Tennessee Invite, Day Two

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, November 18. TEXAS A&M sophomore Breeja Larson flirted with her own school record in the 100-yard breaststroke but settled for an easy win and NCAA "A" cut at the Tennessee Invitational on Thursday.

After two days of action, the Aggies lead the team competion with 783 points, followed by Tennessee (471), Louisville (449.5), Arkansas (383), LSU (371.5), Kentucky (226) and Southern Illinois (35).

Larson's three-plus second victory in the 100 breast paced an Aggie attack that earned six first-place finishes and 14 NCAA qualifying times or scores. Larson, the NCAA runner-up at both the 100 and 200 distance in the breaststroke last year, turned in a time of 58.68, which was just off her record of 58.51. Teammate Erica Dittmer grabbed second in the race with a NCAA "B" cut time of 1:02.25.

The Aggies opened and closed Thursday's action with relay victories. The 200 medley relay of junior Tess Simpson, Larson, sophomore Caroline McElhany and Dittmer touched first with a "B" cut tie of 1:39.09. The 800 free relay of junior Maureen McLaine, junior Jaclin Rehring, freshman Kelli Benjamin and senior Megan Latone logged a "B" cut in 7:15.53.

A&M earned the victory and a pair of "B" cuts in the 400 IM with sophomore Cammile Adams taking the win in 4:09.24 and senior Alyssa Conner placing fifth in 4:18.25.

The Aggies tallied two more "B" cuts in the 100 fly with McElhany placing second in 53.60, and senior Rita Medrano winning the consolation final in 53.83.

A&M was dominant in the 100 back with a 1-2-3 sweep, all with NCAA "B" cut clockings. Simpson grabbed the gold in 53.70 and was trailed by senior Anna Heller (54.06) and Latone (54.20).

The Aggies' pair of senior divers was the class of the three-meter diving field. Jaele Patrick continued her perfect season with her sixth straight win with a score of 385.50 and Janie Potvin took second with a score of 342.80.

Texas A&M senior Grant Nel tallied his second win in as many days with a victory on the one-meter springboard at the Tennessee Invitational on Thursday.

Nel, the NCAA runner-up on both springboard dives in 2011, out-classed the field at the UT Invitational with a score of 390.05, which beat the second-place finisher by 24 points.

Also shining in the competition was sophomore transfer Hayden Jones, who finished fourth with a score of 358.0. Other Aggie finishers included sophomore Antonio Page-Kahn (10th, 285.40), junior Paul Xiques (17th, 238.40) and freshman Matt McKinnerney (24th, 201.70).

The full crew of divers is in Knoxville, while a small contigent of Aggie swimmers is competing at the University of Houston Cougar Class in Houston.

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