AUSTIN, Texas ¯ Maggie Bowen has done it again for the Auburn swim team taking the top spot in the 400-yard individual medley with a new Texas Invitational record here Saturday night in a time of 4:09.86.
Bowen's time in the 400 IM currently leads all collegiate swimmers and was nearly two full seconds faster than the second place finisher. The junior captured the 200 IM event on Friday night as well, in which she also holds the top time in the country.
"Obviously tonight was featured by Maggie Bowen's swim," head coach David Marsh said. "She was just off her lifetime-best time and is substantially ahead of her pace from last season. She was racing against the best IMers in the country here tonight and she maintained her poise."
The Tigers started off the night with sixth place finishes for both the men's (Jon Karr, Pat Calhoun, Andy Haidinyak, Ryan Wochomurka) and women's (Jenni Anderson, Laura Swander, Demerae Christianson, Eileen Coparropa) teams in the 200 medley relay.
Junior James Galloway pulled out an impressive swim for the No. 4-ranked men's team with a second-place finish in the 400 IM with a time of 3:51.81. The Tigers continue their domination of the breaststroke events as three AU representatives earned a spot in the championship finals. Calhoun finished on top for Auburn at third (54.71), Mark Gangloff placed fourth (55.25), Justin Caron was sixth (55.93) and senior Eric vanGoethem finished 10th with a strong swim in the consolation finals (55.97).
"The men's breaststroke was the highlight on the men's side," Marsh said. "Between veteran Pat Calhoun's race and newcomer Will Brandt, we have five guys that are swimming at the NCAA level right now.
"James Galloway had his best in-season swim tonight in the 400 IM. He has always been the hardest worker on the team and it is really paying off for him this season."
In the 100 backstroke finals, senior Kirk Hampleman led Auburn with a fourth-place finish in a time of 48.75 and Bryce Hunt captured a seventh-place with the time of 49.14 ¯ both times good enough for a NCAA "B" cut qualifying time.
For the No. 3-ranked Auburn women's team, Swander earned top honors for Auburn in the 100 breaststroke finishing fifth with a time of 1:02.06, her best time of the season, while freshman Kelly Jones placed seventh for Auburn in a time of 1:03.21, also her fastest time this season.
Freshman Margaret Hoelzer swam to a fourth place finish in the consolation finals (12th overall) with a time of 56.46 which gives her a NCAA "B" cut qualifying time.
"In addition to Maggie's swim, Laura Swander and Kelly Jones swam well in the 100 breast with each earning their best times," Marsh said. "I was disappointed in our 200 free on the women's side and that is an area that we need to get stronger.
"Overall, this was a very good day. This is a meet that provides fabulous competition and it really helps us to get ready for championship competition."
The Auburn divers are continuing to impress at the Georgia Diving Invitational as freshman Matt Bricker led the Tigers with a second place finish in the 1-meter event (284.95) and Caesar Garcia taking seventh with a score of 267.45.
In other action, the Tigers have alumni representing Auburn at the US Open in Long Island, N.Y. Romain Barnier captured the 200-meter freestyle on Friday with a time of 1:45.47. Saturday night Barnier went back-to-back taking the 100 free with a time of 48.70. Dave Denniston, a 2001 Auburn senior finished 10th in the 200 breast with a time of 2:16.08.
Auburn will conclude both the Texas Invitational as well as the Georgia Diving Invitational Sunday evening.
For more information, contact Mendy Nestor (334) 663-7265