Thursday, December 19, 2002
Three members of the Alabama swimming and diving team took time just after exams to the 2003 European Short Course Swimming Championships held in Riesa, Germany.
"We swam real well here," Alabama head coach Don Wagner, who was on site for the championships said. "Especially since we weren't really pointing for this meet. I'm very excited about the swims we had here. I think we are looking good for the end of the collegiate season."
A native of Krefeld, Germany, the championships were a homecoming of sorts for junior Anna Poleska. The breaststroke standout, who holds five individual school records for the Crimson Tide, made the most of her trip back to her homeland, earning a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke, posting a 2:23.51, just over a second and a half behind fellow German Sarah Poewe.
Sophomore star Stefan Gherghel, representing his native Romania, also earned a bronze medal. The defending NCAA 200 butterfly champion finished third in his speciality with a 1:55.49. Gherghel finished just back of Stephen Parry and James Hicman, both of Great Britian. Gherghel jumped four places after the preliminary heats to win his medal. He posted a 1:57.37 to finish seventh in prelims of the 200 butterfly.
Gherghel finished 13th in the prelims of the 100m butterfly at 53.63 while fellow Crimson Tide standout, freshman Apostolis Tsagkarakis representing his native Greece, finished 15th in the 100m fly with a 53.99.
Tsagkarakis finaled in the 50m butterfly, finishing just out of the medals with a fourth place 23.75. In the 50m freestyle, Tsagkarakis took ninth in the prelims and 11th in the semi-finals with a 23.37. In the 100m freestyle he finished 26th with a 50.00.
The Tide trio, and their teammates will return to action January 10th in Athens, Ga. against Georgia.