After an opening month in which it played host to four teams over three home meets, the Auburn swimming and diving program is on the road for the first time this weekend, traveling to South Carolina for a Saturday dual meet in Columbia.
Auburn goes into the meet ranked No. 9 the latest CSCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Top 25 polls while South Carolina is No. 20 on the men’s side and No. 22 on the women’s side.
Saturday’s meet, which begins at 10 a.m. CT, is the first between the two SEC members since the 2004-05 season.
“We haven’t been to South Carolina in many years so it will be a new experience for us,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. “They are a great team and will bring some interesting challenges.
“This is our fourth week of racing in a row so it will be a mental and physical challenge to get up again on the road and compete,” Hawke said. “We are looking to see how they respond to those conditions.”
Auburn’s men have already accumulated 11 NCAA B cuts from five swimmers while the women have 14 cuts from seven swimmers.
“We have more balance than I thought we might have,” Hawke said. “We don’t have gaping holes anywhere, our freshmen are stepping up and doing good things and throughout the races our seniors are doing what they need to do.”
Leading the way for the men is freshman Hugo Gonzalez, who has cuts in the 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM, all of which are ranked in the top four in the country, including a national-best 400 IM time (3:47.78). Gonzalez has won seven individual events during the early season.
On the women’s side Aly Tetzloff has a team-high four B cuts, picking them up in the 100 free, 100 back, 100 fly and 200 IM. All four of her cuts are currently in the top eight nationally, including a personal-high third-best 100 fly time of 53.02.
“Our divers are doing a great job,” Hawke said. “Coach (Jeff) Shaffer is doing an amazing job. We watch them every day from the other side of the pool and they are doing some special things. They are pretty incredible athletes and they got some wins for us against Alabama and we definitely needed those.”
Following Saturday’s meet both teams will have a couple of weeks off before the next competition. Auburn’s women will compete at the Georgia Tech Invitational, Nov. 16-18, and the men will next compete at the Georgia Invitational, Dec. 1-3.