Newly Top-Ranked Auburn Men Beat FSU to Finish Duals Unbeaten; Women Win Too

TALLAHASSEE, FL, January 29. AUBURN’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams closed out their dual meet seasons with convincing wins over host Florida State on Saturday, per War Eagle and Seminole reports.

The top-ranked AU men won 11 of 16 events while the second-ranked women won 12 events.

“This was our last dual meet and I am really proud of our team. The men’s team went undefeated and the women’s team took the one loss early and then rebounded really well,” AU Coach David Marsh said. “What was great about this meet was that our top-end quality carried us through the year but today our depth really started coming through. The 200 butterfly for the men in particular was a real breakthrough for our team this year and if we can keep moving forward from here we should have some fun times in the next couple of weeks.”

Despite the losses, Florida State Head Coach Neil Narper was pleased with his charges as well. “This was a great confidence booster,” Harper said. “No one likes to lose, but if you’re going to lose it’s okay to lose to the defending national champions. We won some races and we got some seconds and thirds and our kids are realizing that they can hang with these guys. It’s a win-win for us and our kids responded well.”

In the women’s lanes, it was Auburn’s Kirsty Coventry, Tawnie Bethune, Emily Kukors and Margaret Hoelzer all claiming multiple top-finishes. Coventry was the first to the wall in both the 200 free (1:49.10) and the 200 back (1:57.48) while Bethune stopped the clock first in the 100- (55.01) and 200-butterflys (1:58.36). Kukors pulled the double in the 50- (23.62) and the 500-freestyles (4:50.68) while Hoezer did it in the 100 free (51.06) and the 200 IM (2:01.78).

On the men’s side, Doug Van Wie was the only Tiger to win multiple events as the junior did the double in the backstrokes, cruising to a 47.92 in the 100 and a 1:47.22 in the 200.

Rory Connell led an AU sweep in the 200 fly, posting a 1:48.99 ahead of teammates John Scott (1:49.41) and Mark Johnson (1:49.83).

Other men to claim individual titles were George Bovell in the 100 free (45.14), Wesley Faltt in the 200 free (1:37.68) and Shai Livnat in the 500 free (4:28.25). Ryan Wochomurka claimed the fastest time in the 100 fly (49.02) while Joey Schneider won the 200 IM (1:51.27).

For the women, the rest of their wins came from Adrienne Binder in the mile (16:26.03), Christina Swindle in the 100 back (56.52) and Julie Stupp in the 200 breast (2:15.97).

In the diving well, Matt Bricker (333.85) and Andrew Sivulka (329.70) took the top two spots in the 1-meter while it was a reverse order finish on the 3-meter with Sivulka scoring a 370.95 and Bricker a 315.85.

“Andrew and Matt both finished up their dual meet careers on high notes,” AU Diving Coach Jeff Shaffer said. “It was a very solid performance for Andrew and he finished strong. Matt showed me a lot today. He had been struggling and he really stepped up his confidence in a competitive aspect. This should put us where we need to be heading to SECs.”

Both of AU’s 200 freestyle relays also won with Coventry, Swindle, Jenni Anderson and Hoelzer combining for a 1:33.21 for the women while Wochomurka, Bovell, Scott Goodrich and Bryan Lundquist went 1:20.73 for the men.

Finals scores were 177-119 for the women and 172-126 in favor of the AU men.

At the conclusion of the meet the coaching staff named both Bricker and Sivulka the men’s athletes of the meet and Bethune the women’s team athlete of the meet.

The Auburn men finished the season with a perfect dual meet record, defeating six ranked teams en route to an 8-0 record. The win ensured that the AU senior class of Chad Barlow, Fred Bousquet, Bricker, BJ Jones, Nate Knopf, Sivulka and Wochomurka became the first AU men’s team to go four years without suffering a dual meet loss, running the program’s winning streak to 32 consecutive dual meets.

The Auburn women finished their dual meet season with a 6-1 ledger, falling only to top-ranked Georgia in the opening dual meet of the season.

The Tigers will next compete in the Orange and Blue Invitational this upcoming weekend at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center before heading to Gainesville, Fla., for the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

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