AUBURN MEN HAVE STRONG START TO NCAA SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS -- March 28, 2002

AUBURN MEN HAVE STRONG START TO NCAA SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS - March 28, 2002

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Auburn men's swimming and diving team began competition here Thursday morning at the 2002 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships with a strong start.

The Tigers qualified six swimmers for the evening's finals including three in the championship finals and three in the consolation finals. Auburn also qualified both relays for the finals with the 200 free relay heading into tonight with a fourth-place seeding and the 400 medley relay sitting in fifth.

Starting out the meet was the team of Ryan Wochomurka, Eric vanGoethem, Derek Gibb and Matt Kidd in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which swam to a time of 1:17.72. Gibb's split of 19.05 was the fastest of the meet as he swam the third leg of the relay.

In the 500 freestyle, freshman BJ Jones snuck into the consolation final with a 16th place seeding in a time of 4:21.72.

Auburn placed three swimmers in the 200 individual medley finals as sophomore Mark Gangloff swam to an impressive time of 1:45.45 and a No. 2 seed for the finals. While Kirk Hampleman also qualified for the championship finals with a seventh place (1:45.76), Kevin Clements qualified 14th in a time of 1:46.76.

Gibb was again the highlight in the 50 free event as he substantially lowered his entry time swimming a 19.76 from 20.28 and earning a No. 6 seed heading into finals. Also qualifying for the finals in the 50 free was freshman Ryan Wochomurka, who swam to a 19.88 and a No. 14 seeding.

The morning session ended with the men's 400 medley relay team of Jon Karr, Will Brandt, Andy Haidinyak and Kidd swimming to a time of 3:11.69, which seats them in fifth heading into the night's finals.

Sophomore Caesar Garcia and freshman Matt Bricker will be competing in the 1-meter diving event in the preliminaries at 1 p.m. and in the finals during the evening competition.

Finals for swimming will begin at 7 p.m. EST with competition continuing through Saturday, March 30.

Last Modified March 28, 2002
Auburn Media Relations