ATHENS, Georgia, December 5. THE Auburn swimming and diving team concluded the Georgia Fall Invitational Sunday afternoon with the men taking first with 1101.5 points and the women finishing second with 769.5 points. The Tigers finished the day seven titles at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the campus of the University of Georgia.
“It was a really strong team performance from top to bottom for us this weekend,” head coach Brett Hawke said. “We are very impressed with how tough the team raced and we saw very good signs towards the build up to the SEC Championships. I’m really proud of the team this weekend.”
The Georgia men finished second to Auburn with 832 points. Minnesota was third (707.5), Virginia finished fourth (651) and Penn State was fifth (444). The Georgia women won the invite with 1115 points, while Virginia took third (655.5). Penn State (538), Kansas (371), Harvard (261) and Minnesota (158) closed out the field.
Junior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace capped an already successful weekend with a pair of record-breaking performances in the 100 free. She started the morning swimming a time of 47.58 to break her own school record.
Vanderpool-Wallace took it one step further in the finals, touching first in a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 47.44.
“Arianna had a standout performance today and was solid for us this entire weekend,” Hawke said. “She has been setting the standard in practice and is helping the women move up to a new level.”
Also competing in the 100 free championship final were sophomores Hannah Riordan and Becca Jones. Riordan finished fourth in 49.05, while Jones took eighth in 50.37. Freshman Olivia Scott was 13th overall (50.35) and senior Caitlin Geary finished 16th (50.91).
Senior Adam Brown and junior Karl Krug finished 1-2 in the 100 free with Brown taking first in a “B” time of 42.56, while Krug touched in second in 43.53. Junior Drew Modrov also swam in the championship final and finished seventh in 44.26. Freshman Chris Manning won the consolation final and took ninth overall in 44.09. Classmates James Disney-May and Dimitri Higgins took 12th and 13th, respectively.
The Tigers concluded the meet sweeping the 400 free relay events. The team of Emily Bos, Riordan, Jones and Vanderpool-Wallace touched in an automatic qualifying time of 3:14.91. The men’s team of Krug, Kohlton Norys, Brown and Modrov were .04 from an automatic time and finished first in 2:52.51.
The Auburn men’s backstroke corps shined just as they did Saturday as five Tigers reached the championship final. Auburn finished 1-2-3-4 in the event with sophomore Kyle Owens earning first in a “B” time of 1:42.77. Junior Max Murphy took second (1:43.15), while Norys finished third (1:44.97) and sophomore Brandon Siemasko took fourth (1:46.86).
Senior Jared White came in eighth (1:49.03) after recording a preliminary time of 1:45.68, while classmate Andrew Mitchell won the consolation final in a time of 1:47.76.
Redshirt senior Dan Mazzaferro concluded the weekend on top as he finished first in the platform with a score of 481.25 points. Freshman John Santeiu IV was second with 353.70 points and sophomore Thad Ellis took fourth (321.60).
The Auburn women finished 1-2 on the platform with sophomore Vennie Dantin taking first in 274.00 points. Sophomore Anna Aguero finished second 258.50 points.
Bos, a freshman at Auburn, had an excellent finals swim in the 200 back, touching in a season-best and a “B” time of 1:54.74 to take second.
Senior Erica Meissner cut two seconds off her preliminary time and finished 11th overall in a “B” time of 1:57.51.
Auburn senior Adam Klein swept both breaststroke events as he concluded the meet with a first-place finish in the 200 breast with a “B” time of 1:57.54. Sophomore Stuart Ferguson also had a solid meet and came away in third in 1:58.55. Freshman Peter Haas won the consolation final with a time of 2:02.86.
In the women’s 1650 free, sophomore Katie Gardocki led all Tigers as she finished sixth in a “B” time of 16:31.97. Senior Micah Martindale finished eighth overall in a “B” time of 16:32.95. On the men’s side, freshman Zane Grothe was 14th (15:56.40) and sophomore Chris Kramer took 15th (16:00.68).
Sophomores Laura Johnson and Lauren Norberg represented Auburn in 200 breast consolation final. Johnson came in 10th in 2:16.39, while Norberg finished 11th in 2:16.80.
Auburn senior Robert Looney qualified for the 200 fly championship final and took seventh in 1:49.17. Freshman Nimrod Hayet won the consolation final (1:47.26) and Grothe took 14th (1:51.48). Senior Melanie Roberts and freshman Siena DeVenuto swam in the 200 fly consolation final and took 10th (2:00.10) and 14th (2:02.05), respectively.
The Auburn divers close out the 2010 portion of the schedule at the LSU Diving Invitational in Baton Rouge, Dec. 16-18. The entire squad returns to competition as rival Texas comes to Auburn in January. The Auburn women face the Longhorns on Jan. 13 at 5 p.m. and the men take on the defending national champion Longhorns Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. Both meets will be held at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
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