AUSTIN, Texas ¯ The Auburn swimming team finished up the Texas Invitational here Sunday evening with some impressive swims for the Tigers.
"We served our overall purpose here this weekend very well which was to swim our season-best times and we did that to 80-90 percent," head coach David Marsh said. "This weekend came after a tough week of training, but the team will have to overcome bigger obstacles that this throughout the season. I think this meet has us moving in the right direction."
Freshman Margaret Hoelzer started things off for the Tigers in the evening finals session capturing the fourth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:58.56.
In the 100 free, sophomore Eileen Coparropa pulled out a fourth place finish with a season-best time of 49.61 which also qualifies her for the NCAA Championships in that event later this season. Becky Short, also a sophomore, qualified for the consolation finals and earned a sixth place finish, 14th overall, with a time of 50.74.
Laura Swander placed seventh in the 200 breaststroke (2:17.65) while Cassidy Maxwell came up with an impressive 10th place finish and a career-best time of 2:18.40 in the event immediately after swimming in the 100 free bonus finals. Rounding out the consolation finals for Auburn was Kelly Jones in 15th with a time of 2:19.89.
In the 200 butterfly, Hoelzer again was the top finisher for Auburn with a seventh place finish in a time of 2:01.82 in the championships finals while Demerae Christianson swam to a 11th place finish (2:01.73) and Maggie Bowen taking 12th (2:02.10) in the consolation finals.
"Demerae (Christianson) had her all-season best in the 200 fly today and Laura Swander earned her automatic qualification in the 200 breast today," Marsh said. "Cassidy Maxwell has found a new event with her performing so well in the breast and earning consideration for the NCAAs. I am very excited that the women had their best session in the final day of competition."
On the men's side in the 200 back, the men placed six Auburn Tigers in the finals with Bryce Hunt (1:45.21) and Kirk Hampleman (1:45.62) making their way to the championship finals with third and fifth place finishes respectively.
Freshman Matt Kidd took the top spot for Auburn in the 100 free at 15th with a time of 45.35. In the 200 breast, junior captain Justin Caron led the way for Auburn with a fourth place finish in a time of 2:00.48, cutting off nearly two seconds from his preliminary time Sunday morning. Mark Gangloff and Pat Calhoun also scored points for the Tigers in the consolation finals with fourth and sixth place finishes respectively.
In the consolation finals, Auburn placed Christian Cantwell and James Galloway, who finished up in 10th for Cantwell with a time of 1:48.27 and Galloway in 12th with a time of 1:48.95.
"Kirk Hampleman has done an excellent job throughout this meet and especially today in the 200 back," Marsh said. "Bryce (Hunt) had a great swim today and the breaststroke contingent of Justin Caron, Pat Calhoun and Will Brandt is continuing to do very well."
The Auburn divers also concluded action Sunday at the Georgia Diving Invitational in Athens with again, outstanding performances by Caesar Garcia and Matt Bricker, who finished first and second in respectively in the platform event. Garcia earned a score of 508.05 and Bricker finished the day with a score of 485.35. Freshman Rachel Korth had an impressive day as well finishing third on the platform with a score of 289.60.
The Tigers will take a short break before hosting Southwest Missouri State on Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. in a dual meet at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
For more information, contact Mendy Nestor (334) 663-7265