SMU’s Christian Scherubl defended his title in the men’s 500 freestyle in Day 2 of the 2016 American Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus & Wellness Recreation Center Natatorium on the campus of the University of Houston.
In the closest race of the night, Scherubl (4:18.72) defeated East Carolina’s Michael Dugan by four-hundredths of a second in the 500. The two separated themselves from the rest of the field and battled all the way to the last lap, where it came to a touch-out in favor of Scherubl.
Houston freshman Hannah Herbst made a splash in her first American Championship meet as she won the women’s 500 freestyle with a time of 4:49.08 to begin Day 2. Herbst, who turned in the fifth fastest time in the preliminaries, was in first or second place for the duration race on her way to the gold. Tulane freshman Natalie Clausen (4:50.00) finished less than a second behind Herbst while SMU’s Maddie Hoch took third with a time of 4:50.80.
SMU junior Kirsty McLauchlan turned in a first-place time of 2:00.95 in the women’s 200 individual medley. Sophomore Samantha Wheatley (2:02.39) of Cincinnati finished in the runner-up position while freshman Michelle Zelnick (2:02.87) of Tulane rounded out the top three. On the men’s side, Fran Krznaric of East Carolina defeated the field by almost three seconds with a time of 1:45.72. Krznaric pulled away from the pack during the backstroke-breaststroke exchange en route to the victory.
In the women’s 50 freestyle, Cincinnati’s Jacqueline Keire came away with the gold after covering the distance in 22.31. Keire edged out SMU’s Hannah Rogers, who finished with a time of 22.65. The men’s 50 went to Mustangs junior Ziga Cerkovnik with a top time of 20.05, after posting a sub-20 time in the preliminaries (19.97). East Carolina’s Shawn Hunter produced a second-place performance (20.15) and UConn James Donlevy (20.19) took the bronze.
For the third consecutive year, SMU captured the women’s 200 freestyle relay. The Mustangs finished with a time of 1:31.02 and have won all three relay events at this year’s meet. East Carolina (1:32.05) and Tulane (1:32.28) followed in second and third. The men’s relay went to SMU in a close contest with the Pirates. The Mustangs took the advantage in the third leg when Cerkovnik dove into the pool. Scherubl drove home the win in the fourth leg to deliver a finishing time of 1:19.90. East Carolina touched the wall in a close second (1:20.41).
In the lone diving event of the day, Houston senior Danielle Shedd captured the 1-meter for the second straight year. Shedd finished the event with a score of 302.00. UConn’s Taryn Urbanus and teammate Ali Butera earned silver and bronze with final scores of 287.40 and 287.30. In the preliminary round, Cougar sophomore Micaela Bouter set a meet record with 309.80.
East Carolina and SMU created some distance in the four-team men’s field after two days of competition. The Pirates remain in first place with a score of 295.50 and the Mustangs are not far behind with 278.50 points, while Cincinnati (212) and UConn (203) sit in third and fourth.
SMU moved up to first place in the six-team women’s standings as the Mustangs concluded Day 2 with 263 points. UConn finished in second with a score of 245, followed by Tulane (226.50), Houston (226), Cincinnati (200) and East Carolina (182.50).
Competition continues on Friday with preliminary swimming events starting at 10 a.m. CT, followed by men’s 3 meter diving preliminaries at 12:30 CT. The finals are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT and you can watch it live on the American Digital Network.
AAC contributed this report.
2016 American Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships
Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Natatorium • Houston, Texas
Feb. 17-20, 2016
Women’s Scores (through 8 of 21 events)
1. SMU 263
2. UConn 245
3. Tulane 226.5
4. Houston 226
5. Cincinnati 200
6. East Carolina 182.5
Men’s Scores (through 7 of 21 events)
1. East Carolina 295.5
2. SMU 278.5
3. Cincinnati 212
4. UConn 203