BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, November 2. A stellar swim in the 200 backstroke by Auburn’s Joe Patching highlighted the Tigers’ rout of Louisiana State, winning the meet with a score of 151-87.
Patching, a freshman from Great Britain who won the junior European title in the 200 back in 2012, continues to impress in his debut collegiate season. Patching is now the third-fastest collegiate swimmer this season in the 200 backstroke, putting up a scorching 1:45.33 to win today’s race. With Patching hailing from overseas, this would be construed as a lifetime best, and could make the final of the 200 backstroke at the NCAAs very heavy with freshman, as Ryan Murphy and Jack Conger are very likely to find themselves in that championship heat as well.
Patching had been ranked seventh in the nation with a 1:45.85 from the dual meet with Michigan about a month ago. He could give Auburn a much-needed presence in the 200 backstroke, an event that hasn’t had a prominent swimmer for the Tigers in about four years.
Another swim of note today was a 20.15 swim by Marcelo Chierighini leading off Auburn’s 200 free relay. Earlier in the day, he won the 50 free event with a 20.58. Auburn nearly posted the fastest 200 free relay today with a time of 1:20.32 that included Chierighini’s 20.15, Kyle Darmody’s 19.96, James Disney-May’s 20.05 and TJ Leon’s 20.12. Auburn is the reigning NCAA champion in the 200 free relay, but are playing second fiddle to Florida at this point in the season behind the Gators’ 1:20.23 from the All-Florida Invite in September.
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