TUSCALOOSA, Ala. The Alabama swimming and diving teams made a strong showing against Southeastern Conference rival Kentucky on Senior Day in the Alabama Aquatic Center coming up just short against the Wildcats.
Both the men’s and women’s meets went down to the last event with the Crimson Tide women falling 161.4-138.5 while the men lost 157-141.
“I’m never satisfied with losing,” head coach Eric McIlquham said. “But we had some really great performances today. There were points throughout the meet where we really got after, putting up some great times and performances. A point or two here and there, that was the difference in the meet.”
Prior to the meet, the Crimson Tide recognized its five-member senior class - Stephanie Johnson, Kim Singer, Erin Sparks, Mike Jones and Austin Shirey.
Sophomore Agustina de Giovanni won a trio of events, starting with the 1650 freestyle by more than 20 seconds with a time of 16:52.05. She went on to win the 100 and 200 breaststrokes with a 1:02.59 and 2:14.46 respectively. Both breaststroke performances were career best times.
The Tide went one-two in the 200 backstroke with sophomore Allyson Angle taking the win with a 2:03.93 and one-two-three in the 100 backstroke led by freshman Cassie Craddock’s 58.37. Freshman Baylee Ellson took first off the three-meter board, scoring 387.10 points.
On the men’s side of the meet, sophomore Aaron Fleshner won the one and three-meter diving events, dominating the field by a combined 150-plus points off both boards. Fleshner scored 352.81 off the one-meter and 390.30 off the three-meter board. The Tide took one-two-three off the three-meter board.
The Tide went one-two-three-four in the 1650 freestyle, led by freshman Catalin Cosma’s 15:52.42. In a tough double, Cosma came back the very next event and took second in the 200 freestyle. Later in the meet he won the 500 freestyle, touching in a time of 4:29.39, nearly five seconds ahead of the field.
Alabama went one-two in the 100 backstroke with sophomore Clint McClendon winning with a career best 49.56 to win the 100 backstroke, a time that puts him ninth all-time for the Tide. Sophomore Riley Boulden won the 200 breaststroke, out touching Kentucky’s Will Vietti by two hundredth of a second.
Alabama closes out the regular season Feb. 2 on the road in Columbia, S.C. against South Carolina and Georgia before returning to Tuscaloosa to host the SEC Championships Feb. 20-23.