Stanford Downs LSU, 84-54

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, September 16. FRESHMEN Sean LeNeave and sophomore Christoph Lubenau picked up wins in their LSU debuts Friday as the Tiger men's swimming team dropped a hard-fought season-opening meet to No. 2 Stanford, 84-54, at the LSU Natatorium.

The Cardinal, who finished third at the NCAA Championships last March, captured 12 of the 14 events led by two of the top swimmers in the U.S. — Hongzhe Sun and Shaun Phillips. However, nearly every event witnessed Tiger swimmers touching the wall just behind Stanford.

"It was an indication that we have some good things to come," head coach Adam Schmitt said. "It was really fun to go against a team like Stanford, who is one of the best ever. Yes, we got out touched on a few events, but we raced hard. We should be proud of how we competed."

It was the first meeting between the two schools and LSU's first dual against a Pac-10 opponent.

"We are not afraid to go up against teams like that," Schmitt said. "We have No. 1 Auburn coming up and No. 4 Florida as well. These young guys are getting seasoned for the rest of the year."

LeNeave, a native of Conroe, Texas, took first-place honors in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:56.48, a second better than Phillip Morrison of the Cardinal.

"He delivered a solid swim with that first-place (finish)," Schmitt said. "Overall, we had some good swims being that this is the earliest we have started our season."

Lubenau, a transfer from East Carolina, enjoyed a stellar meet highlighted by a victory in the 100 butterfly (50.00). The sophomore also looked to be a valuable asset in relays, helping LSU take second in the 200 medley (1:33.05) and 200 freestyle (1:24.22).

Freshman Will Rivers paced the Tigers in distance free events with a pair of second-place finishes. Rivers, a product of Elgin (Texas) High School, posted a time of 9:36.82 in the 1000 free and nearly took first with a clocking of 4:39.20 in the 500 free.

"Will had all heart in that 1000 (free)," Schmitt said. "He was going for that school record in that first 100, but I like that. These guys are exciting and will go for it. That's what we want to have — a tough team."

Sophomore standout Julius Gloeckner competed in four events on Friday, taking third-place in the 200 free (1:41.37) and 100 free (47.25) and runner-up honors in the 400 individual medley (4:02.43).

Junior Kevin Braud battled Sun in the 100 back, touching the wall in second place at 50.83. Sophomore Roy Chambers placed third in the 100 breaststroke (59.04), and Connor Farber turned in an impressive second-place finish in the 100 free (47.10).

"Connor Farber had a great meet," Schmitt said. "I think he's developed from a part-time baseball player to a swimmer now. It is really exciting that in his sophomore year he can take off."

Veteran Miko Malberg guided LSU in the relays and posted a time of 20.68 in the 50 free, just behind Stanford's Ben Wildman-Tobriner (20.39).