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Tiger Tracks! Alumni Newsletter

Jan. 13, 2012

Dear Alumni,

Thank you for all of your continued support for the Auburn Swimming and Diving team. It has been an honor to lead this team and see the life-long commitment that our alumni have to this program. It has been a pleasure catching up with many of you at dual meets and football games this season.

SEC's are in Knoxville this year. The men are fighting to keep the streak of 15 in a row alive and the women are hoping to continue to climb the ranks in a tough conference. Please show our young athletes support from their Auburn family throughout the year but especially heading into the championship portion of our season.

Please remember that we are hosting Women's NCAA's this year in Auburn and the team would love to pack the stands with Swimming and Diving alumni. We would love to see all of you there!

A lot of great things are happening with this program, this newsletter should get you all up to date!

Happy New Year, War Eagle!

Brett Hawke

New Auburn Tigers

The Auburn swimming and diving program signed 15 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the Early Signing Period in November, head coach Brett Hawke announced Thursday.

"Auburn swimming and diving has signed an exceptional class of young athletes," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "We feel great about the type of people who have committed to carrying on the tradition of excellence at Auburn. We couldn't be happier with the potential of these student-athletes and the impact they can have on the future of this program. Jeff has pulled in some of the best up-and-coming divers in the country to round out this class. I look for-ward to working with them in the future and thank their club coaches for all their influence and support in shaping them into who they are today. War Eagle!"

Auburn's women will get a major boost to their backstroke corps as three of the best in the country will join the Tigers next season. Jillian Vitarius (Kingwood, Texas) is a five-star recruit according to Swimming World and the No. 12-ranked prospect in the nation by Caitlyn Forman (California, Ky.), the 13th-ranked prospect in the nation and the top-ranked recruit in the state of Kentucky, was also a USA National Youth Team member and is qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200 backstroke. A third backstroker, Sarah Reynolds (Montgomery, Ala.), is the top-ranked recruit in the state of Alabama and is also qualified for Olympic Trials in both backstroke events.

Three other swimmers will join the Tiger women in 2012-13. Katherine Criter (Plymouth, Wis.) is the No. 3 recruit in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the 2011-12 USA Junior National Team and is qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke. Caroline Bryant (Charlotte, N.C.) is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100 butterfly and is the No. 5-ranked prospect in North Carolina. And Alexandria Merritt (Tallahassee, Fla.) was the 2011 Florida high school state champion in the 100 freestyle; she will add depth in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events.

Head diving coach Jeff Shaffer also bolstered his ranks with three signees of his own. Morgan Mullins (Centerville, Ohio), Ashley Roberson (Tifton, Ga.) and Carly Scheper (Fort Mitchell, Ky.) will join the Tiger divers next year. Mullins was a 2010 and 2011 high school All-American, Scheper was an AAU Age Group National Champion on the 3-meter board, and Roberson finished fifth at last year's Georgia high school state meet on the 1-meter board.

For the Auburn men, three swimmers that competed for the United States' NCSA All-American Team in Osaka, Ja-pan, in September lead the way. Steyn Funk (Windermere, Fla.), Jordan Jones (Kingwood, Texas) and Jacob Siar (Roanoke, Va.) are among the nation's top-ranked prospects for next season. Jones is a five-star recruit and the No. 18 overall national prospect as rated by Swimming World and, respectively. He was the Texas state champion in the 500 freestyle and will likely make an immediate impact in that event and the 400 IM. Siar is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200 backstroke and was the runner-up in that event at the 2011 USA Swimming Junior Nationals. And Funk is rated No. 68 overall by and will be a contributor in the distance free-style events.

Alex Hancock (Wellington, New Zealand) will join the Tigers as well. Hancock is the No. 10 overall men's recruit according to and has represented New Zealand in several international competitions, includ-ing the 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games and 2010 Trans-Tasman Games. Two divers will also join Shaffer's men's squad. Justin Youtsey (Fort Mitchell, Ky.) is a 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 3-meter synchro event and a two-time Kentucky high school state champion. Andrew Laing (Madison, Ala.) was runner-up at last year's Alabama high school state meet and has helped Bob Jones High School to the last three consecutive Alabama state titles.

Full Roster

2011 Georgia Invite

Day 1

Auburn got victories from senior Drew Modrov and junior Kyle Owens along with a pair of relay wins to highlight the first day of finals at the Georgia Fall Invitational, which began Friday at UGA's Gabrielsen Natatorium.

"We had some good swimming," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "The guys were pretty tired coming into the meet. It's kind of like a dual-meet atmosphere with a couple of extra teams here, and we had some pretty good racing. I was pretty happy overall. Around the walls, I think we can clean up a little bit, but in terms of racing and competitiveness, I was really happy with the team."

Day 2

A victory for Auburn sophomore Olivia Scott in the 100-yard butterfly and a win by senior Vennie Dantin in three-meter diving highlighted the Tigers' Saturday performances at the Georgia Fall Invitational.

"It was a good day of racing," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "We came in with a good attitude, definitely a little heavy in the legs, but they're not feeling sorry for themselves and they're racing tough. I saw some really good swims tonight. Kyle Owens' 100 back was outstanding, Olivia Scott's school record...just a fantastic achievement anytime you can swim that fast at this point in the season. It was a good day two performance, and I'm looking for them to come back in the morning and be ready to finish it off."

Day 3

The Auburn men's swimming and diving team captured the team title at the Georgia Fall Invitational on Sunday, winning the meet for the second consecutive year. Auburn's women finished in third place; both teams had numerous standout performances on the final day of competition at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Auburn's men finished with 899 points, outpacing defending national champion California, who had 812. Georgia was third with 656. On the women's side, it was No. 1 Georgia winning with 995 points, followed by Cal with 745.5 and Auburn with 594.

"I'm just really happy with the way we finished the meet," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "We came ready to race tonight. I was especially pleased with Arianna's swim in the 100 free, to race the way she did against an Olympic champion was incredible. Really pleased that the team finished strong."

2011 Dual Meets


Auburn swimmers posted six NCAA provisional qualifying times and two divers earned NCAA Zone qualifying scores as the Tigers opened the 2011-12 season with a 142.5-100.5 vic-tory over Arkansas on Wednesday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center


The Auburn men's swimming & diving team won 15 of 16 events and posted seven NCAA provisional qualifying times, defeating conference rival LSU 218-82 on Friday afternoon at the LSU Natatorium to open the 2011-12 season.


Auburn's women's swimming & diving team continued their impressive early-season performances on Friday afternoon, posting 10 NCAA provisional qualifying times in a 167-125 road victory over Notre Dame at the Rolfs Aquatic Center


Junior Katie Gardocki and sophomore Zane Grothe combined to win five individual events, the men's and women's teams com-bined to post 12 NCAA provisional qualifying times, and the Ti-gers remained perfect on the year with a sweep of Penn State on Friday afternoon at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. The Au-burn men improved to 2-0 with a 152-86 win, and the Tiger wom-en moved to 3-0 with a 138.5-99.5 victory over the Nittany Lions. Penn State's men and women fell to 1-1.


The No. 5-ranked Auburn men's swimming and diving team moved to 3-0 on the season with a 156-87 victory over No. 9 Georgia, and the sixth-ranked Auburn women lost a hard-fought battle to the No. 1 Lady Bulldogs, 133-110, on Friday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.

2011-2012 Season

Auburn will have five home dual meets and serve as the host for the 2012 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Champion-ships as the Tigers' 2011-12 schedule was released Wednesday by head coach Brett Hawke.

"With this being an Olympic year, we are looking forward to getting in as much racing as we can," Hawke said. "Some exciting new additions to our schedule are Arkansas for the women on Oct. 5, followed by Notre Dame on Oct. 21. Both teams will then compete against Penn State at home on Nov. 4, which will be a challenging matchup.

"In the spring we then line up against our more traditional rivals in Texas and Florida before we move into the SEC Champion-ships, where the men will be chasing their 16th straight victory. All in all, it is one of the toughest schedules we have had in years, which will set us up well for our Olympic preparation."

Highlighting the schedule is the 2012 NCAA Women's Championships, which will be held at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center for the second time. In 2003, the last time the NCAA meet came to Auburn, the Tigers captured their second of three straight national championships. Auburn also played host to the 1998 NCAA Men's Championships. Oct. 21 will be a busy day for the program as the Tiger men will travel to LSU to open the regular season with a tough SEC op-ponent while the Auburn women head to Notre Dame for a dual meet. Both meets are set for a 2 p.m. start. In addition, Auburn will play host to the War Eagle Invitational that weekend.

The Tigers will then return home for a pair of November dual meets. Penn State visits the Martin Aquatics Center on Friday, Nov. 4, for a 4 p.m. meet. The following week will see a major SEC showdown as Georgia comes calling at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. One week later, Auburn's divers will head to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Diving Invitational, which runs Nov. 18-20.

Auburn wraps up the fall portion of the schedule Dec. 2-4 at the Georgia Fall Invitational, where they will compete against some of the nation's best, including defending national champion California along with Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, UNC-Wilmington and Harvard.

Just before the holiday break, several Auburn divers will head to Knoxville, Tenn., for the USA Diving Winter Nationals as it will be the final opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials. The meet is set to run Dec. 15-22 at the Allan Jones Inter-collegiate Aquatics Center.

Following winter training and Christmas break for the entire squad, it will again be the divers kicking off 2012 at the Georgia Diving Invitational, which runs Jan. 3-5 in Athens.

The entire squad will come together for a final week of dual meets the second week of January. On Tuesday, Jan. 10, the Au-burn women will play host to Texas at 5 p.m. with Senior Day for the women's team set for that afternoon. Two days later, the Longhorn men will visit for men's Senior Day on Jan. 12; that meet will be spread over two days with half the events beginning at 5 p.m. Jan. 12 and concluding at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13. Auburn will also host the Ralph Crocker Invitational that weekend.

Auburn's final dual meet will be a big one as the Tigers travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face the Florida Gators at 10 a.m. Satur-day, Jan. 21. With 2012 being an Olympic year, it is expected that the Auburn-Florida meet will be contested in long-course meters to provide an opportunity for both teams to earn Olympic Trials qualifying marks.

The SEC Championships, set for Feb. 15-18, will return to Knoxville, Tenn., for the first time since the completion of the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatics Center. Auburn's men will look to defend the SEC title for the 16th consecutive season, while the Tiger women will seek to claim their first conference crown since 2008. After a last-chance meet in Athens, Ga., Feb. 24-26, the Tiger swimmers will receive their invitations to the NCAA Champion-ships. Auburn's divers, meanwhile, will compete in the NCAA Zone B Diving Regionals, which will be held in Auburn from March 8-10.

The following week, the top women's swimmers in the country will descend on the Plains for the NCAA Women's Champion-ships, which run March 15-17 at the Martin Aquatics Center. One week later, the Auburn men will seek their eighth national championship at the NCAA Men's Championships, which run March 22-24 in Seattle, Wash.

Academic Award Winners

AUBURN-- Diver Dan Mazzaferro and swimmer Erica Meissner received the highest awards an Auburn student-athlete can receive, the Cliff Hare Award and the Leah Rawls Atkins Award. Mazzaferro received the Cliff Hare Award and Meissner the Leah Rawls Atkins Award during pregame ceremonies at Saturday's football game against Florida.

Both awards are given annually to senior student-athletes "who, in addition to athletic and scholarship achievement, exhibit in great degree the qualities of leadership, integrity and courage." "Dan and Erica absolutely epitomize the very best and highest ideals of Auburn University and what it means to be a scholar-athlete.

During their time at Auburn, Dan and Erica succeeded at the highest levels in the pool, in the classroom and in the community," Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. "They are both remarkable individuals who exemplify the Auburn Creed, and we could not be more proud of them and the first-class manner in which they represent Auburn University."

Both awards are presented in the Auburn belief that "athletics make men strong, study makes men wise, and character makes men great."

A native of Cheshire, Conn., Mazzaferro was an Olympic Trials finalist, a seven-time All-American, a three-time SEC Champion, co-SEC Male Diver of the Year, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, a team captain and the Student-Athlete Advi-sory Committee President. He helped lead Auburn to the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Championships and represented the United States in the World University Games. Mazzaferro had a cumulative grade point average of 3.92 in earning a B.S. degree in Chemistry in May 2010 and has a cumulative 4.00 GPA in graduate school while earning his M.B.A. degree this fall. He was the 2010-11 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, received a Phi Kappa Phi National Grad-uate Fellowship and won the President's Medal for College of Science and Mathe-matics. An Auburn University Honors Scholar, he is also a member of the Chi Al-pha Sigma Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, Delta Epsilon Iota and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Meissner, a four-year letterwinner, was an All-American, 2010-11 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an All-SEC selection, a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll student, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Auburn was the first school to sweep the McWhorter Award recipients. She is a mem-ber of Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Alpha Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Fraternities and Auburn's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The Ashburnham, Mass., native also competed nationally, swim-ming at the 2008 Olympic trials in the 100m Back, 200m Back, 200m IM and 400m IM. Meissner has a 4.00 cumulative GPA and will graduate with a B.A. in Anthropology this fall and will apply for graduate school.

Diving Nationals - Los Angeles, California

PLATFORM - Auburn senior diver Vennie Dantin finished in sixth place in the 10-meter platform finals on Saturday at the AT&T USA Diving National Championships, which are being held at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center and Dirks Pool.

"Vennie did a great job," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "Had one of the highest-scoring dives of the meet in the third round with her back 2 1/2 pike. Really had her fourth-round dive set up the way we've been working on getting it set up, but just missed the bottom. That was disappointing, but en-couraging in the same sense that she came back and finished with a strong back twister. Very proud of her."

Dantin scored a 295.25 on her five-dive list to finish in the middle of the 12-competitor field, but just 11 points out of second place. During the competi-tion, Dantin had one of the highest-scoring dives in the entire meet, earning awards of 9.0 and 9.5 (82.65 total) on her back 2 ½ to vault her into second place through three rounds.

"That's a dive that I'm usually pretty comfortable with," Dantin said. "When I can get a good entry, I can score well. I don't remember hitting it that well be-fore in the finals of a big event, and I definitely needed those points. It's good when you can nail a dive when it counts."

But a missed entry on her fourth dive, an inward 3 ½, dropped her a couple of spots. She finished strong, however, with a 67.20 on her closing dive - a back twister - to earn the sixth-place finish. Miami's Brittany Viola captured the championship with a score of 348.75.

Dantin will have one more chance at a national championship as she joins 11 other divers in the 3-meter springboard final on Sunday. She was the runner-up at last year's SEC Championships in the 3-meter event, and Dantin will be joined by another SEC diver - South Carolina senior Courtney Forcucci - in Sunday's final.

"It will be a good meet," she said. "It's fun to dive in the same event with people you get to see often, it always makes it a little more fun when you know your competition."

3M SPRINGBOARD - Auburn diver Vennie Dantin wrapped up a successful week at the 2011 AT&T USA Diving National Championships on Sunday by posting a seventh-place finish in the 3-meter springboard final at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center and Dirks Pool.

Dantin, a senior from Conroe, Texas, earned a score of 263.40 on her five-dive list to place in the middle of the 12-diver field, just one spot lower than her finish in Saturday's 10-meter platform final.

She started off with solid scores on her first four dives, including a 65.25 on her fourth-round dive - a reverse twister - that moved her into fourth place with one round to go. However, her attempt at an inward 2 ½ missed, dropping her to seventh place.

Overall, it was a strong week for the Auburn senior. Against the nation's best divers, Dantin advanced to the champi-onship finals in two of her three events

Auburn Hires New Coach

AUBURN - Sam Busch has been hired as Auburn assistant swimming coach, head coach Brett Hawke announced Wednesday. He comes to Auburn after spending a year as a volun-teer assistant at West Virginia University.

"I'm really excited to have a young, talented, enthusiastic coach like Sam Busch to join our staff," Hawke said. "Sam has a huge future ahead of him, and we're really glad he'll be part of our team."

Busch begins his first year as a collegiate assistant coach after volunteer seasons at the University of Arizo-na and West Virginia. While in Tucson, Ariz., he assist-ed five seasons at Tucson Ford Aquatics, the 2010 Na-tional Club Champions. Busch also served three years as head coach of the women's program at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, where he was a stand-out football and baseball player. In his career, he has worked with numerous high school All-Americans, NCAA champions and Olympic medalists.

"I am truly humbled by the opportunity that head coach Brett Hawke and his staff have given me," Busch said. "I am blessed to complement an already dynamic coach-ing staff and will tirelessly work to ensure Auburn swimming & diving sustains itself at the sky-high stand-ard at which it has been for so many years now. To pro-duce quality student-athletes both inside and outside of the pool is a fundamental priority of mine. I look for-ward to embracing the rich tradition and special com-munity in Auburn."

Busch comes from a strong tradition of coaching excellence. His father, Frank Busch, recent-ly wrapped up 31 years as a collegiate head coach at Arizona and Cincinnati, and he is now the National Team Director for USA Swimming. His brother, Augie, is the head coach of women's swimming at Houston.

Busch is a graduate of the University of Arizona. He brings specialized experience in dry-land programs and underwater kicking. His favorite aspect of coaching is stroke analysis.

US Nationals - Palo Alto, California

DAY 1. - Olivia Scott finished fifth in the women's 100-meter butterfly final to lead the Auburn contingent on the opening day of the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships on Tuesday. Scott, a rising sophomore from Aurora, Ill., went 58.94 in the championship final to place fifth overall and clock the second-fastest long-course time in the event in Auburn history. Four other Tigers competed in the 100 fly prelims as Lindsey Norberg (1:02.64), Emily Bos (1:03.32), Haley Krakoski (1:03.49) and Kelsey Winters (1:04.09) got their meet off to a good start.

Rising junior Katie Gardocki opened her week at the championships with a 19th-place finish in the 400 freestyle, post-ing a 4:16.88 to finish ninth in the consolation final and earn an Olympic Trials cut time. On the men's side, former Tiger and American record-holder Eric Shanteau finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:01.18, and 2011 senior Adam Klein took 23rd place with a 1:02.34, bettering his previous Olympic Trials qualifying mark of 1:02.46 from last year's nationals. Stuart Ferguson, a rising junior from Richmond, Va., had a time of 1:03.71 in the preliminaries, just missing the finals.

Other action included Lauren Norberg's 2:23.14 in the women's 200 individual medley and Zane Grothe clocking a 4:01.61 in the men's 400 free.

DAY 2. - Three Auburn swimmers advanced to the 100-meter backstroke finals on Wednesday to highlight the Tigers' day at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming Nation-al Championships. Kyle Owens, a rising junior from Johnson City, Tenn., earned a fourth-place overall finish with a time of 54.30, improving his Olympic Trials cut to the seventh-fastest time in the country over the last two years. Kohlton Norys finished third in the conso-lation final with a 55.19, moving into the top 16 of those already qualified for next year's Olympic Trials as well. And Max Murphy swam a 55.33 in the C-final to finish 22nd overall, shaving a couple of tenths off his previous qualifying mark.

Rising junior Brandon Siemasko also picked up an Olympic Trials qualifying mark with a 57.48 in preliminaries, finishing 45th overall. Rising sophomore Emily Bos finished 16th overall in the women's 100 backstroke finals, posting a 1:02.08 in the consolation final. And 2011 senior Caitlyn Geary made the C-final in the 200 freestyle, turning in a 2:00.97 to finish third in the heat.

DAY 3. - Four Auburn swimmers advanced to finals in the 50-meter freestyle, and former Tiger Tyler McGill took silver in the 100 butterfly to highlight another strong day for the Tigers at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships on Thursday. McGill swam a 51.84 to take second place in the event; he already had the second-fastest time in the nation over the last two years coming into the meet and his spot at next summer's Olympic Trials is secure. In the 50 free, senior Karl Krug qualified for the championship final where he fin-ished 10th with a time of 22.85. Former Tiger Bryan Lundquist was ninth in 22.57. Kohlton Norys, a senior on last year's team, and Drew Modrov, a rising senior, ad-vanced to the consolation final with Norys finishing fourth in 22.54 and Modrov tak-ing sixth with a 22.79

One other Tiger swimmer advanced to Thursday evening's finals. Junior Lauren Norberg qualified for the B-final in the women's 100 breaststroke, finishing 13th overall with a 1:09.29, easily eclipsing the Olympic Trials qualifying standard. Her sister, Lindsey Norberg, just missed the finals with a 1:11.39 to finish 33rd in the pre-liminaries.

DAY 5. - Auburn swimmers concluded a successful week Saturday night at the ConocoPhillips USA Swim-ming National Championships with several finals appearances and a handful of Olympic Trials qualifying marks.

Leading the way over the final two days of competition was Adam Klein, who finished ninth in the 200-meter breaststroke finals with a time of 2:14.64, well under the Trials cut of 2:20.79, but a shade behind his time of 2:13.05 from last year's Nationals. That time still ranks among the top 10 in the nation heading into the collegiate season. Kyle Owens advanced to the consolation final of the 200 backstroke, swimming a 2:01.03 to place third in the B-final and shave more than a second and a half off his previous best time, giving him one of the 15 fastest times in the country qualified for next year's Olympic Trials. Teammate Brandon Siemasko clocked a 2:05.52 to finish eighth in the C-final; however, his time of 2:04.58 in the prelims gave him a Trials qualifying time.

Tiger sophomore distance specialist Zane Grothe earned an 18th-place finish in the 1500 freestyle, posting a time of 15:36.65 to drop nearly eight seconds off his time from last year's national meet, moving up in the national rankings in the event. And on the women's side, Katie Gardocki matched Grothe's fin-ish with an 18th-place showing in the 800 freestyle with a time of 8:46.62, another Olympic Trials qualifying mark.

Caitlyn Geary finished 28th overall in the women's 100 freestyle with a 56.33, and in Friday night's action, Kohlton Norys finished 15th in the men's 100 freestyle with a 50.13.

World Championships - Shanghi, China

DAY 1- Former Auburn swimmer Matt Targett was part of the Australian men's 400-meter freestyle relay team that captured the gold medal on Sunday on the opening day of swimming competition at the 2011 FINA World Championships.

Targett, a 2009 Auburn graduate, swam the second leg for the Australians as they clocked a 3:11.00 to finish .14 seconds ahead of France and .96 clear of the United States.

Former Tiger Gideon Louw swam the third leg of the relay for his native South Africa, which finished sixth in 3:13.38, and Adam Brown was the leadoff leg for Great Britain, which took eighth place in 3:15.03. Brazil's relay team, anchored by rising Tiger sopho-more Marcelo Chierighini, just missed the finals with a ninth-place finish in the morning heats.

It was one of several highlights on the day for swimmers with Auburn ties. Targett also joined Tiger alumni Cesar Cielo and Fred Bousquet in advancing to the finals of the 50-meter butterfly as the three finished in the top eight in Sunday evening's semi-final. Cielo had the top time with a 23.19, while Targett was seventh in 23.41 and Bousquet qualified eighth in 23.42.

Elsewhere, former Tiger Mark Gangloff advanced to the finals of the men's 100 breast-stroke, finishing sixth in the semi-finals with a time of 1:00.19. Fellow Auburn alum Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe narrowly missed a spot in the 200 individual medley final, posting a 2:12.21 to finish ninth in Sun-day's semi-final.

DAY 2 - Brazil's Cesar Cielo captured the gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly, and two other former Auburn swimmers finished in the top four to provide another strong showing for Auburn at the 2011 FINA World Championships on Monday. "This gold definitely has a different taste than the other ones," Cielo said. "That was probably the hardest medal in my life; I knew I was going to race against the world's best, and to be able to compete after what I have been through this last month is really a blessing."

Not far behind Cielo was former Auburn teammate Matt Targett, who touched in 23.28 to earn his second silver medal in this event (also earned silver in 2009). Fred Bousquet fin-ished in fourth place in 23.38, missing an Auburn sweep of the medal stand by a scant .03 seconds.

Elsewhere, only two other former Tigers competed on Monday. Mark Gangloff finished eighth in the finals of the 100 breaststroke, clocking a time of 1:00.52. Alana Dillette com-peted in the 100 backstroke preliminaries and posted a 1:04.27, missing the semi-finals.

DAY 3 - Add another gold medal to Auburn's ever-growing collection. Former Tiger swimmer Cesar Cielo won the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle on Satur-day at the 2011 FINA World Championships, defending his 2009 championship and earning his second victory of the week in China.

"I wanted to win this one so badly," Cielo said. "I am an Olympic champ and a defending world champ, so I am really happy with the result. Coming to this world championships, gaining two golds and a fourth place (in the 100 freestyle), the results are better than what I imagined two weeks ago."

Cielo finished in a time of 21.52 seconds. He is the world record-holder in the event, swimming a 20.91 in 2009 before high-tech bodysuits were banned in competition.

DAY 4 - Former Tiger swimmer Cesar Cielo advanced to the final of the men's 100-meter freestyle to lead the fourth day of competition Wednesday at the 2011 FINA World Championships.

Cielo posted a time of 48.34 to finish fifth in Wednesday evening's semifinals, securing one of eight spots in Thursday night's final. Former Tiger Gideon Louw also made the semifinals with a 48.74 to qualify 10th in prelims, but finished 15th in the semis with a 48.96. Adam Brown, a 2011 senior, finished 21st in prelims with a 49.13.

Mark Gangloff finished sixth in the 50 breaststroke final with a 27.58; he qualified eighth in Tuesday's semi-finals with a 27.57 to grab the last spot in the finals.

Also competing on Wednesday was Alana Dillette, who posted a 29.97 in the women's 50 backstroke preliminaries, finishing 42nd overall.

DAY 5 - With former Tiger swimmer Mark Gangloff turning in a strong breaststroke leg, the United States took the gold medal in the 400-meter medley relay to wrap up the 2011 FINA World Championships on a high note for both the Americans and Auburn alumni.

Another former Tiger swimmer, Adam Brown, swam the anchor leg for Great Britain in 48.49, helping his team to a sixth-place finish in 3:36.58.

Two other former Tigers got the Americans to the finals. Eric Shanteau swam a 1:00.13 breaststroke leg, and Tyler McGill went 51.00 in the butterfly to win the preliminary heat 3:32.42 before giving way to Gangloff and company for the finals.

Rising Auburn senior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace competed in the wom-en's 50 freestyle final, finishing in seventh place with a 24.79 to conclude a solid week for the defending NCAA Champion. In addition, former Tiger Kirsty Coventry swam in the prelims of the 400 individual medley, finishing 14th with a time of 4:42.52.

Sunday's relay victory wrapped up a strong week for Auburn swimmers, who totaled six medals over the eight-day competition. Gangloff and Matt Targett earned gold in relay swims for the USA and Australia, respectively; Cesar Cielo won two gold medals in the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly, Tar-gett took silver in the 50 fly and Tyler McGill won the bronze in the 100 butterfly.

2012 Women's NCAA Championships

March 15-17, 2012
James E. Martin Aquatic Center, Auburn, Ala.
All Session Pass - $65
Friday 16th March - Gathering before & after finals, details TBA
Saturday 17th March - Receptions to be held at the Auburn Arena, 4-6pm
Hotel information - TBA

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Auburn's first NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championship members of this team will be honored during the meet. All female Auburn Olympians will also be recognized for their contributions to the swimming and diving program.

Please RSVP using the attached form to ensure your tickets and guarantee seating at the reception, there is limited seating.

RSVP to Tom Healey at or send to swim office at P.O. Box 351, Auburn, AL, 36831

2012 Men's NCAA Championships

March 22-24, 2012
Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center
Federal Way, Washington
Premium Tickets All-Session $70
General Admission Tickets All-Session $40

Please RSVP using this form to ensure your tickets.

RSVP to Tom Healey at or send to swim office at P.O. Box 351, Auburn, AL, 36831

2012 SEC Championships

Ticket information is currently unavailable for this meet. If you wish to purchase tickets please email To Healey at

The Ralph Crocker Fund For Excellence

In an effort to recognize Ralph's many contributions to the Auburn University Swimming Program as a Swimmer, Alumnus and Coach, the Ralph Crocker Fund for Excellence has been established. This scholarship will be designated as an endowed scholarship that can only be used by the Swimming & Diving Program.

"The endowment program represents a long term resource which can offset the financial strains of escalating scholarship costs, rising operational expenses, and the need for facility enhancements. There is no better way to have your name, or that of a loved one, permanent-ly associated with Auburn University Athletics. Endowments come from the heart, and they all share a common goal - ensuring the future of excellence in athletics at Auburn Universi-ty for generations to come."

"Endowed gifts are held in perpetuity. The Auburn University Foundation invests your ini-tial gift, which must be a minimum of $25,000 given over a maximum five year period, and Auburn Athletics spends only a portion of the annual investment return. The remaining investment return is added back to the principle as protection against inflation. A Tigers Un-limited member who makes an endowment gift can be proud that his or her gift will grow and continue to provide support far into the future."--From the AU Athletics web page

This scholarship can only take effect if the $25,000+ is raised within five years and/or at least $5000 each year. The Auburn Aquatic Swim Team committed a portion of the profit from the Ralph Crocker Swim Meet Invitational held in February.

Please mail checks to:
Tigers Unlimited Foundation
Attn. Helen Yates
PO Box 351
Auburn, AL 36831

Note the Crocker Endowment designation on the check.
All donations are tax deductible.

"Ralph's House Of Pain"

In Honor of Ralph Crocker, Auburn Aquatics has printed a limited number of T-Shirts with RHOP on them, see below.

All money generated by "donations" will go directly to Margaret.

Please send donations to Auburn Aquatics - Ralph at P.O. Box 351, Auburn, AL 36831

Make check payable to Auburn Aquatics/Ralph Crocker Fund

The Kyle Wilson Excellence in Swimming Scholarship Fund

P>This fund honors the legacy of our Founding Coach Kyle Wilson. Donations may be made by checks to "Kyle Wilson Excellence in Swimming Scholarship Fund" and sent c/o the CVA address: 4015 Copperfield Ridge, Earlysville, VA 22936

Richard Quick Endowed Scholarhips "Eagle Wing"

Tigers Unlimited Foundation
Attn. Helen Yates
PO Box 351
Auburn, AL 36831

Note the Quick's Eagle Wing Scholarship designation on the check.
All donations are tax deductible.



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