AUBURN, Alalbama, November 1. COMPETING alongside swimmers of all ages and from all different club teams, the Auburn women's swimming team — defending NCAA Division 1 champions — and a part of the men's team opened their season at the War Eagle Invitational in the James E. Martin Aquatics Center here.
(The pool will serve as host site for next March's NCAA D1 women's meet.)
"I think we swam very solidly tonight," Auburn women's co-coach Kim Brackin said. "We saw some outstanding swims for this time of the season. Maggie Bowen's 400 IM and Lauren Duerk's 500 free really impressed us for it being so early in the year and hopefully is a sign of things to come."
With just two events on tap for opening night, senior Bowen registered a fast (and second-fastest nationally)
4:13.91 in the IM to place first. She also won the 500 free with 4:49.13.
Bowen is defending NCAA champ in both IMs and her 1:53.91 in the 200 is the current American, NCAA, Southeast Conference and Auburn record too. Her 4:04.69 that won the 400 IM title is history's third-fastest performance, the SEC-Auburn record, and No. 2 on the all-time collegiate list behind Stanford's Summer Sanders' 4:02.28 from a decade ago.
(Former University of Florida star Tracy Caulkins did a 4:04.63 while swimming for Nashville Aquatics 20 years ago in the U.S. Nationals at Harvard and that swim is history's second-best performance.)
Duerk's second-place finish in the 500 free was also a nice sight for the AU coaching staff as the Bolles School product touched in 4:50.98. Junior Heather Kemp made it a clean sweep for the Tigers as she came in third with a 4:51.83. Junior Magda Dyszkiewicz (4:51.92) placed fourth.
In the 400 IM, froshwoman Erin Volcan, a Southern California product, was third in 4:25.05 while sophomore Alessandra Lawless clocked 4:32.74 to place sixth.
For the men, senior Joe Gonzales placed first in the 400 IM (4:07.86) while freshmen Lyle Babcock (4:16.47) and Kevin Swander (4:16.68) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Freshman Daniel Slocki placed second in the 500 free (4:41.33) while Gonzales placed fifth (4:44.44).
The War Eagle Invitational action continues today (Nov. 2) at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center. The rest of the Auburn men's squad will get their season underway today as well, swimming in Tucson against No. 10 Arizona and No. 18 Wisconsin.
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