Cougar Classic: Day One

HOUSTON, Texas, November 18. A sizzling school-record performance from senior Jane Trepp and multiple NCAA provisional qualifying times highlighted a fantastic opening session for the nationally-ranked LSU swimming and diving teams Thursday at the University of Houston's Phil Hansel Cougar Classic Invitational.

The 22nd-ranked Lady Tigers combined to score 306 points to take the lead in the seven-team field, while the 22nd-ranked LSU men stormed out to a commanding 515-253 advantage over Southern Methodist University in the men's standings.

"It was a great evening session for our teams tonight," co-head coach David Geyer said. "We were a bit sluggish in the morning session, but we came back with a nice swagger this evening and really took care of business.

"Jane is swimming very fast right now, and we had multiple ‘B' cuts from several swimmers, so it was a very good effort on Day 1."

Trepp continues to enjoy a phenomenal fall season, posting the fastest time in the nation in the 50-yard freestyle after blistering the field with a school-record and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 22.16 seconds. Fellow All-Americans Amanda Kendall and Samantha Goates finished in second and third with season bests of 23.16 and 23.18, respectively.

In the men's 50 free, sophomore All-American Andrei Tuomola raced to victory with a provisional mark of 19.92, two one-hundredths of a second off his personal best. Freshman Michael Saco took runner-up honors with a 20.56 clocking.

Senior Clint Hallum delivered another ‘B' cut, 1:49.20, in his victory in the 200 individual medley. Sophomores Sean Roddy and Zack Wepasnick helped the Tigers clinch a 1-2-3 finish in that event with times of 1:52.98 and 1:53.19, respectively.

Sophomore Craig Hamilton claimed first-place in the 500 free with a provisional mark and personal best of 4:25.12. Senior Luis Gonzalez was second in that race with a 4:30.91 clocking.

Lady Tiger senior Kannon Betzen and freshman Cari Blalock also recorded their first ‘B' cuts of the season. Betzen registered second in the 200 I.M. with a personal best of 2:01.67, while Blalock won the consolation final of that event with a lifetime best of 2:01.48. Both times rank in LSU's all-time top five.

Furthermore, the Lady Tigers' 200 free relay tandem of Trepp, Kendall, Betzen and Goates took first with a provisional mark of 1:30.25, while the 400 medley relay team of Jana Ruimerman, Torrey Bussey, Trepp and Kendall won with a ‘B' cut of 3:40.08.

On the men's side, the 200 free tandem of Tuomola, Hannes Heyl, Eric Zeller and Saco seized the victory with a provisional mark of 1:21.16, and the 400 medley relay foursome of James Meyers, Tuomola, Heyl and Saco emerged victorious with a provisional mark of 3:16.61.

In diving, the foursome of Daniel Helm, Sean McKinney, Brian Gemberling and Matt Vieke delivered a 1-2-3-4 LSU finish in the men's three-meter.

Helm dove to a career-high score of 369.10 to capture the victory, while McKinney posted his own career high of 362.65 to earn second. Gemberling placed third with a 340.25 score, and Vieke was fourth (309.70).

Sophomore Rebecca St. Germain led the women's diving efforts with a runner-up finish in the three-meter (291.25).

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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