.32); 100 Breast: 2. Lawrence (59.69); 100 Back: 7. Bos (53.09); 1M Diving: 3. Calabretta (285.30); 800 Free Relay: 10. Jones, Fonteno, Vitarius, Gardocki (7:16.33)