Feb. 20, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. -The Alabama swimming and diving teams continued their hot streak on day three of the Southeastern Conference Championships, being held on the University of Georgia campus this week.
"We had a solid day," UA head coach Denny Pursley said. "It wasn't explosive as our first two days, but we knew that this wasn't our strongest day coming in. We're focused now on making our next two days our best two days and to finish strong."
Senior BJ Hornikelgrabbed another spot on the podium, taking third place in the men's 200 freestyle with a time of 1:34.25. Hornikel also made the podium on Wednesday as part of the school-record setting 200 freestyle relay which took second place.
"BJ really got after it tonight, swimming a tough race and making it back on to the podium," Pursley said.
Senior diver Paige McCleary took fourth off the 3-meter springboard with 348.50 points, producing the highest individual finish of the week for the Tide women. Junior Kristel Vourna also scored in the championship final, taking seventh place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.66. Sophomore Emma Saunderstook 14th place in the women's 200 freestyle, posting a 1:47.28 along the way.
"Paige and Kristel both came through with great efforts tonight that kept us moving in the right direction," Pursley said.
Junior Ian Decker posted a career-best 3:47.95 to win the C-final of the 400 individual medley and move up to second all-time at Alabama. Sophomore Travis Kerneralso scored in the 400 IM, taking 22nd with a 3:53.50.
"That was a tremendous performance by Ian Decker," Pursley said. "He really put together a great race."
Sophomore Brett Walsh (13th), senior Vlad Caciuc (15th) and freshman Kristian Gkolomeev (23rd) all scored in the 100 butterfly. Walsh’s 47.21 from prelims ranks him third all-time at Alabama while Caciuc’s career-best 47.44 from prelims puts him fifth all-time for UA. Gkolomeev went 47.77 in prelims which ranks him seventh all-time for the Tide.
Alabama returns to action Friday with the 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke as well as the men’s platform diving event. For all the latest information on the Alabama swimming and diving teams, follow AlabamaSwimDive on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.