Feb. 16, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -
Sophomore diver Paige McCleary earned her second championship finals finish in as many days to lead the way for the Alabama swimming and diving teams at the Southeastern Conference Championships being held at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the University of Tennessee campus this week.
McCleary took seventh place off the 3-meter board with 339.45 points. She moved up one place from prelims where she scored 303.60 points. The 2011 SEC Female Freshman Diver of the Year was seventh off the 1-meter board on the meet's first day. Freshman Lisa Bogosian also scored for the Tide, taking ninth off the 3-meter board with 303.20 points.
"Paige had another great day, qualifying for big finals again this morning and then moving up a spot tonight," UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. "Lisa also did a nice job, coming in as a freshman, scoring points and almost making the championship finals."
Sophomore Kristel Vourna posted a 22.88 in the 50 freestyle to take fourth place in the consolation finals and 12th overall. She was a touch faster in the preliminaries with a 22.83. Vourna, sophomore Alex Popa, senior Ida Persson and freshman Kaylin Burchell combined to finish sixth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:31.43.
"We're swimming fast and getting career-best swims, we just need to get a little bit more pop out of the morning swims and go from there," McIlquham said.
Junior John Ellis posted a 4:25.64 to take third in the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle, finishing 11th overall. Ellis moved up a place in finals after he touched the wall with a career-best 4:24.64 to take 12th place in prelims.
"John did a nice job, posting a life-time best this morning and then getting in there tonight and racing to move up in the ranks," McIlquham said.
Sophomore BJ Hornikel touched the wall at 19.93 in the 50 freestyle, taking fourth in the consolation finals and 12th overall. Sophomore Vlad Caciuc also scored in the 50 freestyle, posting a 20.01 to take sixth in the consolation finals and 14th overall. Caciuc went 19.92 in the preliminaries. Freshman diver Jordan Lesser scored off the 1-meter board, taking 14th place with 306.55 points.
The Tide men closed out the day with a sixth place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. Caciuc, Hornikel, sophomore Alex Coci and junior Jake Reynolds touched the wall in a time of 1:19.43.
Alabama's women are in eighth place after day two with 110 points, just six points out of sixth. Georgia leads the women's race with 274 points. The Tide men are also in eighth with 67 points while Auburn is in first with 301 points.
The championships continue on Friday, opening with the preliminaries of the 400 individual medley starting at 10 a.m. EST.