TIGER SWIMMERS CAPTURE TWO MORE TITLES AT SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS -- Feb. 21, 2002

TIGER SWIMMERS CAPTURE TWO MORE TITLES AT SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS -- Feb. 21, 2002

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Auburn picked up two more titles here Thursday night at the 2002 SEC Championships with Maggie Bowen claiming the 200 individual medley and Kevin Clements winning the 500 freestyle.

In preliminary action Thursday morning, the Tigers had impressive results as they placed 15 swimmers in the championship finals and three in the consolation finals for Thursday night in addition to the 200 freestyle relay teams.

Sophomore Heather Kemp started off the day with a career-best performance in the 500 free with a time of 4:44.26 which put her in first place overall for the finals. Magda Dyszkiewicz also finaled for the Tigers and sat in fourth heading into the finals with a time of 4:48.44.

In the men's 500 free, Auburn dominated the preliminaries as the team captured four of the top eight championship finals spots including Kevin Clements' first-place finish (4:22.02), BJ Jones' second place finish (4:24.14), Clay Kirkland's seventh place finish (4:25.26) and James Galloway in eighth with a time of 4:25.38.

Maggie Bowen was in position to defend her 200 individual medley title Thursday night as she was seeded first heading into the finals with a time of 1:59.47 in the morning swim. Freshman Kirsty Coventry finished the 200 IM in fourth in the prelims with a time of 2:01.21 -- her personal best to date. In her first time swimming the event all season, Demerae Christianson pulled out a big swim for the Tigers taking 13th heading into finals with a time of 2:05.32.

Auburn placed two swimmers in the top eight of the 200 IM as Mark Gangloff led the way in fourth place (1:47.69) and Kirk Hampleman ended the morning session in sixth with a time of 1:47.75.

Eileen Coparropa will also be trying to defend her title in the 50 free as she was seeded first heading into the finals with a time of 22.36, which was just .01 off her own SEC record. Also in the top eight was Becky Short in fifth (22.88) and Cassidy Maxwell in eighth (23.26). Maxwell was in a three-way tie for eighth, but won the swim-off with a career-best time of 22.99.

In the men's 50 free, Ryan Wochomurka took the top spot for Auburn in the prelims with a sixth place in a time 20.10 while Eric vanGoethem swam to an eighth place in a time of 20.14 and Derek Gibb finished just out of the championship finals in ninth (20.28).

Starting off finals action was the women's 500 free where Dyszkiewicz pulled out a fourth place finish with a time of 4:45.72 and Kemp came away with a fifth place in a time of 4:47.17.

On the men's side, Clements claimed Auburn's first medal of the night re-claiming his 500 freestyle title from 2001 in a school record time of 4:17.20. Clements broke his own school record which previously stood at 4:19.27. Auburn went on to control the event picking up fourth place by Kirkland (4:22.70), fifth by Jones (4:22.73) and sixth by Galloway (4:25.19).

Bowen's record stays in tact for at least another few weeks as she came away with the 200 IM victory in the finals with a new SEC record of 1:56.51 which breaks her old record of 1:57.26. Coventry also swam an impressive race for the Tigers with a third place finish and a time of 1:59.92, which is her career best.

Christianson again continued to amaze as she finished ninth and winning the consolation final of the 200 IM in a time of 2:01.93, which was the seventh-best time in the event.

In the men's 200 IM, Gangloff stepped up to a third place finish with a time of 1:46.71 and Hampleman went on to a sixth place finish with a 1:47.34. In the consolation final, Caron finished 14th overall bettering his morning time at 1:49.30.

Coparropa relinquished her 50 free title and SEC Record as she came in second in the finals to Georgia's Maritza Corriea (22.31). Coparropa earned a time of 22.65 in the event while Short finished fourth in a time of 22.70 and Maxwell placed eighth in 23.27.

Both Auburn men moved up from the morning prelims in the 50 free with Wochomurka making it to the medal stand with a third place finish in a time of 19.80 while vanGoethem moved up to sixth in a time of 20.07.

The 200 free relay team of Coparropa, Short, Kemp and Maxwell took third place with a time of 1:30.26 with a new school record time which was set in 1998 at 1:30.27.

Wochomurka started off the 200 free relay for the Tigers with a new career-best time of 19.69 in the 50 free and the team went on to take second with a time of 1:18.15 behind Florida, who set a school record with a time of 1:17.94.

''Tonight started off great and ended up fast, just not the way we wanted it to,'' head coach David Marsh said. ''The meet was highlighted by the SEC record from Maggie Bowen and the school record by Kevin Clements.

''And of course Demerae Christianson having a phenomenal swim in the 200 IM earning a B' cut in a non-event for her. Ryan Wochomurka swam some brilliant 50 frees tonight out-touching the guys from Florida. Mark Gangloff in the 200 IM is definitely worth mentioning with his best time and I was disappointed with the finishes of the 200 free relay, but we posted some good times. We just need to work on our finishes.''

Scoring after four days of competition stands with the Florida women leading with 259.5 points, Georgia in second with 249.5 points and Auburn in third with 247 points. On the men's side, Florida leads with 307 points, Auburn in second with 306 points and Tennessee in third with 211 points.

The Tigers will continue SEC Championship action Friday, Feb. 22 and will wrap up the 2002 meet Saturday, Feb. 23 at the HPER Natatorium on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

Auburn Women's Results

500 Freestyle
4. Magda Dyszkiewicz    4:45.72
5. Heather Kemp         4:47.17

200 Individual Medley
1. Maggie Bowen         1:56.51*
3. Kirsty Coventry      1:59.92
9. Demerae Christianson 2:01.93

50 Freestyle
2. Eileen Coparropa     22.47
4. Becky Short          22.70
8. Cassidy Maxwell      23.27

200 Freestyle Relay
3. Coparropa, Short, Kemp, Maxwell      1:30.26



Auburn Men's Results

500 Freestyle
1. Kevin Clements       4:17.20^
4. Clay Kirkland        4:22.70
5. BJ Jones             4:22.73
6. James Galloway       4:25.19

200 Individual Medley
3. Mark Gangloff        1:46.71
6. Kirk Hampleman       1:47.34
14. Justin Caron        1:49.30

50 Freestyle
3. Ryan Wochomurka      19.80
6. Eric vanGoethem      20.07
11. Derek Gibb          20.39

200 Freestyle Relay
2. Wochomurka, Kidd, Gibb, vanGoethem   1:18.15


Scoring Results Through Day Four

Women
1. Florida              259.5
2. Georgia              249.5
3. Auburn               247
4. LSU                  200.5
5. Alabama              179
6. South Carolina       169.5
7. Tennessee            150
8. Kentucky             129
9. Arkansas             108

Men
1. Florida              307
2. Auburn               306
3. Tennessee            211
4. Kentucky             187
5. Georgia              183
6. South Carolina       178
7. Alabama              163
8. LSU                   81

Last Modified February 21, 2002
Auburn Media Relations