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Feb. 20, 2002

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- In the third day of competition of the 2002 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, the Auburn Tigers struck gold with freshman diver Matt Bricker earning the gold in the platform event while the Auburn women won the 200-yard medley relay event.

Heading into the finals of the platform, Bricker was seeded first with a score of 183.20 and went on to capture the title with a score of 541.80, which was thirty points higher than the second place finisher -- Clayton Moss at 511.30. Bricker becomes Auburn's first diver since the 1989 season to earn an SEC title when Jose Rocha claimed the 1- and 3-meter events.

Garcia sat in third with a score of 158.00 heading into the evening's competition and finished the night with a fifth-place finish and a score of 441.85.

''Overall, I am very pleased,'' head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. ''This was a great way to end our SEC Championships and is the first time since I have been here that we have won a diving championship.

''I am as excited for Matt as I am disappointed for Caesar. On a positive note for him though is that it is not a matter of executing the dive, but of being sharper and that is something that can easily be fixed. When that happens, he is right up there with Matt and the other guys.''

For the women, sophomore Ashley Rubenstein finished eighth in the platform Wednesday night with a score of 310.00, which is her first time finaling in that event at the conference meet. Freshman Rachel Korth finished 16th on the platform with a score of 261.50 to score in her first-ever SEC Championship meet.

''Ashley did a great job to make the finals tonight and we used a higher difficulty dive in the finals that will make her more competitive in that event,'' Shaffer said. ''It was exciting to see Rachel score tonight. Her dedication really makes her a role model for the success that she has had.''

The Auburn swim team kicked off competition Wednesday evening as well as the women's team of Kirsty Coventry, Laura Swander, Demerae Christianson and Eileen Coparropa took the title in the 200 medley relay with a pool record time of 1:38.87.

The men's 200 medley relay team of Kirk Hampleman, Pat Calhoun, Andy Haidinyak and Matt Kidd finished fourth with a time of 1:27.75.

In the 800 free relay, the Tiger women's team of Heather Kemp, Maggie Bowen, Cassidy Maxwell and Magda Dyszkiewicz took second with time of 7:07.91 behind first place Georgia with a time of 7:06.90.

Auburn's men's team of BJ Jones, Kevin Clements, Ryan Wochomurka and Clay Kirkland made it to the medal stand with a second place finish behind Florida with a time of 6:26.55. Florida's time of 6:24.30 was a new SEC record.

''On the women's side, we had an excellent evening with the medley relay,'' head coach David Marsh said. ''Demerae (Christianson) and Eileen (Coparropa) really did a fantastic job tonight, but the entire relay was dominant. It is nice to see that heading into the last leg we were leading and had the fastest 50 freestyler on deck about to dive in.

''We had two solid swims for the men, but not spectacular. Florida has definitely thrown out the challenge. This will definitely be a tough meet for us.''

After three days of diving and two swimming relays, the Auburn women stand in seventh place with 98 points while the men sit in second with a score of 143.

The Tigers will continue action Thursday, Feb. 21 as the swimming action continues through Feb. 23 at the HPER Auditorium on the campus of Arkansas.

Auburn Women's Results

Platform Diving
8. Ashley Rubenstein 310.00
16. Rachel Korth     261.50

200 Medley Relay
1. Coventry, Swander, Christianson, Coparropa 1:38.87

800 Freestyle Relay
2. Kemp, Bowen, Maxwell, Dyszkiewicz    7:07.91

Auburn Men's Results

Platform Diving
1. Matt Bricker         541.80
5. Caesar Garcia        441.85

200 Medley Relay
4. Hampleman, Calhoun, Haidinyak, Kidd  1:27.75

800 Freestyle Relay
2. Jones, Clements, Wochomurka, Kirkland  6:26.55

Last Modified February 20, 2002
Auburn Media Relations

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