TUSCALOOSA, Ala. The Alabama Swimming and Diving teams got the 2006-07 season started with wins against Delta State Friday night at the Alabama Aquatic Center.
Alabama’s women, despite having nine of their top competitors at the SMU Swim Classic in Dallas, Texas, beat Delta State 161-128 while the Alabama men won 166.5-123.5.
“We swam well tonight, especially considering the tough week of training we had leading up to tonight,” associate head coach Sonya Porter said. “On the men’s side we got good leadership and some really fast times from our All-Americans. On the women’s side of the meet, with half our squad, and really our veterans, at the Classic, our rookies really had to get in there and step up and I think they did that tonight.”
To get the night started sophomores Amanda Maher and Mary-Kate Sellers combined with freshmen Hannah Brinks and Brooke Baldi posted a 1:50.21 to win the 200 medley relay by a decisive second and a half margin over DSU’s “A” relay.
Senior Bridget Belyea and freshman Nicole Roberts went one-two in the 1650 freestyle, posting a 17:50.69 and 18:02.23 respectively. Roberts came back to win the 200 freestyle, posting a 1:56.28, finishing just ahead of fellow freshman Julie Richards.
Freshman Elle St. Charles finished nearly four seconds ahead of her nearest competitor in winning the 200 butterfly with a 2:07.06 before coming back to win the 500 freestyle with a 5:11.73, followed by Belyea in second and Roberts in third.
Alabama got a rookie sweep in the 50 and 100 freestyles with Baldi taking first in the 50 with a 25.06 followed by classmates Richards and Brinks in second and third. In the 100 it was Richards out front with a 53.81 followed by Brinks in second and Baldi in third. Brinks won the 100 butterfly with a 57.09. Freshman Maggie Zblewski won the 400 IM with a 4:42.65
It was all rookies in the diving events with the Tide’s only veteran, senior Karissa Tuthill, at the Classic. Freshman Elizabeth Hughes out pointed everyone off the one-meter board by 50 points, scoring a 234.00. She also won the three-meter events, scoring a 233.10.
The men started off strong when junior Mike Jones, freshman Luke Boutwell, senior Apostolis Tsagkarakis and rookie Alin Mihalca finished five seconds ahead of the field in the 200 medley relay, posting a 1:33.95.
Senior Vlad Polyakov, fresh off his World Championship in the 200 breaststroke last spring, won the both the 100 and 200 breaststroke with the fastest time in the nation this season, posting a 54.46 and 1:57.22 respectively. Sophomore Mark Randall finished nearly a minute ahead of the field posting a 15:21.86, the second fastest time in the nation so far this season. Tsagkarakis was dominate in the 50 and 100 freestyles, winning by over a second and a half in the 50 with a 20.78 and by three seconds in the 100, touching the wall at 46.02..
Mihalca won the 200 freestyle with a 1:42.15 and the 500 with a 4:41.74. Jones won the 100 backstroke with a 51.97 while senior Tim Hansen won the 200 butterfly. Hansen also won the 400 IM with a 3:58.90. Sophomore Andy Schnack won the 200 backstroke with a 1:53.11 followed by Jones in second. Sophomore Luke Dickson won the 100 butterfly with a 52.32 followed by classmate Kevin Greer in second.
Freshmen Aaron Fleshner, Chris McCormick and Tim Cline went one-two-three off the one-meter board with Fleshner scoring a 314.70 to take the win. Fleshner also won the three-meter board with 330.60 points followed by Cline in second and McCormick in third.
“Tonight gave us a good idea of where we are right now,” Porter said. “We’ve been through a dual meet situation, we’ve gotten up and raced and now we know what we have in front of us, what we have to work on.”
Alabama returns to action against LSU and Arkansas Friday, November 10 in Baton Rouge, La.