March 28, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas -
The Alabama men's swimming and diving team kept up its record breaking ways on day two of the NCAA Championships being held in here in Austin, Texas this week, breaking two more Friday.
"Just like we did on day one, we had some great swims today and we had some that didn't quite go our way," UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. "That being said, we're light years ahead of where we were last year, when BJ (Hornikel) was our lone representative, and there is just so much to be proud of. Now we need to focus on finishing strong tomorrow."
After breaking the school record in prelims, the Crimson Tide took seventh in the finals of the 200 medley relay when freshmen Connor Oslin and Anton McKee combined with sophomore Brett Walsh and freshman Kristian Gkolomeev to touch the wall at 1:25.07. In prelims, the same foursome combined for a school record 1:24.47, bettering the previous mark set at last month's Southeastern Conference Championship.
McKee scored for Alabama in the 100 breaststroke, taking 14th place with a time of 52.78 while his classmate Pavel Romanov posted a 53.65 in prelims to finish 27th overall. Both men will swim the 200 breaststroke on Saturday.
Senior BJ Hornikel opened the Crimson Tide's 800 freestyle relay with a blistering 200 freestyle, clocking a school record 1:33.18, nearly a second better than the previous mark set by four-time Olympic gold medalist Jon Olsen in 1990. The 800 relay was later disqualified due to a false start, but as the leadoff, Hornikel's time stands. Hornikel will swim the 100 freestyle on Saturday, an event he took fifth in at the NCAA Championships a year ago.
Oslin, who lowered the school 100 backstroke record as the lead off of the 400 medley relay on the championships first day, took 23rd place in the 100 backstroke Friday with a time of 46.54. The rookie from Kennesaw, Ga., has lowered the Alabama 100 backstroke record four times this season and is the only UA swimmer under 57 seconds in school history. Oslin, who also owns the school 200 backstroke record, will close out his first NCAA Championships with that event Saturday.
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