TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, October 29. THE Alabama swimming and diving teams swept their home opener Saturday with the Crimson Tide men beating Emory while the women beat Emory and Tulane in the Alabama Aquatic Center. The meet was also the final event of the Tide's fall Power of Pink schedule, which raises awareness in the fight against breast cancer.
"I was really happy with our performance overall," UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. "We had some good performance throughout the lineup, and were able to have certain athletes explore different events and still be successful."
Alabama's men beat Emory 196-94 while the Tide women outscored Tulane 208-90 and Emory 211.50-88.50. Emory's women also beat Tulane 184-110.
"The women really stepped up and did a nice job as a team," McIlquham said. "I was really pleased with how they raced as a group."
The Alabama women (2-2 overall, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) were led by sophomores Alex Popa and Lauren Piper, who won three events each. The men (2-1, 1-0 SEC) were led by sophomore Alex Coci, senior Andrew Reeves, junior Brandon Lowe and freshman Tito Ebersole who all won two events each. Overall, the Tide men and women combined to win 29 of 32 events on the day.
Popa won the 100 breaststroke with a 1:03.41, the 200 with a 2:17.39 and the 100 freestyle with a 51.06. Piper won the 100 backstroke with a 56.48, the 200 backstroke at 2:03.12 and the 200 IM with a 2:07.19.
Junior Jenna Gallo won the 1000 freestyle with a 10:25.16 and the 500 in time of 5:04.81. Sophomore Anna Rae Gwarjanski took top honors in the 200 freestyle, touching at 1:53.33 while senior Suzanne Schwee won the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:03.23. Sophomore Kristel Vourna won the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.44
Sophomore Callan Buck won the 1-meter diving event with a score of 258.45 while sophomore Paige McCleary scored a 297.90 to win the 3-meter board.
Reeves won the 100 breaststroke with a 57.39 and the 200 after touching the wall at 2:06.89. Lowe won the 100 and 200 freestyles, touching at 46.70 and 1:40.31 respectively. Coci won the 100 backstroke with a 49.89 and the 100 butterfly with a 48.54. Ebersole, making his Crimson Tide debut with a win off the 3-meter board, scoring 377.55 points.
Junior John Ellis won the 1000 freestyle with a 9:31.90 while classmate Anestis Arampatzis took first place in the 200 butterfly with a 1:48.99. Sophomore Vlad Caciuc won the 50 freestyle with a 20.53 and senior Joe Ziegler won the 500 freestyle, turning in a 4:33.48. Junior Reese Shirey won the 200 backstroke at 1:51.71.
Alabama returns to action next Friday when it travels to Baton Rouge, La. to take on the LSU Tigers starting at 1 p.m. CT.
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