COLLEGE STATION, Texas, February 19. DURING the first night of action at the Southeastern Conference Championships, the foursome of Shannon Vreeland, Megan Romano, Jordan Mattern and Allison Schmitt cleared 6:53 in the women's 800-yard freestyle relay to lay claim to the NCAA and American record.
That foursome blasted the field with a sterling time of 6:52.64. That swim beat the NCAA record of 6:52.69 set by California's Sara Isakovic, Hannah Wilson, Liv Jensen and Dana Vollmer in 2009, and cleared the American record of 6:53.58 clocked by Morgan Scroggy, Chelsea Nauta, Melanie Margalis and Schmitt at the 2011 SEC Championships in Gainesville.
Vreeland ledoff with a blazing 1:43.38, while Romano clocked a 1:42.43. Mattern then turned in a 1:44.32 before three-time Olympic gold medalist Schmitt brought it home with a 1:42.51.
California could make a run at the record this year, but definitely will be next year when history's No. 1 high school recruit Missy Franklin shows up for the Golden Bears. She's already keeping an eye on the record.
@swimmingworld They've certainly set the bar high! It will be an honor to compete against those girls:) can't wait for the opportunity!
– Missy Franklin (@FranklinMissy) February 20, 2013
Florida's Ellese Zalewski, Sinead Russell, Jamie Bohunicky and Elizabeth Beisel raced to second in the event with a school-record 6:65.63, while Tennessee's Mary Griffith, Kate McNeilis, Kelsey Floyd and Lindsay Gendron picked up a school record of their own with a 6:58.91 for third.
Earlier in the night, Tennessee's Lauren Solernou, Molly Hannis, Kelsey Flord and Faith Johnson clinched the women's 200-yard medley relay crown with a 1:35.08. Florida's Sinead Russell, Hilda Luthersdottir, Ellese Zalewski and Natalie Hinds tied Texas A&M's Tess Simpson, Breeja Larson, Paige Miller and Erica Dittmer for second with matching 1:35.96s.
Auburn's Kyle Owens, Stuart Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and James Disney-May snared the men's 200-yard medley relay title in 1:24.11, while Tennessee's Sam Rairden, Renato Prono, Oystein Hetland and Ed Walsh touched second in 1:24.53. Florida's Christian-aul Homer, Matt Elliott, Marcin Cieslak and Brad deBorde earned third in 1:25.64.
Florida's Pawel Werner, Sebastien Rousseau, Eduardo Solaeche Gomez and Marcin Cieslak hit the wall in 6:14.76 to crush the field in the men's 800 free relay. Tennessee's Sam Rairden, Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom, Tristan Slater and Sean Lehane placed second in 6:20.13. Auburn's Zane Grothe, Alex Hancock, Tommy McKee and James Disney-May wound up third in 6:22.22.
In diving competition, Georgia's Laura Ryan topped the three-meter event with a 361.80, while Tennessee's Jodie McGroarty (355.10) and Tori Lamp (345.35) finished second and third. For the men, Missouri's David Bonuchi won the men's one-meter event with 401.50 points. Kentucky's Greg Ferrucci placed second with 389.40 points, while LSU's Daniel Helm earned third-place honors with 372.10 points.
After day one for the men, Auburn is in the lead with 196 points, followed by LSU (156), Florida (147) and Tennessee (147). The Tennessee Lady Volunteers are in the lead for the women with 185 points, while LSU (151) and Georgia (151) are tied for second. Missouri (141) and Auburn (132) round out the top five.