AUBURN MEN'S SWIMMING CAPTURES THREE NATIONAL TITLES; LEAD AFTER

AUBURN MEN'S SWIMMING CAPTURES THREE NATIONAL TITLES; LEAD AFTER FIRST DAY AT THE NCAA'S

Minneapolis, Minn. -- The Auburn men's swimming team captured three national titles, in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the 400-yard medley relay and the 50-yard freestyle and jumped out to a 66-point lead after the first day of competition at the 1997 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships at the University Aquatic Center.

The Tigers scored 173 points to lead Texas (107) and Stanford (104). Southern Cal is fourth with 92 points followed by Georgia (82) and Tennessee (65.5).

"Obviously, we knew we needed to be in the lead after today," said Auburn head swim coach David Marsh. "Today and tomorrow are our two best days and I'm pleased with our performance at this point."

Freshman Brett Hawke won the 50-yard freestyle final with a time of 19.19 after setting a school record with a time of 19.16 in the preliminaries. He became Auburn's first national champion in the 50 free since Rowdy Gaines won the event in 1979.

Hawke also swam the first leg of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay. The team of Hawke, Matt Busbee, Aaron Ciarla and Nick Shackell won AU's first title in the event in a time of 1:17.54 after breaking the school record in the preliminaries with a time of 1:17.16.

In the final event of the opening day, the 400-yard medley relay, Auburn claimed its third NCAA title as Chip Crush, Adam Jerger, John Hargis and Brock Newman finished in a school record time of 3:08.96.

"It remained true to form that our relays were some of our best swims," said Marsh. "As always, John Hargis put is in position to win a relay."

Scott Tucker took second in the 200 individual medley with a clocking of 1:45.44 while Lionel Moreau was sixth in the event with a time of 1:46.39.

Busbee finished sixth in the 50 free with a time of 19.82 while Brock Newman won the 50 freestyle consolation final in a time of 19.74. Koffi Kla took 13th in one- meter springboard diving.

We had two key individual swims today in Lionel Moreau in the 200 IM and Brett Hawke in the 50 free," added Marsh. "Those guys provided great energy for the rest of the team."

The NCAA Men's Swimming Championships continue Friday and Saturday.


Last Modified March 27, 1997
Auburn Media Relations