March 29, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Auburn will have the top-seeded entry in the 200-yard medley relay along with four other scoring opportunities after Friday's preliminaries session of the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Kyle Owens, Stuart Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and TJ Leon started the morning off on the right foot by earning the top seed in the championship final with a time of 1:24.43. The Tigers will be the only SEC team in the A-final in that relay.
Owens also made his way into another championship final, qualifying third overall in the 100 backstroke prelims. Owens' time of 45.79 was one of just four swims to break the 46-second barrier in the morning and came within .19 seconds of his career-best.
Junior Zane Grothe was the other Auburn swimmer to advance to Friday's finals, posting the 13th-best time of the morning in the 200 freestyle. Grothe swam the second-best time of his career with a 1:34.50 to earn his way into the consolation final. Fellow junior James Disney-May swam a 1:36.29 to finish 32nd overall.
In other events, freshman Jordan Jones was 28th in the 400 individual medley with a 3:49.28, Ferguson just missed a return swim in the 100 breast with a 21st-place time of 53.65, and Chierighini and freshman Arthur Mendes came up just short of finals in the 100 fly. Mendes was 21st in prelims with a 46.81 - just .11 seconds shy of 16th place - and Chierighini was 31st with a 47.23.
Junior diver John Santeiu qualified for his second consolation final in as many days with a 12th-place finish in the 3-meter diving preliminaries. He recorded a score of 364.70 to secure his second All-America honor of the week and another scoring opportunity for the Tigers.
Auburn's 800 freestyle relay will also compete tonight in timed finals of the event. That relay will join the aforementioned finalists as the second night of finals gets underway at 7 p.m. ET at the IUPUI Natatorium. ESPN3.com will have live coverage of the session, and fans can follow @AuburnSwimming for continuous updates from the pool.
Auburn Swimming & Diving
2013 NCAA Men's Championships - Day 2 Prelims
March 29, 2013
IUPUI Natatorium - Indianapolis, Ind.
200 Medley Relay
1. Owens, Ferguson, Chierighini, Leon (1:24.43) (A-Final)
28. Jordan Jones (3:49.28)
21. Stuart Ferguson (53.65)
3. Kyle Owens (45.79) (A-Final)
12. John Santeiu (364.70)