Texas A&M vs. LSU

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, January 23. TEXAS A&M freshman swimmer Omar Enriquez took down the oldest school standard in the record book as the No. 19 Aggies upset LSU, 161.5-138.5, on Saturday at the LSU Natatorium.

Enriquez, from San Andrés Tuxtla, Mexico, swept the distance races with victories in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyles, but it was his 9:13.42 clocking in the 1,000 that eliminated the 27-year old record of 9:14.17 set by Rick Walker in 1983.

"Omar swam a tremendous race, and it was a pivotal race for us since we had just got beat in the medley relay," Aggie head swimming coach Jay Holmes said. "I didn't expect to lose that relay, so it was nice for Omar to turn the momentum right back our way. After the meet I called Rick (Walker), who is now the coach at Southern Illinois, and he congratulated Omar on a great race. He hated to see his record fall but knows that it had to happen for us to get to where we want to be as a program."

After the Aggies fell in the opening 400 medley relay, Enriquez's 1,000 free victory spurred A&M to five straight victories and a solid lead in the team race. The Tigers had beaten the Aggies in two consecutive dual meets, but double wins from Enriquez, senior Nikita Denisyako, junior Balazs Makany and junior Bryan Snowden gave A&M the edge over the Tigers.

"LSU is a quality team, so I was very pleased that we were able to turn things around after the first race," Holmes said. "We did a good job of stepping up on the blocks and racing today. We're still working hard in workouts and the team is tired, but they still found a way to swim fast."

Denisyako contributed wins in the 100 backstroke (48.95) and 200 back (season-best 1:47.14), Makany hit the all first in the 100 free (season-best 44.68) and the 200 free (1:39.95) and Snowden swept the 100 breaststroke (season-best 55.67) and 200 breast (2:02.27). Also contributing victories were junior Boris Loncaric in the 200 butterfly (season-best 1:50.07) and sophomore diver Cam McLean on the 1m springboard (359.17). McLean also contributed a solid season-best of 392.25 on the 3m board in a runner-up finish.

For the women, The No. 6-ranked Texas A&M women's swimming and diving team cruised to a 173-124 dual meet victory over LSU on Saturday at the LSU Natatorium.

The Aggies received double victories from senior Julia Wilkinson and freshman Maureen McLaine as A&M won 10 of the 16 events on the day. The victory improved A&M's overall mark to 5-1, and the Aggies have now won four straight dual meets.

"We took care of what we needed to do," Aggie head swimming coach Steve Bultman said. "We're weren't spectacular, but we did what we had to do while staying focused and pointed to the end of the season (Big 12 Conference and NCAA meets). We had some girls that stepped up and turned in some very solid races. I was pleased with the way we competed."

Wilkinson was victorious in the 100 backstroke (54.36) and the 100 freestyle (49.98), while McLained grabbed gold in the 500 free (4:47.91) and the 1,000 free (season-best 9:50.12).

Grabbing solo victories for the Aggies were junior Hannah Kinder in the 200 free (season-best 1:49.78), sophomore Rita Medrano in the 200 butterfly (1:59.56), junior Maria Sommer in the 50 free (23.22), senior Alia Atkinson in the 200 breaststroke (2:14.19) and senior Emily Neal in the 400 IM (4:19.23). The Aggie foursome of Sommer, senior Sarah Woods, Atkinson and Wilkinson finished the meet with a victory in the 200 free relay in a time of 1:32.11.

Nabbing runner-up finishes were freshman Liz Nelson in the 1,000 (10:09.05), senior Kristin Heiss in the 200 free (1:49.85), freshman Tess Simpson in the 100 back (56.41), Woods in the 100 free (23.67), sophomore Megan Onstott in the 200 breast (2:19.90) and Kinder in the 500 free (4:59.51).

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