COLLEGE STATION, TX, February 5. THE No. 16 Texas A&M men’s swimming & diving team earned a 138.5-104.5 win over long-time rival Southern Methodist before another record home crowd at the Student Rec Center Natatorium on Friday evening, according to Aggie sources.
The Aggies began and finished the meet strongly to overcome a talented and underrated SMU squad. A&M won eight of 13 events, including both relays and both diving competitions, to earn its sixth-straight win in the series against an SMU team that has defeated several ranked opponents this season.
A&M jumped on the Mustangs early, winning the first two events of the meet. Andrew Sullivant (Houston) produced an awe-inspiring 43.70 anchor leg in the first race of the day, the 400-yard medley relay, to erase a more-than-a-body-length deficit, giving the Aggies the win. Freshmen James Hard (The Woodlands, Texas) and Ryan Loney (Crosby, Texas) produced lifetime-best times in the next event, the 1,000 freestyle, to help get the Aggies out to a 27-9 lead.
The two squads went back and forth throughout much of the meet heading into the final diving break. A&M headed into the break with a 96.5-90.5 lead. Freshman Eric Sehn (Edmonton, Alberta) continued to hit home runs for the Aggies on the three-meter, turning in his third lifetime-best score in the last three meets. Sehn won the competition with a score of 371.93, just 10 points short of Jesse Even’s school record of 382.88 set at TCU on Oct. 25, 2001.
The Aggies saved their most dominating performance of the evening for the penultimate event, the 200-yard breaststroke. A&M erased all doubt of the meet’s final outcome with a 1-2-3-4 finish. Seniors Alfredo Jacobo and David Friggel both turned in seasonal best times of 2:03.93 and 2:04.20 to grab the top two spots.
A&M closed the meet by shaving nearly a second off their seasonal best in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The group of Andrew Sullivant, Scott Newmann (Duncanville, Texas), Ozzie Gardner (Kearns, Utah) and Dan Blanchard (Tulsa, Okla.) won easily in an NCAA consideration time of 2:58.82.
Other Aggies turning in wins on Senior Day were Blanchard, 100 freestyle, 44.59; Sehn, one-meter diving, 314.93; and Sullivant, 50 freestyle, 20.05.
The Aggies will travel to Austin on Saturday for the State Farm Lone Star Showdown against No. 9 Texas at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at 6 p.m. The Longhorns took the lead in the series 4-3 by grabbing a win over the Aggie women’s swimming & diving team in College Station on Friday night.