Oct. 10, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama swimming and diving teams picked up where they left off a week ago, with the men dominating Centenary and the women doing the same against Centenary and Vanderbilt in the Crimson Tide's home opener.
"We had some good swims out there today," Alabama head coach Eric McIlquham said. "Our kids came in and they raced. I told them at the beginning of the day that I wanted to see them go out and get their hand on the wall and we did that. There were a couple of different races that we won by a couple hundredths of a second and I think that kind of racing will make a big difference when we get into SEC competition, especially with LSU, Auburn and Tennessee coming up."
Alabama's men beat Centenary 196-99 to go to 3-0 on the season while the UA women beat Centenary 201-78 and Vanderbilt 199-79 to go to 6-0 on the year.
""Centenary and Vanderbilt had some good quality swims, but I think our depth was a little much for them," McIlquham said.
The Crimson Tide men and women both swept the 16-event slate. The Tide men had 13 different individual winners, with only freshman Brandon Lowe, who won the 200 and 500 freestyles, doubling up for the men. The UA women saw 11 different athletes win 14 individual events. Senior Agustina de Giovanni (500 freestyle and 400 IM), sophomore Carrie Dragland (one and three-meter diving) and junior Paige Troyan (100 and 200 breaststroke) all doubled up.
Senior All-American Mark Randall set the tone early for the Tide men with the first individual race of the day, winning the mile with a blistering 15:18.68, the best collegiate time in the nation to this point in the season.
"That was a great swim by Mark, and that gives him a time right now that should qualify him for the NCAA Championships," McIlquham said. "It's still early, but to lead the nation is still a great thing to have in your pocket right about now."
Lowe won the 200 freestyle with a 1:43.92 to notch his first UA victory before returning later in the meet to turn in the top time in the 500 freestyle, touching at 4:40.98. Sophomore Joe Ziegler won the 100 backstroke with a time of 52.08 while junior Daniel Armstrong touched at 57.64 to win the 100 breaststroke.
Freshmen Jake Reynolds and Anestis Arampatzis both won their second events in as many weeks with Reynolds repeating his first place showing from a week ago in the 50 freestyle with a 21.51 while Arampatzis won the 200 butterfly, touching at 1:52.03 after winning the 100 fly in Atlanta.
Senior Riley Boulden, normally a mainstay of the Tide's breaststroke and IM events, won the 100 freestyle with a 46.90
"It's good to give folks a chance to swim some other events and we did some of that today," McIlquham said.
Freshman Reese Shirey came away with his first Tide victory, winning the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:55.15. Senior Luke Boutwell won the 200 breaststroke at 2:07.26. Sophomore Ryan Dugan won the 100 butterfly, touching with a 51.95. Junior Kyle Lee touched first in the 400 IM with a 4:04.59 effort.
In the diving events, junior Adam Booher won the one-meter with a score of 351.09 while senior All-American Aaron Fleshner won the three-meter board.
The Tide opened the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, with Shirey, Boulden, sophomore Oliver Basse and Reynolds touching at 1:33.73 while Ziegler, junior James Edwards, Shirey and Arampatzis combining to post a 1:25.96 in the 200 freestyle to close out the meet.
For the women, De Giovanni won the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:01.61 and came right back to take top honors in the 400 IM as well with a 4:21.79. Dragland won the one and three-meter boards with a score of 313.95 and 290.85 respectively. Troyan won the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, touching at 1:07.43 in the 100 and 2:23.37 in the 200.
Freshman Jenna Gallo won the first individual race of the meet for the second week in a row, taking first in the mile with a time of 17:22.99 after winning the 1000 freestyle last weekend in Atlanta. Junior Kate Shannon Gray won the 200 freestyle with a 1:54.97. Junior Cassie Craddock won the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.95.
Senior Kacey Weddle swam away from the field in the 200 butterfly, winning by six seconds with a time of 2:06.44. And while Weddle went unchallenged, the 50 freestyle was decided by one/hundredth of a second, with senior Nicole Roberts out-touching teammate Kelsie Ludolph, a junior, 24.60-24.61.
Senior Maggie Zblewski, a regular in the breaststroke events, won the 100 freestyle, touching at 53.55. Sophomore Lauren Cuervo won the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:05.74. Senior Hannah Brinks won the 100 butterfly, finishing two seconds ahead of the field with a 56.39.
Senior Allyson Angle, de Giovanni, Brinks and Ludolph combined to win the opening 200 medley relay with a 1:46.55 while senior Brooke Baldi, Craddock, junior Samantha Lugar and senior Elizabeth Hughes combined to win the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:41.28 to close the meet.
The Tide remains at home for its next meet, facing the LSU Tigers Friday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Alabama Aquatic Center.