TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, January 11. THE University of Alabama swimming and diving teams hosted fellow SEC teams Arkansas and Kentucky this afternoon and emerged victorious in each of their three dual meets. Arkansas also beat Kentucky in their head-to-head dual. For Alabama, five swimmers recorded multiple wins to lead the Crimson Tide in their first meet of 2014.
Alabama Press Release
The Alabama swimming and diving teams opened up the New Year with decisive wins over Southeastern Conference competition Saturday afternoon at the Alabama Aquatic Center. The Tide women beat Kentucky (152-110) and Arkansas (149-113) while the men downed the Wildcats (184-96).
“We’ve been a little up and down in terms of our consistency and we wanted to get back on track today and I think we did that,” UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. “What I saw today was a team that was spirited, brought some fight to the meet, was excited about competing and performing up to the best of their abilities. It was a good day for us.”
Four different Crimson Tide men picked up two individual victories on the day. Senior All-American BJ Hornikel picked up wins in the 100 and 200 freestyle, touching the wall with times of 45.40 and 1.39.86, respectively. Anton McKee continued his consistent freshman campaign by winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 55.42 and the 200 breaststroke with a 2:00.17.
Sophomore distance ace Brian Westlake posted a time of 15:46.71 to win the 1650 freestyle and swam a 4:32.26 to win the 500 freestyle later in the meet. Sophomore Crews Wellford earned a win in the 100 backstroke (49.73) and the 200 backstroke (1:49.66).
Newly arrived freshman Kristian Gkolomeev, who joined the Tide a little more than 48 hours prior to the meet, won his first collegiate event, the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 20.48. Freshman Connor Oslin contributed a victory in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:49.80.
The men also had a strong day when it came to the relays. In the meet-opening 200 medley relay, the team of Oslin, Mckee, sophomore Brett Walsh and Hornikel picked up the win with a 1:29.52. To round out the day, the relay team of Gkolomeev, Walsh, senior Vlad Caciuc and Hornikel dominated the field in the 200 freestyle relay, posting a time of 1:19.14 which was five and a half seconds faster than the second place team.
On the women’s side of the meet, sophomore Emma Saunders took home the top spot in two events, winning both the 100 and 200 freestyle races with times of 51.26 and 1:49.35, respectively.
Senior Stephanie Kinsey won the 100 backstroke, coming in with a time of 55.76. Junior Kaylin Burchell picked up an individual win in the 100 breaststroke, while junior Kristel Vourna won the 50 freestyle. Burchell touched the wall in 1:01.70, while Vourna posted a time of 23.38.
Like the men, the Tide women swept the relay races. Freshmen Caroline Korst, Bridget Blood, Leah Bird, and Bailey Scott won the 200 medley relay with a 1:41.04, while Vourna, sophomore Justine Panian, Kinsey and Scott combined to win the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:32.69.
Alabama closes out its home schedule on Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. against Emory.