Auburn Tigers Position Themselves for a Great Final Night with Impressive Saturday Prelims

GAINESVILLE, FL, February 19. AUBURN reports it believes it has put itself back into a position to defend its Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving titles, Men and Women, with a stellar performance in Saturday’s preliminaries.

The men, who enter tonight’s finals with a 22-point lead over Florida, will bring back all 14 swimmers tonight, with 10 of those swimming in the championships finals. The Auburn women, who trail leader Georgia by 19-points in the overall standings, will bring back all 16 swimmers, 14 of which will swim in the championship finals.

The most loaded event on the men’s side is the 100 freestyle where senior Ryan Wochomurka will lead a quartet of Tigers into finals. The Columbus, Ind., native went 43.34 to claim the top seed while defending champion senior Fred Bousquet is fourth with a 43.57, junior George Bovell is fifth at 43.71 and sophomore Bryan Lundquist is sixth with a personal-best 43.73. Swimming in the consolation finals will be junior Kurt Cady, who qualified 12th at 44.43.

The most loaded women’s race will be the 200 backstroke where defending champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist senior Kirsty Coventry is the top seed at 1:54.50. The next three Tigers will all swim on the same side of the pool as junior Jeri Moss touched in a personal-best time of 1:56.01 (bettering her previous best by two seconds) to seed herself third, Erin Volcan is fifth after a 1:56.73 morning swim and sophomore Tawnie Bethune is seventh with a 1:58.39.

The men’s 200 backstroke will also be Tiger-heavy as Chad Barlow (1:43.70) and 2005 SEC 100 backstroke champion Doug Van Wie (1:44.11) qualified second and third, respectively. Sophomore Joey Schnedier dropped five seconds off of his personal best to qualify sixth at 1:45.52 while freshman Scott Goodrich went a personal-best 1:49.41 in qualifying 15th.

The women’s 100 free also should be a good race amongst a quartet of Tigers. Freshman Emily Kukors, who finished third in the 200 free last night, is seeded third with a 49.10, the third-fastest time in Auburn history. Seeded in the next three spots is freshman Kara Denby, who stopped the clock at 49.22, which ranks fifth on Auburn’s all-time list, junior Jana Kolukanova in fifth at 49.27, also a personal-best, and junior Leslie Lunsmann in sixth with a personal-best 49.48. Senior Jenni Anderson will swim in the consolation finals after qualifying 12th at 50.12.

Bethune, who medaled in the 100 fly last night, surprised two-time defending champion Mary DeScenza in the 200 fly to claim the top seed at 1:55.53. She is joined by senior Margaret Hoelzer (1:57.94) and freshman Kristen Hastrup (1:58.83), who is seeded fourth and seventh, respectively. Senior Alessandra Lawless is seeded ninth at 1:59.90.

Auburn placed three swimmers in the top eight of the women’s 200 breaststroke with freshman Julie Stupp clocking a 2:14.50, a personal-best, to sit fourth. Sophomore Anne Amardeilh is sixth at 2:14.69, also a personal-best, and junior Lauren Duerk is eighth with a 2:15.18.

The men’s 200 fly will have Chad Barlow in fifth at 1:46.08 and Rory Connell at sixth at 1:46.71 and Mark Johnson at 11th with a 1:47.62.

The men’s 200 breaststroke rounded out the morning swims and will have junior Eric Shanteau seeded second at 1:58.71 and sophomore Sean Osborne ninth at 2:01.27.

To break the numbers down, Auburn’s 14 and 10 on the men’s side is just slightly ahead of Florida’s 11 and seven while AU’s 16 and 14 on the women’s side leads Georgia’s 14 and 10. The unknown will be the 1650 freestyles where Auburn has a total of four men’s swimmers entered and Florida eight, five in the last heat, while AU’s women have two in the last heat and Georgia has four, spread evenly between the last two heats.

The 400 free relay will be the last event of the night and could hold the key to the title along with it. The Auburn women have won that event the last two years at SECs but are seeded over three full seconds behind Georgia while on the men’s side, Auburn is also the two-time defending champion and is seeded ahead of Florida by over two-and-a-half seconds.

2005 SEC Swimming Championships
Day Four Prelims
Auburn Finishes

Men’s 200 Backstroke
2. Chad Barlow 1:43.70
3. Doug Van Wie 1:44.11
6. Joey Schneider 1:45.52
15. Scott Goodrich 1:49.41

Women’s 200 Backstroke
1. Kirsty Coventry 1:54.50
3. Jeri Moss 1:56.01
5. Erin Volcan 1:56.73
7. Tawnie Bethune 1:58.39

Men’s 100 Freestyle
1. Ryan Wochomurka 43.34
4. Fred Bousquet 43.57
5. George Bovell 43.71
6. Bryan Lundquist 43.73
12. Kurt Cady 44.43
Wesley Flatt 44.55
Seth Barry 45.15

Women’s 100 Freestyle
3. Emily Kukors 49.10
4. Kara Denby 49.22
5. Jana Kolukanova 49.27
6. Leslie Lunsmann 49.48
12. Jenni Anderson 50.12
Christina Swindle 50.26

Men’s 200 Breaststroke
2. Eric Shanteau 1:58.71
9. Sean Osborne 2:01.27
David Maras 2:01.57

Women’s 200 Breaststroke
4. Julie Stupp 2:14.50
6. Anne Amardeilh 2:14.68
8. Lauren Duerk 2:15.18

Men’s 200 Butterfly
5. Chad Barlow 1:46.08
6. Rory Connell 1:46.71
11. Mark Johnson 1:47.62
John Scott 1:47.51

Women’s 200 Butterfly
1. Tawnie Bethune 1:55.53
4. Margaret Hoelzer 1:58.90
7. Kristen Hastrup 1:58.83
9. Alessandra Lawless 1:59.90

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Author: Archive Team

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