Auburn to send 13 athletes to Men's NCAA Championships

March 12, 2014

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn’s men will send 13 athletes to the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships later this month in Austin, Texas, as the official psych sheet was released on Wednesday.

The Tigers will send 11 swimmers and two divers to three-day meet that runs March 27-29. Seniors Marcelo Chierighini, James Disney-May, Zane Grothe, sophomore Arthur Mendes along with freshmen Kyle Darmody, Michael Duderstadt and Joe Patching all earned invitations. Auburn will also send two divers, senior John Santeiu and junior Fraser McKean to compete at the event as well . Senior TJ Leon and juniors Allen Browning, Alexander Hancock and Tommy McKee will travel as relay alternates.

Four Tigers qualified after earning NCAA automatic qualifying standards, while the remaining three Auburn swimmers were invited after finishing in the top 29 or 30in a certain event to earn a spot.

Chierighini and Darmody lead the Tigers with three invitations, apiece. Chierighini will be the top seed in the 100 free after breaking the SEC Championships record with a leadoff split of 41.46 in February on the 400 free relay. Chierghini also won his third straight title in the 100 free at the SEC Championships. The senior will be the fourth seed in the men’s 50 free with a time of 19.04, while he also earned an invite in the 100 fly.

Darmody, who burst onto the scene at last month’s conference championship meet, will be the seventh seed in both the 100 free and 100 back. The freshman won the 100 back title at SECs and finished third at the meet in the 100 free and the 50 free. Darmody will also be the ninth seed in at the NCAA Championships in the 50 free.

James Disney-May, one of Auburn’s two Olympians from the 2012 along with Chierighini, earned an invite with the nation’s 15th-best time in the 50 free at 19.32. The senior will also compete in the 100 back and 100 free for the Tigers.

Grothe, Auburn’s senior distance swimmer, earned his invite in the 1,650 freestyle with the nation’s 12th-best time this season at 14:54.16. Looking to make the most of his last collegiate meet, the senior will also enter into the 200 free and 500 free events.

Sophomore Arthur Mendes grabbed a pair of invites in the fly events after appearing in the championship finals in both races at the SEC Championships. Mendes ranks 14th in country with a time of 1:43.01 in the 200 fly. The sophomore will also be in the No. 15 seed in the 100 fly. Mendes is also entered to race in the 50 free.

Freshman Michael Duderstadt will be the No. 12 seed in the 100 breast with a time of 52.67, which he earned last month. Duderstadt is also entered to compete in the 200 breast and 200 IM.

Joe Patching will be the Tigers third freshman entered to swim at the meet, after earning an invite in the 200 back with a time of 1:40.98, taking the No. 11 seed. Patching also picked up an invite in the 200 individual medley, ranking 23rd in the nation with a time of 1:44.26. The freshman will race in the 100 back for the Tigers as well.

Auburn qualified all five relays with ‘A’ cut times. The Tigers hold the top seed in the 200 free relay (1:15.98) and the 400 free relay (2:47.49), winning the SEC title in both events. The 400 medley relay team is seeded fourth with a time of 3:05.38 and the 800 free relay team enters the meet seeded seventh at 6:17.36. The Tigers’ 200 medley relay team goes to the meet seeded 13th with a time of 1:24.90.

Browning, Hancock and McKee could be contributors for Auburn in the 800 free relay as alternates, while TJ Leon will likely swim on the 200 free relay team. The senior is also listed as one of eight meet alternates.

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Auburn Athletes Earning Invitaions to NCAA Championships
Marcelo Chierighini - 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly
Kyle Darmody - 50 free, 100 free, 100 back
James Disney-May - 50 free
Michael Duderstadt - 100 back
Zane Grothe - 1,650 free
Fraser McKean - 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving
Arthur Mendes - 100 fly, 200 fly
Joe Patching, 200 back, 200 IM
John Santeiu IV - 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving

Relay Alternates
Allen Browning
Alexander Hancock
TJ Leon
Tommy McKee