Auburn Swimming And Diving Team Celebrates Eighth National Title
April 7, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn men's swimming and diving team celebrated its national championship Tuesday with a celebration at the Tiger Walk entrance on the south side of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers won the team title March 26-28 in College Station, Texas.
After being serenaded to the stage by the Auburn marching band and Aubie, a presentation was held that included remarks from Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs, assistant coach Brett Hawke, senior swimmer Matt Targett and junior diver Kelly Marx.
Jacobs told a story of speaking to the team in December after hearing about head coach Richard Quick's inoperable brain tumor. He said that how the team dealt with that adversity, going on to win the NCAA Championship, is a learning experience that will make them stronger in the future.
"I want you to know that as you enjoy this championship and we enjoy it with you, what you all have been through, even though none of us would have chosen this route, you will be better people, better daddies, better husbands, better community leaders because of the adversity you have overcome and the way that you have represented not only yourself, your family and Auburn, you will be better people in the end," said Jacobs.
Hawke, a third-year assistant coach who took over the team in the absence of Quick, thanked the administration for their support through the difficult time.
"I would definitely like to thank Jay Jacobs and Meredith Jenkins for the support during this season and the tough times we have gone through," said Hawke. "I am really excited and really happy, there are so many emotions going through me right now, but I wish our head coach Richard Quick was here because I know how much he means to this program."
Targett, a senior from Melbourne, Australia, chimed in along with Hawke on the senior class' legacy and how much Quick meant to the team.
"I've always wanted to make my mark in history and I think this senior class has done that. We really wanted to turn things around this season and leave the legacy in as good a shape as we could," said Targett. "It was also a very special championship for Richard, not only to make him the best coach in history but also his first men's championship. He really cares for this team, it is so obvious how much he cares and we wanted to show how much we care about him and this is the way we knew how to do it."
Quick, who is the first coach to win a national title at three schools, earned his 13th at the 2009 championships to surpass former Auburn coach David Marsh for the most in NCAA Division I swimming history. Quick has won titles now at Auburn, Stanford and Texas.
Following the ceremony, the Tigers and fans celebrated by rolling one of the trees at the Tiger Walk entrance. The celebration was held at the corner of Roosevelt and Donahue due to the current construction at Toomer's Corner.
The Tigers, who were in second place entering the final day of competition at the NCAA Championships, scored 526 points to out-distance second-place Texas. Auburn accumulated 54 All-America honors by 17 athletes, while breaking three NCAA and 11 school records. The Tigers won four relay events while Kohlton Norys won the 100 backstroke title.
Quick and Hawke also shared CSCAA National Coach of the Year honors.
Fans can order the official Men's Swimming and Diving National Championship T-shirt at www.aufanshop.com.
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