COLLEGE STATION, Texas, February 23. FLORIDA put a stop to Auburn's 16-year win streak in the men's team title race, while Georgia captured its fourth straight women's title at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
Auburn's Zane Grothe powered down the stretch to win the men's 1650-yard freestyle to open the evening for the Tigers. Grothe clocked a 14:41.45, while Georgia's Will Freeman also cleared the NCAA A cut with a 14:44.38. Florida's Arthur Frayler finished third in 14:49.88 as the Gators continued to march their way to a historic victory.
Texas A&M's Sarah Henry kept the Aggie roll going on the women's side, having swept all the women's swimming event last night. Henry clocked a 15:45.79 in the women's 1650-yard free, downing the SEC meet record of 15:47.04 set by Wendy Trott of Georgia last year. That gave Henry a distance free sweep after winning the 500 free earlier in the week. The top four all eclipsed the NCAA A cut as Florida's Jessica Thielmann (15:53.93), Texas A&M's Maureen McLaine (15:55.81) and Florida's Alicia Mathieu (15:59.11) placed second through fourth.
Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini became the sprint king of the meet with a 100-yard free win in 41.60 after topping the 50 free this week. Chierighini just missed the meet record of 41.55 owned by fellow Tiger Matt Targett since 2009, but did punch his ticket to NCAAs in the event with an A cut. Texas A&M's John Dalton set a school record with a second-place 42.74, tying Tennessee's Sam Rairden.
Georgia's Megan Romano unleashed a 47.40 to win the women's 100 free, while teammate Allison Schmitt took second in 47.95 as both cleared the NCAA A cut. Florida's Natalie Hinds raced to third in 48.03 for an NCAA A cut of her own in the event.
Auburn's Kyle Owens earned an NCAA A cut in the men's 200-yard back with a 1:39.69 for the win, while Florida's Corey Main placed second in 1:41.69. Tennessee's Sean Lehane took down a school record with a third-place time of 1:41.84.
Florida went 1-2 in the women's 200-yard back as Elizabeth Beisel touched out teammate Sinead Russell, 1:50.40 to 1:50.84, for the distance dorsal triumph. Both times beat the NCAA A cut, while Missouri's Dominique Bouchard earned third in 1:51.69 and Florida's Ashlee Linn placed fourth in 1:52.70 under the NCAA A cut.
Florida's Matt Elliott clinched the Gator team victory with a win in the men's 200-yard breaststroke when he turned in 1:54.13 for an NCAA A cut. Georgia's Nic Fink wound up second in 1:54.48, while Florida's Eduardo Solaeche Gomez earned third-place honors in 1:54.74.
After a lengthy delay due to scoreboard issues, Texas A&M's Breeja Larson blitzed the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:05.71 a day after taking down her NCAA and American records in the 100-yard breast. During prelims, she clocked a 2:06.99 to crush the SEC meet record of 2:08.56 previously set by South Carolina's Amanda Rutqvist in 2011. Her time tonight ranks 11th all time in the event, and she now owns three of the top 11 times ever. Georgia's Annie Zhue nearly caught Larson down the stretch with a sizzling 32.69 final 50, but wound up second in 2:05.99. Texas A&M's Ashley McGregor earned third in 2:07.55 as all three beat the NCAA A cut.
Auburn's John Santieu topped the men's platform diving competition with 426.05 points, while Missouri's David Bonuchi just missed a diving sweep by tying Texas A&M's Ford McLiney for second with matching 382.60s. Bonuchi had already won the one and three meter events earlier this week in College Station.
Auburn's Marcelo Chierighini (41.92), Arthur Mendes (43.43), James Disney-May (42.73) and Kyle Owens (42.04) finished off the night for the men with a 2:50.12 to win the 400-yard free relay. Florida's Brad deBorde (42.90), Sebastien Rousseau (42.96), Marcin Cieslak (42.71) and Matt Curby (42.26) took second in 2:50.83, while Texas A&M's Henrik Lindau (43.61), John Dalton (42.71), William Wagner (43.43) and Kyle Troskot (43.32) also beat the NCAA A cut with a third-place 2:53.07.
Georgia's Allison Schmitt (48.42), Chantal Van Landeghem (48.15), Shannon Vreeland (47.99) and Megan Romano (46.67) blasted their way to an SEC meet record in the women's 400-yard free relay with a 3:11.23. That swim beat the 2009 time of 3:12.00 put up by Auburn. Florida's Sinead Russell (48.64), Natalie Hinds (47.46), Ellese Zalewski (48.06) and Elizabeth Beisel (48.06) placed second in 3:13.21, while Tennessee's Caroline Simmons (49.25), Faith Johnson (48.42), Harper Bruens (48.77) and Lindsay Gendron (47.74) touched third in 3:14.18. Texas A&M (3:15.24) and Auburn (3:15.90) also beat the NCAA A cut in the event with fourth and fifth-place finishes.
Men's Team Scores
Texas A&M 709.5
South Carolina 540.5
Women's Team Scores
Texas A&M 1296
South Carolina 248