TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Auburn Tigers swept the SEC Championships with the Tiger men and women's squads earning the title Saturday night in the Alabama Aquatic Center. For the Auburn men, who scored 806 points to out-distance Florida with 712, it marks its 14th team title. For the women, Auburn claimed a 761.50-706 win over Florida. It marks the fifth team title for the Tiger women.
“It has been an exciting year,” Auburn head coach Richard Quick said. “I think both the men and women’s teams have done awesome this year with this acceptance of me coming off of the great Coach David Marsh. Hopefully the transition hasn’t been too hard on them. And I think they’ve grown, both teams have grown through the year. “
Overall it marks the fourth time Auburn has swept the SEC team titles. Florida has swept the event seven times. A total of 32 pool records fell over the course of the four-day event.
“I like how we won this one with all 18 of our scores,” co-head Auburn coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker said. “I’m thrilled for the seniors. I’m looking forward to a month from now. We are going to enjoy this one now. It took us a lot of hard work.”
Cesar Cielo opened up the 400 free relay for Auburn in record fashion and his Tiger teammates never looked back as the quartet broke the SEC record with a time of 2:50.49. Tennessee was second with a time of 2:53.30. Florida was third with a time of 2:54.34.
The Auburn women’s 400 free relay turned in the fastest time in SEC history with a 3:13.09 to claim the relay title. Tennessee was second with a time of 3:16.22. Florida was third with a time of 3:16.63.
Paige Brown of LSU won the women's platform event with a total score of 300.30. Jessica Snowden was second with a score of 273.80 and Elizabeth Hughes of Alabama was third with a total of 248.35.
Mark Dylla of Georgia broke the SEC record in the 200 fly to win the title in a time of 1:42.23. Nicholas Walkotten of USC was second with a time of 1:43.83 and Shane Fraser was third with a time of 1:44.38.
Emily Kukors of Auburn turned in a new pool record time of 1:54.97 to win the 200 fly title. Elizabeth Hill of Georgia was third with a time of 1:56.12 and third went to Katie Kastes of Arkansas with a time of 1:57.87.
In the 200 fly it became a family affair as both Caroline and Clark Burckle won the title right after one another. Caroline won with a time of 2:12.49. Clark then handled the men with a time of 1:56.00.
Cielo of Auburn broke his own SEC record to defend his 100 free title with a time of 41.78. The win marks Cielo's 16th of his career which breaks the previous Auburn record held by Fred Bousquet. He later went on to break that record to open the 400 free relay with a time of 41.25.
“Cesar is just an extraordinarily great athlete, but he’s a great team guy,” Quick said. “He doesn’t like the 200 freestyle, but he stepped up there and got the win in a team battle. To me, that was an indication of the kind of guy he is.”
Christina Magnuson of Tennessee swam the fastest time in the nation to win the 100 free. Magnuson turned in a time of 48.08. Ava Ohlgren of Auburn was second with a time 48.33.
Omar Pinzon of Florida swam the second fastest time in the nation and broke the pool record with a time of 1:41.85 to lead a Florida sweep in the event. Teammate Rexford Tullius turned in a 1:42.23 while Roland Rudolf swam a 1:43.65.
Gemma Spofforth of Florida turned in a SEC record time of 1:50.56 to win the 200 back title. Alek Putra was second with a time of 1:53.29 and Melissa Marik was third in a time of 1:54.17.
Sebastien Rouault of Georgia swam the fastest 1650 free in SEC history with a time of 14:35.47. With the win, Rouault has won the event four times becoming the only SEC swimmer to do so. Rouault has never lost a 500 or 1650 free at the SEC Championships in his collegiate career. Teammate Troyden Prinsloo swam a 14:36.50 for second and Christopher Crete was third with a 15:00.14.
Maggie Bird of Auburn won the 1650 free in a time of 15:58.27 to hand the Tigers their fifth consecutive title in the event. That streak is the longest in the event in SEC history.
The next stop for many of the SEC finest will be at the NCAA Championships. The meet is scheduled to begin on March 27 at Federal Way, Wash.