Feb. 19, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
Junior Mark Randall shattered the oldest school record on the University of Alabama books while sophomore Kate Shannon Gray became the first Crimson Tide woman to break the two-minute barrier in the 200 individual medley on day two of the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships being held in the James E. Martin Aquatic Center this week.
"I'm really proud of the job Mark and Kate Shannon did today," Alabama head coach Eric McIlquham said. "Mark broke a record that has been up there since before he was born. Kate Shannon got under two minutes twice today, which is an indicator of how far she's come."
Randall took third place in the 500 freestyle with a 4:15.64, bettering the 4:16.80 record set by Arne Borgstrom in 1982 by more than a second.
Randall wasn't the only Tide swimmer to score in the 500. He was joined in the championship final by sophomore Catalin Cosma who took fifth place with a 4:16.57. It was Cosma's second trip the championship finals in as many years. Freshman Joe Ziegler also scored in the event, taking 10th with a time of 4:17.23. Those three are now ranked first, second and fourth all-time for Alabama in the 500 freestyle.
Gray set the school 200 IM record in the preliminaries, touching the wall at 1:59.83. She came back in finals and posted a 1:59.94, taking 13th place overall.
Junior Aaron Fleshner followed up his SEC title off the one-meter board Wednesday with a third place finish off the three-meter board, scoring 413.10 in finals while sophomore Adam Booher used a career-night to finish one spot back in fourth place with 404.85 points.
A day after winning the SEC three-meter title, freshman Carrie Dragland finaled off the one-meter board, taking seventh place after scoring 284.40 points. Sophomores Lauren Dunn and Olivia Covey both scored off the one-meter, taking 13th and 16th respectively. Dunn scored a 267.50 while Covey posted a 259.50.
"Our divers continue to generate major points for us," McIlquham said. "Adam Booher in particular had a great day, putting up some great scores in a very tough competition. That is the first time he has scored over 400 points off the three-meter. He just continues to get better every week."
Alabama's men are currently in fifth place with 146 points, just six and a half points behind Georgia and fourth place while the Tide women are in sixth place with 120 points. Auburn leads the men's race with 329.5 points and Florida is in first on the women's side of the meet with 312 points.
The championships continue Friday before coming to a close on Saturday.