AUBURN, Alabama, January 14. THE Auburn men’s swimming and diving team battled top-ranked Texas down to the last event Friday and came away with a 125.5-117.5 upset over the defending national-champion Longhorns at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
Trailing 113.5-112.5 entering the final event, the No. 6 Tigers solidified the victory as the team of Karl Krug, Marcelo Chierighini, Drew Modrov and Kohlton Norys won the 400 free relay in 2:57.12. That mark was more than two seconds faster than the second-place finishing Texas squad.
“It was a complete team effort today and I’m thrilled that it came down to a team race to win the meet,” head coach Brett Hawke said. “The team used the great vibes coming off campus this week and built upon that. We knew we wanted to show what we can do as a team and I think we did that today.”
The Auburn victory marked the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Tigers have defeated Texas during dual competition. With the win, Auburn (2-1) holds a slim 12-10 series advantage over the Longhorns.
“Texas is always a great team to race and we seniors are happy to have been able to beat them at least once in our career,” senior co-captain Kohlton Norys said. “This win is a stepping stone in the right direction for the team and we’re excited to see what happens the rest of the season.”
Auburn opened the meet on top, finishing 1-2 in the 400 medley relay. The quad of Kyle Owens, Adam Klein, Nimrod Hayet and Chierighini finished first in 3:12.91. Jared White, Stuart Ferguson, Adam Brown and Norys came in second in 3:13.89.
Brown put together a pair of solid individual performances, taking first in both sprint freestyle events. The senior opened with a win in the 50 free in 19.87 and followed with another victory in the 100 free with a time of 43.62.
“It is always great to get wins against one of the fastest swimmers in the NCAA in Jimmy Feigen of Texas,” Brown said. “The meet was a big confidence booster for both myself and the team and gives us a lot of momentum going into championship season.”
Also scoring points in the sprint freestyles for the Tigers were Krug, Modrov and Chris Manning. Krug finished tied for second in the 100 free (44.32), while Modrov was third (20.26) and Manning was fourth (20.36) in the 50 free.
Playing a key role in the day’s win were the Auburn diving corps of redshirt senior Dan Mazzaferro, freshman John Santeiu IV, junior Adam Godzinski and sophomore Thad Ellis. The quartet secured 22 points for the Tigers and put Auburn ahead going into the final two races.
Mazzaferro opened with a second-place finish on the one-meter springboard (293.68) and followed with a win on the three-meter with a score of 385.95. Santeiu took second on the three-meter (350.85) and fourth on the one-meter (324.75), while Ellis was fifth on the one-meter (312.23) and Godzinski was fourth on the three-meter (344.18).
“Overall, it was a very successful day for the divers,” head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “I’m very pleased with Dan Mazzaferro’s effort on the three-meter and he utilized opportunities to pull ahead of the competition. The group is on target to having a very successful championship season and we’re going to keep progressing as the year
Auburn finished 1-2 in the 200 backstroke with junior Max Murphy leading the way with a first-place finish in 1:45.67, while Owens came in second in 1:46.15. Sophomore Brandon Siemasko also scored points in the event, taking fourth in 1:49.11.
The 200 IM had senior Andrew Mitchell and Owens finish 2-3, respectively, as Mitchell clocked a time of 1:49.34 and Owens finished in 1:49.89. Auburn went 2-3-4 in the 200 fly with freshman Hayet taking second (1:49.56), Ferguson coming in third (1:50.44) and Mitchell was fourth (1:51.01).
Senior Klein finished second in a tight 200 breaststroke event, clocking a time of 1:57.05. Freshman Zane Grothe led all Auburn distance swimmers as he took third in the 1000 free (9:16.14) and fourth in the 500 free (4:34.31). Siemasko logged the Tigers’ fastest time in the 200 free, taking fourth in 1:42.18.
The Auburn swimming and diving team caps off the 2010-11 regular season as the team hosts SEC rival Florida Jan. 21 at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. The meet is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the Tigers will honor their 11 seniors prior to the meet.
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