Auburn Swimming & Diving Sweeps Georgia Tech

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In the first dual meet of 2021, Auburn swimming and diving earned victories at Georgia Tech on Friday.

It was the second straight year the Tigers have swept Georgia Tech on the road.

“We trained hard and did a lot of good work over the last five weeks,” Auburn head coach Gary Taylor said. “The team has come together and gotten through the hard time as one. We came out and battled. Not everything went our way, but we found a way to get over it, perform well and walk away with a couple of big wins. It’s always nice to start the year with a couple of Ws.”


Auburn Swimming & Diving Press Release


The Auburn women, ranked No. 19 nationally, won the 200 medley relay to open the meet and never looked back as they cruised to a 178-81 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

“On paper, our women were the better team and they lived up to that expectation,” Taylor said. “I thought they brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm and really dominated the meet from start to finish.”

Senior Carly Cummings, who swam the breaststroke leg on the winning 200 medley relay, posted an NCAA B cut (1:01.83) to win the 100 breaststroke and earned a second victory in the 200 IM. Junior Emily Hetzer was also a double-event winner with first-place finishes in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

The upperclassmen led the way for the Tigers, but the freshmen also shined. Meghan Lee swept the backstroke events, winning the 100 and 200 backstroke, while Emma Steckiel picked up victories in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.


On the men’s side, the 22nd-ranked Tigers didn’t win as many individual events but proved to be the deeper and more talented team with a 145-117 victory over No. 17 Georgia Tech.

“I’m really proud of our men,” Taylor said. “In a lot of events where Georgia Tech won, we went 2-3-4. And when we got our wins, we really took advantage and had some 1-2-3 finishes to separate ourselves.”

One of those 1-2-3 finishes came in the 50 freestyle where Nik Eberly, Matthew Yish and Logan Tirheimer took the top three spots. Auburn also earned a clean sweep in the 200 backstroke behind performances from Lleyton Smith, Aidan Stoffle and Elliott Jones.

Coming off the 200 backstroke, freshman Michael Bonson all but secured the meet victory for the men with an individual win in the 500 freestyle, finishing in 4:26.99. It was the second win of the day for Bonson who also placed first in the 1,000 freestyle.

Georgia Tech Release

Georgia Tech swimming and diving kicked off the 2021 year with an ultra-competitive dual meet against No. 22/19 Auburn on Friday afternoon at the McAuley Aquatic Center.

The Yellow Jackets’ No. 17-ranked men’s team took first place in the two relays as the team of Kyle BaroneBatur UnluChristian Ferraro and Justin Alderson took gold in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:21.61 before Barone, Caio Pumputis, Ferraro and Alderson also won the 200 medley relay with a 1:28.37 time.

The women’s team of Emily GrahamKyrsten DavisCatriona MaGregor and Allie Paschal took third in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:36.12, while Grace MauldinClaudia ButterfieldLindsey Merk and Imane El Barodi placed fourth in the 200 medley relay at 1:47.31.

The men’s team fell 145-117 to the Tigers, while the women’s team dropped a 178-81 decision.

Men’s Highlights

Leading the way for the No. 17 men’s team was seniors Caio Pumputis and Christian Ferraro. Pumputis took three gold with a first place (1:48.40) finish in the 200 IM and two NCAA B qualifying times in the 200 breast (1:57.71) and 100 breast (54.01).

Ferraro then swept the butterfly events with a first-place finish of 48.03 in the 100 fly and a gold medal in the 1:47.09 in the 200 fly.

Freshmen Batur Unlu also took multiple gold medals, winning the 100 free (44.59) and 200 free (1:36.97) before taking second place in the 500 free with a time of 4:32.53.

The final gold medal for the Jackets came courtesy of Kyle Barone, who kicked to a time of 48.11 in the 100 back to lead the field.

Rounding out the top finishes for Georgia Tech was Simon Davies, who turned in a fourth-place time of 1:52.93 in the 200 back; senior Jonathan Vater, who finished fourth (21.20) in the 50 free; and Caleb Blischke, who recorded a time of 9:34.23 in the 1000 free.

Women’s Highlights

Leading the way for the women was sophomore McKenzie Campbell, who was Tech’s top finisher in three events including a gold medal in the 200 fly (2:01.11). Campbell also finished fifth in the 200 IM (2:06.81) and 500 free (5:05.36).

Also leading the way was Allie Paschal, who turned in a time of 55.61 to finish second in the 100 back, before finishing second (2:00.03) in the 200 back. Freshman Astrid Dirkswager finished just behind Paschal in the 200 back with a third-place time of 2:01.48.

Senior Catriona MacGregor then finished third in two events, kicking to a 1:04.39 in the 100 breast and a time of 52.12 in the 100 free. Finishing right behind her in the 100 free was Kyrsten Davis with a time of fourth-place time of 52.38.

Racking more third-place finishes for the Jackets was freshman Lindsey Merk (100 fly – 56.92), senior Grace Mauldin (50 free – 24.13) and Brooke Switzer (200 free – 1:51.96).

Rounding out Tech’s top finishes was Morgan Johnson, who turned in a time of 10:34.44 in the 1000 free to finish fourth before freshman Claudia Butterfield recorded a time of 2:19.65 to finish fifth in the 200 breast.

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