Oct. 24, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Auburn Swimming and Diving Team return to action Friday at 4 p.m. as the Tigers travel to Queens University for the Royals Open.
Friday's open meet marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools and also is the first competition for the Tigers after a 13-day layoff.
"This is meet and trip is new for us, with it being an invitational-type format there will be some really good competition. This invite is an open meet and there will be a lot of great competition for our team to go up against," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said.
The Auburn women's team has jumped out to a perfect 3-0 start to open the season. The Tigers downed both No. 13 Indiana and No. 18 Notre Dame, 180-120, at the Notre Dame Tri-Meet two weeks ago in South Bend, Ind. Auburn's men (1-1) split against the Notre Dame and defending national champion Michigan as the Tigers defeated the Fighting Irish, 153-147, before falling to the No. 3 Wolverines, 195-103.
For their performances at Notre Dame, men's senior sprinter Marcelo Chierighini and freshman Alyxx Purcell were honored by the SEC for their performances. Chierighini was selected the SEC Men's Swimmer of the Week after turning in the nation's fastest time in the 50 free (19.93) this season and is just one of two swimmers in the country with a sub 20 time.
Chrierighini also placed second in the 100 free (44.09) at Notre Dame with the second fastest time in the nation. He has tallied a pair of top-two finishes in each event entered in Auburn's first two meets of the year (50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay).
"He's (Marcelo) is a front-runner at the NCAA level and he has set really high goals in training. He can accomplish a lot this season and I look forward to seeing how he competes against top talent this weekend," Hawke said.
Purcell has burst on to the scene for the Tigers, winning five events (three individual) in her first two collegiate meets. The Southport, Australia native posted a time of 22.87 to win the 50 free at the Notre Dame tri-meet, the fourth-fastest time in the nation. She also recorded the second-fastest finish by a freshman this year in the 100 free with a time of 50.30.
"Alyxx has really stood out early and she works very hard in the training pool to better herself, Hawke said. "We recruited well in the offseason with our women's team and several of our newcomers have competed well in the fall schedule and have come in ready to work hard."
The women will carry two strong performances into Friday's meet. The Tigers earned six wins at Notre Dame. Auburn's relay team of Purcell, Emily Bos, Annie Lazor and Megan Fonteno clocked a 1:41.97 in the 200 medley to earn the win, while sophomore Sarah Reynolds picked up her first top-finish of the year besting the field with a time of 2:00.35 in the 200 back,
Freshman Mary Elizabeth Warhol has recorded two top-three individual finishes to start the year in the 200 free, while freshman Ashley Neidigh posted her best time in 1,000 free (10:00.51), a mark two seconds faster than her previous outing at Vanderbilt to open the 2013 season. Auburn added 1-2-3 finishes at Notre Dame in the 50 free and 100 back to pace the Tigers against Indiana and Notre Dame.
Junior Morgan Mullins was the high scorer for the Tigers in their first diving competition of the season; taking third in the 3-meter (280.20) and fourth in the 1-meter (258.50) en route to earning NCAA Zone qualifying scores.
On the men's side, the 200 medley relay team of Chierighini, James Disney-May, Kyle Darmody and Michael Duderstadt finished a second for Auburn, while freshman Joe Patching breezed past the field by a full second to take the win in the back (1:45.85).
For complete coverage of the Auburn swimming and diving team, log on to AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter, @AuburnSwimming, or `like' the team on Facebook, Auburn Swimming and Diving.
Queen Invite Schedule of Events
200-yard Medley Relay
200-yard Individual Medley
200-yard Freestyle Relay