AUBURN, Alabama, October 26. AUBURN's women's swimming & diving team won eight races and got an especially strong performance from its distance corps as the Tigers defeated Notre Dame 166-132 Friday afternoon at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center.
“It's our third week in a row and the women are pretty tired,” Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. “They've been racing tough. It's always good to come away with a win, especially with a quality team. They're really well-coached from Brian Barnes, and they've got some really good swimmers.”
The Tigers improved to 3-0 in dual meet action while Notre Dame dropped to 0-1 on the year. Several swimmers competed in their off-events, a strategy Hawke said was meant to keep the team training throughout the meet.
“We're just trying to mix it up,” Hawke said. “It's more about training around this stage. Most of the competition are preparing themselves for the spring. We're trying to mix it up with some different looks and see where we're at, and I thought the girls stepped up today.”
Senior Katie Gardocki had her strongest performance of the year, posting a pair of impressive times in both of her individual events. The Suffield, Conn., native clocked a season-best 9:45.42 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, just three seconds shy of her career-best, and posted the third-best time in the nation so far this year while winning the race by a stunning 29 seconds.
She came back later in the meet with a 4:49.07 to win the 500 freestyle by more than 13 seconds, posting the 10th-best time in the nation through the early part of the season.
“I think Katie was a standout, getting her rhythm back in her distance events,” Hawke said. “She was outstanding.”
The Tiger sprinters also came up with big performances today. Junior Emily Bos came within a half-second of her career best in the 100 free with a winning time of 50.53, leading a sweep of the top three spots as Haley Krakoski (50.89) was second and Lindsey Norberg (51.50) was third.
Bos also took runner-up honors in the 50 free with a 23.46 as senior Hannah Riordan posted just the fifth time in the nation this year to break the 23-second mark with a winning 22.98.
Riordan also earned a second win in the opening event of the meet. She anchored the winning 400 medley relay team of Jillian Vitarius, Micah Lawrence and Olivia Scott to a winning time of 3:39.10, and Auburn's `B' squad of Sarah Reynolds, Lauren Norberg, Megan Fonteno and Haley Krakoski touched second in 3:42.84.
Lawrence swam the 100 breaststroke for the first time this year, sprinting to a winning time of 1:00.87, the third-fastest time in the nation so far this year. And Sarah Peterson won the 200 butterfly for the second straight week, clocking a 2:00.20 to outpace her nearest opponent by more than a second and a half.
Freshman Sarah Reynolds earned Auburn's other win on the day, clocking a 1:59.99 in the 200 back for her first individual collegiate victory. Sophomore Megan Fonteno earned a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100 fly (55.56) and 200 free (1:51.37). And Peterson, Abby Duncan and Lauren Norberg went 2-3-4 in the 200 IM.
Sophomore diver Cinzia Calabretta took second place in the 3-meter event with a career-best score of 309.38, and sophomore Shanna Schuelein was runner-up in the 1-meter event with a 281.10.
Auburn exhibitioned the final relay, but the team of Krakoski, Bos, Riordan and Aubrey Peacock had the top time in the 200 free relay with a 1:32.78. Scott, Fonteno, Vitarius and Lindsey Norberg were right behind in 1:34.48.
The men's team will rejoin the women next week as the Tigers hit the road for the first time in 2012-13. Auburn will travel to Lexington, Ky., for an SEC dual meet with the Kentucky Wildcats, scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m. CT.
Auburn Swimming & Diving
October 26, 2012
James E. Martin Aquatic Center – Auburn, Ala.
Team Score: Auburn 166, Notre Dame 132
Auburn Top Performances:
400 Medley Relay: 1. Vitarius, Lawrence, Scott, Riordan (3:39.10); 1000 Free: 1. Gardocki (9:45.42); 200 Free: 2. Fonteno (1:51.37); 100 Back: 2. Peacock (55.14); 100 Breast: 1. Lawrence (1:00.87); 200 Fly: 1. Peterson (2:00.20); 50 Free: 1. Riordan (22.98); 3M Diving: 2. Calabretta (309.38); 100 Free: 1. Bos (50.53); 200 Back: 1. Reynolds (1:59.99); 200 Breast: 2. La. Norberg (2:17.49); 500 Free: 1. Gardocki (4:49.07) ; 100 Fly: 2. Fonteno (55.56); 1M Diving: 2. Schuelein (281.10); 200 IM: 2. Peterson (2:04.35); 200 Free Relay: X. Krakoski, Bos, Riordan, Peacock (1:32.78)
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