Jan. 9, 2013
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AUBURN - One of the biggest rivalries in college swimming & diving will be renewed Thursday afternoon as Auburn welcomes Texas to the James E. Martin Aquatic Center for the teams' first dual meet of the new year.
The diving portion of the meet will begin at 2:15 p.m. with swimming events getting underway at 3 p.m, and admission is free. The first 150 fans in attendance will receive a free pair of sunglasses courtesy of Niffer's. For fans unable to attend, live results and live video will be available through AuburnTigers.com.
"This is the time of the year when it starts to get really serious for us," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "And with Texas coming in, being one of our traditional rivals, the team is just really excited to race. They're a great rival of ours, and they're always going to be good. It's one of those meets where both teams elevate because they know what they're getting and what the past has brought. They're well-coached, and they've got a lot of talent on both their men's and women's teams. I think it's just going to be one of those meets where the gloves are off and we're just going for it."
Auburn's men and women enter the week unbeaten in dual meet competition so far in 2012-13. The Tiger men are 3-0 with wins over Alabama, LSU and Kentucky, and the Auburn women are 4-0 having beaten the same three SEC foes as well as Notre Dame.
In their last full team competition before the holiday break, Auburn swimmers recorded nine NCAA automatic qualifying times and numerous personal bests at the Georgia Fall Invitational in Athens. Four of the five men's relay teams and three of the five women's relay squads punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships, as did women's swimmers Micah Lawrence (200 breaststroke) and Olivia Scott (100 butterfly).
The Tigers enter the spring dual meet season with some of the nation's top times. Junior Marcelo Chierighini has the country's second-best time in the 50 freestyle (19.37) and the third-best in the 100 free (42.73). Senior Kyle Owens is currently third nationally in both the 100 backstroke (46.54) and 200 backstroke (1:42.36), and junior Zane Grothe is the ninth-best in the nation in the 500 free (4:18.39).
On the women's side, Scott owns the nation's fastest time in the 100 fly (51.83), Lawrence is the country's eighth-fastest in the 200 breast (2:08.23) and 10th-best in the 100 breast (59.69), and senior Katie Gardocki has the ninth-best national time in the 1,000 free (9:45.42).
Texas' men come into Thursday's meet having competed in just one tri-meet along with several invitational meets. The Longhorns defeated Indiana but fell to Michigan back on Oct. 26. The Texas women are 3-1 in dual meet action with wins over Indiana, Michigan and Stanford and a loss to California.
The Longhorn men are led by Clay Youngquist and Dax Hill, who have the nation's second- and third-fastest times in the 200 freestyle, and Michael McBroom, who has the fastest 1,650 free time in the country this year. For the women, Laura Sogar leads the Longhorns with the nation's second-best times in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and Ellen Lobb, who owns the fourth-best time in the country this year in the 50 free.
This will be the 24th all-time meeting between the Auburn and Texas men with the Tigers holding a slim 12-11 advantage in the series. Texas earned a 161-131 victory in last year's meeting on Jan. 12. For the women, Auburn has won four of the six all-time meetings with Texas, including the last two meetings. The Tigers took a 167-133 win at home last season.
Order of Events - Auburn vs. Texas
(Women's events first unless noted)
- Diving: Men's 1M/Women's 3M
- 200 Medley Relay
--Diving Break: Women's 1M--
--Diving Break: Men's 3M--
200 Freestyle Relay