DALLAS, Texas. January, 27. THE Texas A&M men’s swimming team dropped a 124-81 decision to No. 20 Southern Methodist at Perkins Natatorium on Friday night.
The Aggies (3-5) lost to the Mustangs (5-0) for the first time since 1999 by dropping nine of the 11 events in the pool. No diving was contested as the Aggies were without the services of sophomore All-American divers David Kalec (Montreal, Quebec) and Eric Sehn (Edmonton, Alberta) due to prior commitments to compete at the Canadian Winter Nationals this weekend.
“The only thing I’m disappointed in was not getting a win here,” A&M head coach Jay Holmes said. “We are getting better in things and it’s starting to show. Our effort and chemistry was there but credit SMU. They did a great job tonight.”
Senior All-American Andrew Sullivant (Houston) clocked his third-fastest 50-yard freestyle of the season to grab top honors in the event. Sullivant led a 1-2-4 A&M finish in the event in a time of 20.61. Junior Ozzie Gardner (Kearns, Utah) was second in 20.93 while Joe Watson (Houston) was fourth in 21.09.
Senior All-American Alex Dawson (Indianapolis, Ind.) was A&M’s other winner against the Mustangs, taking the top spot in the 200-yard breaststroke. Dawson, the second-fastest 200 breaststroker in A&M history, led a 1-3-4 Aggie finish in 2:04.79, his best of the season. Dawson also just missed a seasonal best in the 200-yard individual medley as well (1:53.22).
“That 200 breast was a good swim for Alex,” Holmes said. “He had been injured all summer and part of the fall and has really fought through it. We count on Alex in so many ways. He won that race in his third swim of day. He was behind at the 150-yard mark and just charged home to get the win. That was a gutsy effort.”
Sophomore Ryan Loney (Crosby, Texas) continued his solid season by taking second place in both the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyles in season best times. Loney clocked times of 4:35.01 and 9:35.08, respectively, in finishing second behind SMU freshman standout Michael Dimitriev in both races.
“Ryan works hard and is focused and does all the right things,” Holmes said. “He continues to get better and we’ll continue to rely on him more and more as the year goes on. He’s doing a good job.”
The Aggies dropped a tight race in the meet’s final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The group of Scott Newmann (Duncanville, Texas), Ryan Kemp (Cedar Park, Texas), Sullivant, and Gardner were edged out at the wall, 3:01.47 to 3:01.70. Despite the loss, the time was the second best mark of the season for the Aggies.
“We take a lot of pride in our relays,” Holmes said. “SMU knows that and they did a heck of a job catching us there at the end.”
All five of the Aggies’ losses this season have come at the hands of teams that have been ranked amongst the top 25 this season. A&M has upset one ranked opponent this season: No. 13 Northwestern, in Evanston, Ill., on Oct. 22.
The schedule will get no easier for A&M as they welcome No. 5 Texas to town for the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. The match-up with the Longhorns will also be the final home meet for the Aggies’ eight seniors.