AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11. LED by James Galloway and Ryan Wochomurka, the No. 3-ranked Auburn Tiger men's swimming and diving team defeated the No. 2 Texas Longhorns here Friday afternoon bringing Auburn's record to 4-0 on the season. Texas drops to 2-1.
Not only are both teams consistently ranked in the top five, but the legacy that Auburn and Texas have brought to the NCAA in recent history includes one of the two the teams winning the NCAA Championship title five out of the past six years.
"I had hoped going in that we would win by one point," head coach David Marsh said. "So I was very happy with the team's performance today. This was an awesome confidence booster."
Starting off the afternoon was the Auburn 400-yard medley relay team pulling out the win and an impressive time of 3:14.79 with the team of Kirk Hampleman, Pat Calhoun, Andy Haidinyak and Matt Kidd.
Next was Galloway and freshman BJ Jones taking first and second in the 1000 free, both earning their top times of the season, including Galloway's time of 9:14.13. Clay Kirkland was the Tigers' top finisher in the 200 free in second (1:37.52) and senior Brandon Roberts claimed third with a time of 1:39.64.
Wochomurka, a freshman from Libertyville, Ill., was the fastest man in the pool Friday swimming to a 20.58 in the 50 free and went on to claim the 100 free as well with a time of 44.77. Freshman Matt Kidd was barely out-touched by Wochomurka in the 100 free with a time of 44.78 and Kirkland rounded out the Auburn sweep in the 100 free in third place (45.30).
Kevin Clements and Mark Gangloff took first and second for Auburn in the 200 individual medley with times of 1:47.57 and 1:48.64 respectively. In the 200 fly, Christian Cantwell placed second for the Tigers in 1:48.18 and Galloway and Ryan Hinz took fourth and fifth.
In the next two events, the 200 back and 500 free, Auburn captured first and second with Bryce Hunt (1:45.23) and Kirk Hampleman (1:45.69) taking first and second in the 200 back and Galloway (4:27.19) and Clements (4:27.41) at one and two in the 500 free.
Finishing off the individual events on the day was the 200 breast where Gangloff, Clements and Calhoun took second, third and fourth including Gangloff's time of 2:00.93 — a season best for the sophomore.
Auburn loaded its final event, the 400 free relay, with all newcomers for the 2001-02 season and had great success as the team finished first with a time of 2:58.33. The team of Kidd, Kirkland, Derek Gibb and Wochomurka captured Auburn's best time of the year.
In the diving events, freshman Matt Bricker, the SEC Athlete of the Week for Jan. 7, finished third on the 1- and 3-meter events while Caesar Garcia took fourth in both the 1- and 3-meter.
"In the big picture, I knew we had the talent to do great things, but we just needed to do them," Marsh said. "Today we finally got there. Texas has been such a fantastic team in recent years that they have become our target and today the guys really responded to that.
"Some of these guys had the best swims of their careers. Ryan Wochomurka is just a freshman, but he swam like a veteran today against some Olympic medalists."
Senior Troy Dumais (Ventura, Calif.) led all Texas men's performers, posting first-place performances on the one (361.27) and three-meter (399.37) springboards.
Junior Chris Kemp (Southlake, Texas) placed first in the 200 freestyle (1:36.78) for Texas, while senior Joe Montague (Houston, Texas) won the 200 butterfly (1:47.54). Sophomore Brendan Hansen (Havertown, Pa.) rounded out the Texas men's individual victories by taking top honors in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:00.42.
"We didn't perform near as well today as we did a couple of weeks ago at the Texas Invitational," UT men's head coach Eddie Reese said. "This is a tough loss, but you have to give Auburn credit for swimming a good meet. This meet matters now, but our focus will continue to be on preparing for the NCAA Championships in March. In March is when it really counts."
Both the Texas men's and women's swimming and diving teams return to action on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The women's squad will take on No. 8 Florida at noon, followed by the men's team, which faces No. 16 Georgia at 3 p.m. Admission is free.
The Auburn men now travel to Texas A&M for a 2:30 p.m. meet on Saturday, Jan. 12 while the women are set to host a double-dual meet with Tennessee and No. 16 Northwestern at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center, also on Saturday.