NCAA Div. I: Tennessee Leads Men, Georgia Top Women After Day One of SEC Championships

By Roots Woodruff

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA, Feb. 21. THE EXCITEMENT came at night. After spending most of Day One of the 2001 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships waiting for things to start, the fireworks came almost immediately in the finals.

Moments after the finals started, the men's 200 medley relay from Tennessee raced to an American record and Southeastern Conference record, shattering the Alabama Aquatic Center record along the way. Senior Michael
Gilliam, junior Jeremy McDonnell, junior Justin Hoggatt and Brent Owen finished the eight-lap sprint-fest with a time of 1:25.37. Auburn finished second in 1:25.70, also under the old American record.

"The excitement's there," Hoggatt said. "It gets the other guys really excited. It's a real motivator for the rest of the team. It sets the pace for the rest of the weekend."

Tennessee held both the former American record, 1:25.76, set at the 1997 SEC Championships, and the former conference record of 1:25.59, set last season. Gilliam, a past NCAA 100 backstroke champion, got the
Vols off to a blistering start, posting a 21.08 over the first two laps, more than a second faster than anyone else in the race.

Kentucky's sophomore sensation Clayton Moss won the meet's first championship by upsetting Georgia senior Jud Campbell by just over five points in the one-meter diving. Campbell had won the event the past three
years. Moss is only the third SEC Champion in Kentucky's history. The competition came down to the final dive for both competitors.

"The gainer 2 ½ 305C (Moss' last dive) was going to either make me or break me," Moss said. "Judd Campbell and I were pretty much neck and neck the whole way."

Tennessee's men made a clean sweep of the night's relays, winning the 800 freestyle relay. Sophomore Greg Simpson, freshman Andrew Bree, senior Zane
Dewitz and junior Brett Tannhauser brought the Vols their first 800 freestyle relay title since 1976.
Tennessee touched in 6:28.14, half a second ahead of Auburn (6:28.63), with Florida a close third (6:28.91).

On the strength of its two relay wins, Tennessee's men lead the meet with 104 points. Georgia is in second with 88 while Kentucky and Auburn are just behind with 85 and 83 points respectively. LSU and Florida are tied for fifth with 78. Alabama is seventh with 50 points and South Carolina is eighth with 39.

Georgia's women, the four-time defending champions, are currently in first place with 89 points. LSU is in second with 88 points while Florida is just behind them with 85. Auburn is fourth place with 75 points while Alabama and Kentucky are one point back, tied for fifth with 74 points. South Carolina is in seventh with 65, Tennessee has 48 while Arkansas is in
ninth with 29.

Auburn won the women's 200 medley relay. Freshman Taylor Spivey, sophomore Maggie Bowen, sophomore Cortnee Adams and freshman Eileen Coparropa raced to a 1:39.37 finish, bettering Georgia's 1:39.73 second
place finish.

"I felt awesome tonight," Coparropa, the Lady Tigers' anchor, said. "This is my first SECs and I thought it was a great experience. I am really excited about the rest of the meet and the NCAAs."

Alabama's 200 medley relay of freshmen Michelle King, Anne Poleska, sophomore Meghan Lynch and junior Marcy Warriner shattered the school record on their way to a 1:40.12, third place finish, the Tide's highest conference relay finish in more than seven years. The previous record, 1:41.56, was set in 1994.

Robyn Grimes, the league's one-meter champion last year, won the three-meter competition. Grimes' 509.80 was three-plus points better than Ashley Culpepper in second place.

Georgia's women set a new school and SEC record in securing first place in the 800 freestyle relay. Junior Stephanie Williams, senior Kim Black, freshman Julie Hardt and sophomore Maritza Corriea combined to post a 7:06.81, nearly three seconds better than the second place Auburn women.

Tennessee's men made a clean sweep of the night's relays, winning the 800 freestyle relay. Sophomore Greg Simpson, freshman Andrew Bree, senior Zane
Dewitz and junior Brett Tannhauser brought the Vols their first 800 freestyle relay title since 1976.

RESULTS – DAY ONE: February 21, 2001

Men's 1 Meter Diving
1. Clayton Moss, Kentucky, 357.80
2. Jud Campbell, Georgia, 352.15
3. Brandon Hulko, South Carolina, 326.45

Men's 200 Yard Medley Relay
1. Tennessee, 1:25.37 (American record)
2. Auburn, 1:25.70
3. Florida, 1:27.95

Men's 800 Yard Freestyle Relay
1. Tennessee, 6:28.14
2. Auburn, 6:28.63
3. Florida,6:28.91

Women's 200 Yard Medley Relay
1. Auburn, 1:39.37
2. Georgia, 1:39.73
3. Alabama, 1:40.12

Women's 3-Meter Diving
1. Robyn Grimes, Florida, 509.80,
2. Ashley Culpepper, LSU, 506.05
3. Jamie Watkins, LSU, 504.55

Women's 800 Yard Freestyle Relay
1. Georgia, 7:06.81 (SEC record)
2. Auburn, 7:09.71
3. Florida, 7:15.40

1. Tennessee 104
2. Georgia 88
3. Kentucky 85
4. Auburn 83
5. Florida 78
5. LSU 78
7. Alabama 50
8. South Carolina 39

1. Georgia 89
2. LSU 88
3. Florida 85
4. Auburn 75
5. Kentucky 74
5. Alabama 74
7. South Carolina 65
8. Tennessee 48
9. Arkansas 29

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Author: Archive Team

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