Feb. 21, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Alabama junior BJ Hornikel took third place in the men's 200 freestyle on day three of the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships being held at the Texas A&M Natatorium this week. It is the Crimson Tide's highest finish of the meet so far.
Hornikel used a career-best 1:34.67 in prelims to grab a spot in the championship final before posting a 1:35.23 at night to take third place overall. Hornikel, second all time at Alabama in the 200 free, inched closer to the school record of 1:33.91 set by five-time Olympic gold medalist Jon Olsen in 1991. Senior Reese Shirey also scored in the 200 free, taking 24th place with a 1:38.16. Shirey posted a career-best 1:37.02 in prelims.
On the women's side of the slate, freshman Emma Saunders posted a 1:46.56, just a tenth of a second off her own school record, to take 12th place in the 200 freestyle.
Freshman Brett Walsh and junior Vlad Caciuc both scored in the 100 butterfly, with Walsh taking 15th with a career-best 47.56, while Caciuc posted a career-best 47.58 to take 17th place. Walsh, who shave a tenth off his career-best between prelims and finals, is now fourth all time at Alabama. Caciuc, who shaved nearly half a second between prelims and finals, is now fifth all time at UA.
The Tide also had a pair of scorers in the men's the 400 individual medley. Senior John Ellis posted a career-best 3:52.86 to take 21st place while sophomore Ian Decker was 23rd with a 3:53.10. Ellis' time ranks him sixth all-time for UA while Decker posted a career-best 3:52.67 in prelims, which ranks fifth all-time for the Tide.
Alabama scored three divers in the 3-meter springboard event. Junior Jake Carloni was 13th after tallying 326.20 points, senior Peter Hillyer was 16th with 318.80 points and junior Luke Zippi was 22nd with 281.60 points.
Alabama's men finished the championships' third day in ninth place with 270 points while the women are in 10th with 176 points. Action continues on Friday with the men's and women's 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke as well as the women's platform diving.