The Southeastern Conference Report: Athletes Continue to Impress in Early Season

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 24. THE Southeastern Conference featured some of the top performances in collegiate swimming last week, and looks to continue that with some exciting dual meets on the lineup in the next few days.

Following is a school-by-school rundown of each school’s recent outings in the past week.


The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team won its first SEC dual meet 180-120 at LSU on Oct. 19. The team collected wins in 13 of 16 events and recorded its 12th consecutive dual meet win. Sophomores Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia) and Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas) and junior Susanna White (Forest, Va.) led the team, contributing to four event wins for Arkansas. Junior Nikki Daniels (Wichita, Kan.) earned NCAA ‘B’ cuts with wins in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and Julia Banach earned an NCAA ‘B’ cut for her second-place finish in the 200 breaststroke. Additionally, senior diver Kesha Naylor achieved an NCAA zone qualifying score for her 284.10 on the 1-meter board. The relay team of Mayfield, Daniels, White and Drolc knocked the No. 5 time off the Arkansas record board with a win in 1:40.75. The Razorbacks will return home for an 11 a.m. dual meet against Nebraska on Saturday at the Arkansas Natatorium.

Auburn swimming and diving was off last week as it prepares to travel to Charlotte, N.C. to face Queens University in a dual on Friday, Oct. 25. For the men, it is their second dual meet of the season and for the women, their third. The women are looking to stay perfect in the dual season, while the men are hoping for their second dual win in as many outings. The meet is scheduled to last one day and will start at 4 p.m.

Women’s Notes
The University of Florida women’s swimming and diving team (1-1, 1-0 SEC) won seven of 11 events on the second day of competition, but could not overcome a 135-108 first day deficit to California (3-0, 2-0 PAC 12) and dropped the two-day dual meet by a score of 238-210 at the Spieker Aquatics Center in Berkeley, Calif. The Gators, going against a Cal team that featured five Olympians and four NCAA Champions, showed impressive fight and determination, winning the first five events of the day. Over the course of the 24-event slate, the teams split the events 12 to 12, with the Gators taking first place in both diving events on the first day of the meet. Beisel provided the Gators with a trio of day two victories, including wins in front of Cal freshman and four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin and 2013 NCAA Champion Elizabeth Pelton. The Gator distance group showed that it is one of the best in the nation, winning both 500 freestyle and 1000 freestyle events of the weekend. Natalie Hinds won three of four sprint events, winning both 50 freestyles and the day one 100 freestyle.

Men’s Notes
The Gator men topped Missouri by a score of 169-130 and won 12 of 16 events. The women won the day by a score of 181-109, including 13 of 16 events. Senior Elizabeth Beisel (North Kingstown, R.I.) led the Gators with a pair of individual victories and a second place swim. On the men’s side, sophomore Corey Main (Auckland, New Zealand) had his hand in four total victories. Sebastien Rousseau (Cape Town, South Africa) also paced the Gators with wins in the 200 backstroke and the 200 freestyle. The men’s team (2-0, 1-0 SEC) now has consecutive victories over teams that placed in the top-18 at last year’s NCAA Championships. The UF men’s team extended its unbeaten streak in dual meets to 17 straight with Thursday’s victory.

Georgia’s program will be well represented in the Duel in the Pool, which will be held Dec. 20-21 in Glasgow, Scotland. Jack Bauerle has been chosen as the head coach for the United States’ women’s team for the second time in his career. The United States’ squad will include senior Shannon Vreeland, freshman Olivia Smoliga and former Lady Bulldog Megan Romano. The United States’ men’s team will feature junior Nicolas Fink and sophomore Chase Kalisz. The Duel in the Pool will pit the top United States swimmers against their counterparts from Europe. … Georgia swept LSU last Friday as each team improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. … Georgia’s teams will visit Florida this Friday. … Georgia’s next home meet is Nov. 15 against Emory.


The LSU Swimming and Diving team opened the 2013-14 in a home defeat to Georgia on Oct. 18. The men lost 180-112, while the women lost to the defending SEC and NCAA Champions 170.5-118.5. The following morning, the Lady Tigers took on Arkansas and lost 180-120. For the women, freshman Kara Kopcso earned two wins over the weekend in the 200 yard butterfly with a 2:01.00 time against Arkansas and a time of 1:59.06 against Georgia. Diver Alex Bettridge won the 1-meter diving and placed second in the 3-meter against Arkansas. Against Georgia, Bettridge earned second place in the one-meter and third in the three-meter dive. Diver Sean McKinney swept the one-meter and three-meter diving events including a career high of 378.15 in the 1 meter against Georgia. Sophomore Gabe Rooker earned second in the 100 breast (56.28) and junior Frank Greeff posted a time of 1:48.87 enough for second place in the 200 fly. The Lady Tiger host Tulane on Friday, Oct. 25.

The Mizzou swimming and diving teams suffered losses to powerhouse Florida in the program’s Southeastern Conference opener on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center. The Tiger men fell to the Gators 169-130, while the women lost 181-109. Missouri won seven total individual events during the meet, four on the men’s side and three on the women’s. For the men, junior Sam Tierney took top honors in the 100 breast in an NCAA `B’ qualifying time of 55.53. The Plano, Texas, native also recorded an NCAA `B’ time in the 200 breast with a 1:58.94, which was good for second. Sophomore Max Grodecki claimed first-place in the 50 free with a swim of 20.72. In the diving well, senior David Bonuchi and sophomore Clark Thomas each won a springboard event and placed second on the other. Bonuchi won the 3-meter with 395.18 points, ahead of Thomas’ 326.40. The pair flip-flopped results on the 1-meter, with Thomas winning the event with 338.18 points, while Bonuchi took second with 306.98. On the women’s side, junior Danielle Barbiea claimed first place in the 100 fly (54.52) and was just 0.03 seconds off an NCAA `B’ cut. Barbiea also notched two second-place showings during the meet, in the 50 free (23.43) and 100 back (55.99). Freshman Katharine Ross won her second 100 breast title in as many collegiate meets with swim of 1:01.90. Sophomore diver Lauren Reedy also posted a first-place showing on the day, with a win on the 3-meter (295.50).

South Carolina
South Carolina opened up the SEC season on the road at Tennessee where both the men (128-172) and women (124-169) were defeated. For the second week in a row, the divers produced big results for the Gamecocks as Patricia Kranz won both both the one-meter and three-meter springboards, while Cole Miller easily claimed the three-meter on the men’s side after being edged by .15 points in the one-meter. Kevin Leithold, Victoria Mitchell and and Amanda Rutqvist led the swimmers with a pair of individual wins. Leithold captured the 100 breaststroke and 100 free while Mitchell claimed the 1000 freestyle and 200 IM in their first SEC meets. Rutqvist won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

Tennessee opened the SEC season last week with the men and the women both claiming home victories over South Carolina. Both squads had standout freshmen with two winning a pair of races each. On the men’s side, David Heron won the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle events. Early on, Heather Lundstrom is helping fill the void with the graduation of SEC butterfly champ Kelsey Floyd, sweeping the 100 and 200 butterfly races against South Carolina. Top returners Lindsay Gendron (200 free, 500 free) and Faith Johnson (50 free, 100 free) both won two individual races for the women, while sophomore backstroke standout Sean Lehane took first for the men in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Both UT squads are 2-0 this year and hit the road Friday for a meet against Louisville.

Texas A&M
Women’s Notes
The Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team out-dueled the Texas Longhorns for a 152-148 victory in the first regular season meeting between the longtime rivals in any sport since the Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference. The back-and-forth affair saw multiple lead changes and came down to the final race of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay. With the Longhorns leading 144-139, the Aggies had to take first and third in the final relay to be victorious in the overall team race, and the foursome of Sammie Bosma, Meredith Oliver, Kelli Benjamin and Lili Ibanez got home in 3:20.57 to beat the Longhorn four by over a second. The foursome of Emily Neubert, Melanie McClure, Katherine Huff and Paige Miller secured the deciding points with a third-place finish in 3:26.87. The Aggies won eight of 16 events, including both relays, against the Longhorns with their defending NCAA individual champions Cammile Adams and Breeja Larson both logging a pair of individual wins. Adams won the 200 butterfly in 2:00.32 and the 500 free in 4:52.07, and posted a runner-up finish in the 1,000 free in 9:50.92. Larson won the 100 breaststroke in 59.23 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:10.22, and also contributed a third-place finish in the 200 IM in 2:03.84.

Men’s Notes
The Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team opened 2013-14 with a road victory over the University of Incarnate Word on Thursday. With senior Omar Enriquez winning a trio of races, the Aggies (1-0) were victorious in 11 of 15 events, including both relays, as they powered to a 179-114 win over the Cardinals. Perhaps the winningest dual meet swimmer in school history, Enriquez was victorious in the 500-yard freestyle (4:35.52), the 1,000 free (9:30.68) and the 200 butterfly (1:53.51). The Aggies also got a pair of individual wins from seniors Adam Ruiz and Kyle Troskot. Ruiz swept both both diving events with a score of 360.53 in the one-meter dive and 350.78 in the three-meter dive. Troskot won his specialty, the 50 freestyle, in 20.76, and also logged a win in the 100 fly in 50.45. Grabbing individual wins were sophomore Mateo Muzek in the 200 free (1:40.92) and senior Henrik Lindau in the 100 backstroke (50.67). The Aggies opened and closed the meet with wins in the relays. The foursome of sophomore Alexandros Theocharidis, senior Jack Burley, Lindau and Troskot won the 200 medley relay in 1:32.08, while the group of Troskot, Lindau, sophomore Corey Bolleter and redshirt freshman Or Sabatier touched the wall first in the 200 free relay in 1:22.81.


Special thanks to Chevonne Mansfield for this report.