March 26, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Auburn will have 10 swimmers and one diver on deck this week for the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships, which runs Thursday-Saturday at the IUPUI Natatorium in downtown Indianapolis. The meet is hosted by IUPUI and the Indiana Sports Commission.
"This team's a strong team," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "They are well-led, and we know what we can do. We know we can swim (our best) at NCAAs, and that's been the focus all year, competing at the biggest championship. Marcelo Chierighini has had an outstanding year, swimmer of the year in the SEC. Kyle Owens is our senior captain, number one in the 200 backstroke (headed into NCAA Championships), and most of our relays are first or second in the nation. So we're feeling really good about the depth of our relays and the quality of our swimmers that we're taking to the meet."
Preliminaries begin each day at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT) with finals slated for a 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) start. The Indiana Sports Commission will provide live video of all sessions Thursday and prelims on Friday and Saturday at ihigh.com, and ESPN3 will carry a live broadcast of the finals on Friday and Saturday.
Live results will be available through NCAA.com, and fans can follow @AuburnSwimming on Twitter for updates throughout the week.
AUBURN'S MEN IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Auburn's men have won eight NCAA Championships, capturing the title in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. The Tigers are making their 39th appearance at the NCAA Championships, where on 30 occasions they have finished in the top 10. The Tiger men have claimed 30 individual national championships and 27 relay titles in those appearances.
AUBURN'S CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER
A total of 10 swimmers (seven invited; three relay alternates) and one diver will represent Auburn at the 2013 NCAA Championships. All seven upperclassmen are making return trips to the NCAA Championships as all seven competed at the 2012 Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
Seniors (2): Stuart Ferguson, Kyle Owens
Juniors (5): Marcelo Chierighini, James Disney-May, Zane Grothe, TJ Leon, John Santeiu
Sophomores (2): Alex Hancock, Tommy McKee
Freshmen (2): Jordan Jones, Arthur Mendes
Between the men's and women's programs, Auburn has 2,213 All-Americans in its history. Auburn's men will have six swimmers with 37 All-America honors among them competing this week:
Marcelo Chierighini (11)
James Disney-May (3)
Stuart Ferguson (5)
Zane Grothe (6)
TJ Leon (2)
Kyle Owens (10)
A LOOK BACK: 2012 NCAA MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS
Marcelo Chierighini claimed a runner-up finish in the 100 freestyle, and Zane Grothe set three new school records as Auburn's men finished sixth (254.5 pts) at the 2012 NCAA Men's Championships in Federal Way, Wash. Grothe broke his own school records in the 500 free (4:15.42), 1000 free (8:52.58) and 1650 free (14:37.59), finishing fourth in both the 500 and the mile. The 400 free relay of Karl Krug, James Disney-May, Drew Modrov and Chierighini claimed a runner-up finish as well. Auburn had 11 swimmers combined for 34 All-America honors at the meet.
DIVING RIGHT IN
Junior John Santeiu makes his second NCAA Men's Championship appearance. He owns eight individual wins during the season and captured the SEC title in platform diving, along with the 3-meter title at the NCAA Zone B event. Last year, Santeiu competed but failed to score in any of the three events.
Head diving coach Jeff Shaffer, in his 14th season at Auburn, has coached six NCAA Champions in men's diving and has been named NCAA Men's Diving Coach of the Year twice.
A LOOK AT AUBURN'S SWIMMERS - MEN
Junior Marcelo Chierighini is one of the favorites in both the 50 and 100 freestyle as he owns the nation's top time in the 50 and second-best time in the 100. He won the SEC title in both events, as well as helping four relay teams to titles. Junior James Disney-May will also be a factor to score in both sprint events, along with the 200 free.
Junior Zane Grothe set school records in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free at last year's NCAAs and claimed Auburn's second-ever SEC title in the mile at last month's SEC Championships. He will be among the favorites in the 500 and 1650 and will also swim the 200 free. Freshman Jordan Jones is also entered in the 500 free.
Senior Kyle Owens enters the meet with the nation's fastest time in the 200 back (1:39.69) and the second-fastest time in the 100 back. He will also be huge in the leadoff role for both medley relays. Owens was fourth in the 100 back at last year's NCAA meet.
Senior Stuart Ferguson will look to make the most of his final collegiate meet with his third All-America honor in the 100 breast. He was 12th last year in Federal Way and 14th as a freshman in Columbus. He also holds down the breaststroke leg on both medley relays.
Marcelo Chierighini and freshman Arthur Mendes lead the Tigers in the 100 fly, and Mendes will also look to surprise in the 200 fly after advancing to the championship final in both events at the SEC Championships. Chierighini swims the 100 fly as his third event, but swam the butterfly leg for Brazil's 400 medley relay at the 2012 London Olympics.
Kyle Owens enters as a top-10 seed in the 200 IM after finishing third at the SEC Championships, and freshman Jordan Jones makes his first NCAA Championships appearance with an invite in the 400 IM after making the finals at SECs.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Prelims: 11 a.m. each day
Diving Prelims: 1:30 p.m. each day
Finals: 7 p.m. each day
Thursday, March 28
-200 freestyle relay
-200 individual medley
-400 medley relay
Friday, March 29
-200 medley relay
-400 individual medley
-800 freestyle relay (timed finals only)
Saturday, March 30
-1,650 freestyle (timed finals only)
-400 freestyle relay