Nov. 30, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - A blazing 50-yard freestyle by junior Marcelo Chierighini led a group of 16 Auburn swimmers that advanced to finals Friday morning on the first day of the Georgia Fall Invitational at UGA's Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Chierighini posted the fourth-fastest time in the country this year and the best in the SEC with a 19.72 to lead all swimmers in Friday morning's session, earning the top seed for tonight's championship final. He is one of 12 swimmers to break the 20-second barrier in the nation so far this season. He led a group of four Auburn men - all swimming unrested and unsuited - into tonight's finals. Junior James Disney-May just missed the championship final with a 20.44, earning the No. 9 seed and a spot in the consolation, while TJ Leon (20.63) and Kyle Owens (20.64) claimed spots in the C-final.
Sophomore Tommy McKee provided the other big highlight of the morning for the Auburn men, knocking more than 14 seconds off his previous personal best in the 500 free with an NCAA `B' cut time of 4:24.09 to earn a spot in tonight's championship final. It's the best time this season by an Auburn swimmer and ranks him in the nation's top 30 so far this year. Junior Zane Grothe put together a nice morning swim of 4:24.25 to earn a spot in the consolation final, while Jordan Jones (4:32.29), Steyn Funk (4:34.27), Sam Parker (4:34.68) and Antton Haramboure (4:34.78) all posted season-best times.
Owens was the other Auburn swimmer to earn a spot in a championship final, clocking a 1:49.10 in the 200 IM prelims to finish eighth overall. He will be joined tonight by Alex Hancock, whose 1:50.72 got him to the consolation final.
For the women, five Tigers earned spots in the B- and C-finals of the 50 free. Emily Bos led the way with a season-best 23.03, while Hannah Riordan posted a 23.20 as both will swim the consolation tonight. Aubrey Peacock (23.27), Olivia Scott (23.34) and Haley Krakoski (23.39) swam their way into the C-final.
Scott will have two swims tonight after finishing 11th overall in the 200 IM prelims with a time of 2:00.49, lowering her NCAA `B' cut time and her career-best in the event. Senior Micah Lawrence will be in the C-final after a 2:02.01 in prelims.
And senior Katie Gardocki made it back in the C-final of the 500 freestyle with a 4:52.39 to finish 21st in prelims.
Finals of these three events along with two relays get underway at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. CT), and live results are available at GeorgiaDogs.com. Fans can also follow @AuburnSwimming on Twitter for updates from the pool.