AUBURN CLAIMS FIVE INDIVIDUAL TITLES IN SEC CHAMPIONSHIP -- Feb. 22, 2002

AUBURN CLAIMS FIVE INDIVIDUAL TITLES IN SEC CHAMPIONSHIP -- Feb. 22, 2002

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- In the fifth day of competition at the 2002 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships, the Auburn swimmers have added five individual titles to their collection here Friday night at the HPER Natatorium.

Maggie Bowen maintained her status as the SEC Champion in the 400 IM, Kevin Clements earned the 400 IM title, Demerae Christianson took the 100 butterfly title in a new SEC record time, Pat Calhoun won the 100 breaststroke and freshman Kirsty Coventry took the 100 backstroke title for Auburn.

The Auburn men took control of the team competition with a score of 560 ahead of No. 2 Florida with 507 and Georgia in third with 351 points with one day remaining in the SEC Championships.

On the women's side, Georgia leads the pack with 494 points, Florida stands in second with 482.5 points and Auburn sits in third with 475.5 points through five days of competition.

Bowen started off the medal hunt with a championship title performance in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:08.40 to defend her title from 2001. Cassidy Maxwell swam to an eighth place finish and a time of 4:23.44 in the championship finals.

''This feels good,'' Bowen said. ''I feel more confident going into NCAAs. My time tonight was not quite as good as I wanted. I still want to get faster.''

Clements continued the trend for Auburn with an SEC Championship in the 400 IM in a time of 3:44.26 while James Galloway captured fifth place honors in a time of 3:49.16.

''I realized that I had won with about 25 yards to go. The last lap of the race was when I realized I was going to touch the wall first.''

With a new SEC record, Christianson pulled out a career swim taking the 100 butterfly title with a time of 53.20. Alessandra Lawless also finaled for the Tigers claiming eighth in a time of 55.09 in the 100 fly.

Andy Haidinyak stood as Auburn's lone championship finalist in the 100 fly as he went on to take fifth in a time of 47.82. Jon Karr (48.52), Christian Cantwell (49.03) and Bryce Hunt (49.23) finished 11th, 14th and 15th for Auburn respectively in the same event.

In the women's 200 freestyle, sophomores Magda Dyszkiewicz and Heather Kemp both tied for fourth in the finals as they each swam to a 1:47.52. Becky Short also scored for the Tigers as she came in 12th for Auburn with a time of 1:50.10.

It was an all-freshmen final for Auburn, freshman Clay Kirkland earned a second place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:36.80, Ryan Wochomurka was fifth 1:37.55 and BJ Jones was eighth in a time of 1:39.45.

For the 100 breaststroke, Laura Swander took fourth in 1:01.52 while Kelly Jones came in eighth with a time of 1:04.00. Senior Abby Hochella had an impressive race for the Tigers with a 10th place finish in 1:03.68.

The Auburn men dominated the 100 breast as five Tigers qualified for the championship finals and Pat Calhoun claiming the title in a time of 53.47. Mark Gangloff finished third (54.27), Eric vanGoethem took sixth (54.36), Justin Caron was seventh (54.45) and Will Brandt came in eighth (54.75) on the night.

Kirsty Coventry

Freshman Kirsty Coventry took her first SEC title in the 100 backstroke Friday night with a time of 53.82 while Margaret Hoelzer tied for third (55.14) with Georgia's Neka Mabry, Jenni Anderson took sixth (55.66) and Taylor Spivey finished eighth in a time of 56.52.

In the final individual event of the evening, Kirk Hampleman took third in the 100 back with a time of 48.12 while Karr finished sixth (48.28) and Bryce Hunt (48.89) finished seventh in the event.

The Auburn women's 400 medley relay team of Coventry, Bowen, Christianson and Eileen Coparropa took the title in a new school record time of 3:36.02. The previous record was set last season in a time of 3:36.74.

''Tonight was an excellent eventing,'' said head coach David Marsh. ''We took care of business this morning and then took it to another level tonight. I am very happy for Demerae (Christianson), who has been working hard and it is really showing. Kevin Clements is showing his true talent by not having his best race and still winning the title in the 400 IM. And of course, Maggie has been dominant and outstanding the entire meet from individual events to relays.''

The Tigers will wrap up SEC Championship action Saturday, Feb. 23 with preliminaries in the morning and the finals set to begin at 6:30 p.m. CST at the HPER Natatorium. The Auburn men will be vying for their sixth consecutive title and eighth in nine years and the women will be pushing for their first-ever title.

Auburn Womenís Results

400 Individual Medley
1. Maggie Bowen         4:08.40
8. Cassidy Maxwell      4:23.44

100 Butterfly
1. Demerae Christianson 53.20*
8. Alessandra Lawless   55.09

200 Freestyle
4.Heather Kemp          1:47.52
4. Magda Dyszkiewicz    1:47.52
12. Becky Short         1:50.10

100 Breaststroke
4. Laura Swander        1:01.52
8. Kelly Jones          1:04.60
10. Abby Hochella       1:03.68

100 Backstroke
1. Kirsty Coventry      53.82
T-3. Margaret Hoelzer   55.14
6. Jenni Anderson       55.86
8. Taylor Spivey        56.52

400 Medley Relay
1. Coventry, Bowen, Christianson, Coparropa   3:36.02

*SEC Record

Auburn Menís Results

400 Individual Medley
1. Kevin Clements       3:44.26
5. James Galloway       3:49.16

100 Butterfly
5. Andy Haidinyak       47.82
11. Jon Karr            48.52
14. Christian Cantwell  49.03
15. Bryce Hunt          49.23

200 Freestyle
2. Clay Kirkland        1:36.80
5. Ryan Wochomurka      1:37.55
8. BJ Jones             1:39.45

100 Breaststroke
1. Pat Calhoun          53.47
3. Mark Gangloff        54.27
6. Eric vanGoethem      54.36
7. Justin Caron         54.45
8. Will Brandt          54.75

100 Backstroke
3. Kirk Hampleman       48.12
6. Jon Karr             48.28
7. Bryce Hunt           48.89

400 Medley Relay
1. Hampleman, Calhoun, Haidinyak, Wochomurka    3:09.99

Team Scores After Day Five Of Competition

Womenís Results
1. Georgia              494
2. Florida              482.5
3. Auburn               475.5
4. Alabama              267.5
5. LSU                  260
6. South Carolina       234.5
7. Tennessee            184
8. Kentucky             170
9. Arkansas             153

Menís Results
1. Auburn               560
2. Florida              507
3. Georgia              351
4. Tennessee            337
5. South Carolina       266
6. Alabama              243
7. Kentucky             224
8. LSU                  138

Last Modified February 22, 2002
Auburn Media Relations