March 25, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Alabama sophomores Alex Coci and BJ Hornikel went out to the 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held in Seattle, Wash., last week as rookies on the national scene. They returned as All-Americans after leading the Crimson Tide to its first top-25 finish since 2009.
Coci returns to Tuscaloosa as a first-team All-American in the 200 butterfly and an honorable mention All-American in the 100 butterfly. He also shattered the school record in the 100 butterfly after posting a time of 46.50 in finals to become the first UA swimmer under 47 seconds in that event. Coci's time of 1:43.36 in the finals of the 200 butterfly ranks him third all-time for the Crimson Tide, just ahead of Olympic gold medalist Jon Sieben.
Hornikel earned honorable mention All-American honors in the 100 freestyle, the event he went undefeated in during the regular season for the second year in a row. He also posted a top-25 finish in the 200 freestyle in Seattle. He is second all-time for Alabama in both the 100 and 200 freestyles, just behind four-time Olympic gold medalist Jon Olsen.
The duo scored 22 team points, which was good for 25th place. California, Texas and Stanford took the top three spots at this year's championships. Alabama's men have now finished in the top-25 at the NCAA Championships 33 times since scoring its first points in 1973.