Feb. 22, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - Senior Marcelo Chierighini posted the fastest time of the day in the men's 100 free on the final day of prelims and will be the top-seed heading into Saturday night's final at the SEC Championships.
Chierghini, fresh off picking up his second gold of the SEC Championship swimming as the anchor on the 400 medley relay team, will be joined by freshman Kyle Darmody, the 2014 SEC Champion in the 100 back and sophomore Arthur Mendes. Auburn's women put two in the championship final of the 100 back as senior Aubrey Peacock and sophomore Jillian Vitarius advanced.
In Saturday night's 100 free final, Chierighini looks to become the first Auburn swimmer since Cesar Cielo to win the SEC title three years in a row in the event. The senior went 42.10 in the morning session, just .06 off his season best time of 42.04 that leads the nation. Darmody clocked a 42.86, which ranks as the fourth best time of day and sixth-fastest time in the country to qualify fourth. Arthur Mendes his broke his personal record with a 43.04 to qualify seventh. Senior James Disney-May (43.32) got a return swim and will take part in the consolation final, while senior TJ Leon (43.81) will swim in the C-final for the Tigers in the final day of action.
Vitarius returns to the 200 breast championship final for the second straight season as Peacock makes her first appearance in the event's A-final. Vitarius tied for fourth overall in the morning prelims at 1:54.00, while Peacock's 1:54.82 earned the senior a spot in the championship final as the seventh-seed. Sarah Reynolds' 1:56.37 earned a return swim for the sophomore in the C-final.
Freshman Michael Duderstadt, who swam the breast leg of Auburn's first-place 400 medley relay team on Friday night to earn his first SEC gold, picked up the seventh-best time of the day, touching in at 1:57.33 to pick up a spot in the championship final in the 200 breast. Senior Peter Haas qualified 17th overall, just missing the consolation final by .01, but swims alongside sophomore Jordan Jones (1:59.17) in the C-final. On the women's side, freshman Natasha Lloyd garnered a night swim as her 2:14.55 knocked over six seconds off of her season best to take a spot in the C-final.
Freshman Joe Patching claimed a spot in the 200 back consolation, posting the 12th-best time of the morning at 1:44.09 in the same heat that saw the Tennessee's Sam Lehane go 2.5 seconds faster than the rest of the field to nearly set an SEC record.
In the women's 100 free, seniors Emily Bos and Haley Krakoski will represent the Tigers in Saturday night's consolation final. Bos set a new personal record, going 48.90 and just missed cracking the top-10 times in school history in the 100 free. Krakoski was 49.02 to earn a season best to qualify for the final spot in the B-final at 16th overall. Allyx Purcell finished 19th in the prelims to earn a swim in the C-final, as well as Alexandria Merritt, who was 24th overall in the morning session at 49.57.
Women's platform prelims are set to begin at 1 p.m. (ET) and timed finals of the 1,650 freestyle begin at 2 p.m. (ET). Tonight's final will be broadcasted on ESPN3/WatchESPN starting at 6 p.m.
Auburn Swimming & Diving
2014 SEC Championships - Day 5
February 22, 2014
Gabrielsen Natatorium - Athens, Ga.
Men's 100 Freestyle
1. Marcelo Chierighini (42.10)
4. Kyle Darmody (42.86) (PR)
7. Arthur Mendes (43.08)
11. James Disney-May (43.32)
18. TJ Leon (43.81)
25. Alex Press (44.20)
28. Cameron Jones (44.25)