Jan. 15, 2008
AUBURN - Auburn's Emily Kukors and Cesar Cielo swept the Southeastern Conference's Swimmer of the Week awards, the league announces Tuesday. The pair earns the honors following their performances last week at Texas and Texas A&M.
Kukors earns the award almost exactly a year after being named SEC Swimmer of the Week on Jan. 18, 2007.
The senior from Auburn, Wash., led the Tigers to three wins last week as Auburn topped No. 16 Texas (157-80), No. 6 Texas A&M (155-139) and No. 12 Southern Methodist (218-72). Kukors swam four NCAA automatic qualifying times and three provisional times in the meets. She also won six out of the seven events she competed in, including a win in the 400 IM at Texas in which she swam a 4:10.97, a mark that ranks her sixth all-time at Auburn.
She had two key swims at Texas A&M that helped her team to the 155-139 victory. With the Tigers down three points and two events left to swim, Kukors led a 1-3-4 Auburn finish in the 200 IM with an "A" cut time of 1:59.05 to give AU a seven-point lead. Kukors then swam anchor on the winning 400 free relay team, posting Auburn's fastest split in the event (49.15) to lead the Tigers to victory.
Competing in his first meets of the season, Cielo wasted no time as he swam a NCAA automatic qualifying time in his first individual event while also posting three "B" cut times. The 2007 Swimmer of the Year won all three of his individual events while also picking up a relay win.
Cielo's biggest impact at Texas came on the relays, though. The junior from St. Barbara, Brazil swam a 45.01 in the 100 free as the anchor of Auburn's victorious 400 medley relay team, giving the Tigers a win to open the meet.
He went on to swim his fastest 100 free of the day in the final event, leading off Auburn with a 42.87 split in the 400 free relay, giving the Tigers the early lead and a chance at the come-from-behind win. Texas managed to catch up and win the event, giving the Longhorns the 129.5-113.5 meet win.
Cielo continued his solid performance against Texas A&M, winning the 200 free and 100 fly, as Auburn dominated the Aggies for the 181-113 win. His 100 fly time of 47.61 is the fifth-fastest in the SEC this season while his 42.87 in the 100 free is the second-fastest.
The defending national champion men's and women's swimming and diving teams return to action on Saturday, Jan. 26 with a dual meet against SEC rival Florida. Action is set to begin at 1 p.m. ET at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natatorium.