FINAL DAY OF PRELIMS LEAVES AUBURN MEN AND WOMEN IN STRONG POSITION

FINAL DAY OF PRELIMS LEAVES AUBURN MEN AND WOMEN SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAMS IN STRONG POSITION

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK --After the final day of prelims, the Auburn men sit in a favorable position to claim their eighth SEC Championship title in nine years and the Tiger women will be in a battle with Florida and Georgia for the top spot as the teams head into finals Saturday night.

Heading into Saturday night's finals, the Tigers have placed eight women in the championship finals and six in the consolation finals while the men placed 10 in the championship finals and three in the consolation finals with the 1650 freestyle heats to be swum later in the day.

Starting off prelims for Auburn was Margaret Hoelzer claiming the No. 1 seed in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:56.15 while Kirsty Coventry, who won the 100 back Friday night, is seeded third (1:58.34). In the consolation finals, Jenni Anderson placed 10th for Auburn and Taylor Spivey sits in 12th heading into the finals.

For the men in the 200 back, Kirk Hampleman is seeded fourth (1:45.12) while Bryce Hunt and Jon Karr sit in fifth and seventh respectively in the championship finals for Auburn.

Eileen Coparropa leads the way for Auburn in the 100 free seeded third (49.40) while Becky Short sits at sixth with a time of 49.90 heading into the finals. Cassidy Maxwell just missed the championship finals with a No. 9 seed in a time of 50.49 to round out finalists for Auburn.

Matt Kidd and Ryan Wochomurka each took a spot in the championship finals with a fourth and fifth place seeding in times of 44.00 and 44.13 respectively. Derek Gibb again just missed championship finals with a ninth place finish in 44.54 and Clay Kirkland took 11th in 44.70.

The women's 200 breast championship final will feature two Auburn swimmers as Laura Swander is seeded third and Kelly Jones is seeded sixth heading into the evening events. Senior captain Abby Hochella made the consolation finals with a time of 2:20.87 and a 15th place seeding.

After the Auburn men placed five swimmers in the top eight of the 100 breast, expectations remained high for the 200 breast as well. And the Tigers responded placing all four AU breaststrokers in the 200 championship final including Justin Caron in second, Pat Calhoun in third, Will Brandt in sixth and Mark Gangloff in seventh.

Champion in the 100 butterfly, Demerae Christianson, is seeded second heading into the finals of the 200 fly with a time of 1:59.09 and Hoelzer sits in third with a 1:59.78. In the consolation finals, Alessandra Lawless sits in 12th and Maggie Bowen stands in 16th for the evening's event.

Christian Cantwell is Auburn's lone representative in the championship final of the 200 fly as he recorded a time of 1:47.89 and Andy Haidinyak sits in 10th with a time of 1:48.24.

The 1650 freestyle event is set to begin at 4 p.m. CST while the finals are set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the final day of competition at the 2002 SEC Championships.

Last Modified February 23, 2002
Auburn Media Relations