Oct. 1, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - The 2010-11 season is fast approaching as the Auburn swimming and diving team opens the season on Oct. 9 at rival Alabama. In anticipation for the upcoming season, AuburnTigers.com will take a sneak peek at different aspects of the team and season leading up to the first meet.
Middle Distance/Distance Freestyle
The Auburn swimming program prides itself in having become one the strongest freestyle programs in the country and is looking to build on its middle distance and distance programs this season.
"We really want to get some balance in the freestyle," head coach Brett Hawke said. "We have great swimmers, returning and new, in the middle distance and the distance events and we want to focus on developing this talented group into the fastest in the SEC and the nation."
Leading the way for the women are seniors Micah Martindale and Caitlin Geary as Hawke will be looking to them spearhead the group. Geary, the 2009 SEC Champion in the 200 free, is expected to be a major component in the middle distance events and Martindale will be looked upon to be Auburn's top competitor in the 500 and 1650 free.
Joining the pair are sophomores Katie Gardocki and Sterling Wine. Gardocki earned her first-ever All-America honor this past season as a member of the 800 free relay team and had the team's top times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free events. Wine was a solid competitor and dual-meet point scorer in all three events for the Tigers.
"This is a very strong group of women and we have high expectations for them," Hawke said. "They will do big things for us this season and score points at the SEC and NCAA Championships."
On the men's side of the pool, senior Kohlton Norys and sophomores Kyle Owens and Brandon Siemasko will be key in the 200 free for Auburn. In the other distances, senior Robert Looney and sophomore Chris Kramer, along with Siemasko, will be top contenders for the Tigers.
Joining the team and expected to excel is freshman Dakota Hodgson. The Nashville product is a high school All-American in the 500 free and has the ability to do well in the other distances.
"We're hoping this group of guys can bring back some respect to our men's distance program and I believe we're on the right track to doing that," Hawke said. "They are all qualified and will bring balance to the team."