Oct. 21, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
More than a month into the season and the Alabama swimming and diving teams have a number of swimmers ranked among the nation's top-25 in a variety of events, including two who are ranked No. 1 in their specialties.
"This shows that we are off to a strong start," Alabama head coach Eric McIlquham said. "But it's just that, a start. We have to keep moving forward, working hard and upping our intensity and maintaining our consistency. We can't back off at all because no one else is."
Junior Mark Randall is ranked first nationally in the 500 freestyle after turning in a time of 4:24.77 at Florida State and second in the 1000 freestyle with a 9:11.73. Junior Drew Finelli is also ranked in the top-25 in the 500, coming in 22nd while sophomore Catalina Cosma is 19th in the 1000 and freshman Joe Ziegler is 25th. Junior Kyle Lee is just outside the top-25 in the 1000 at 26th.
Cosma and Randall are 10th and 11th respectively in the 200 freestyle while sophomore Denes Zubcsek is 23rd, a fact that bodes well for the Tide's 800 freestyle relay. Zubcsek is ranked sixth in his specialty, the 200 butterfly. Senior Chris Perry is 14th in the 100 backstroke while sophomore Alan Axford is 23rd. Perry is also 22nd in the 200 backstroke while Ziegler is 18th.
In the breaststroke events, junior Riley Boulden is ranked sixth in the 200 and 10th in the 100 while junior Luke Boutwell is 20th in the 100 and 25th in the 200. Boulden is also eighth in the 200 IM. Senior Kevin Greer is 25th in the 50 freestyle.
Junior Agustina de Giovanni has the nation's fastest time in the 200 breaststroke, touching the wall at 2:15.14 against FSU. She is also ranked second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:02.50 and 10th in the 100 breaststroke.
Sophomore Kate Shannon Gray is ranked 13th in the 200 IM while junior Maggie Zblewski is 16th. Freshman Suzanne Schwee is 13th in the 200 butterfly while junior Hannah Brinks is 21st in the 100 butterfly. Junior Allyson Angle is 16th in the 200 backstroke.
As a team, the Tide women are ranked 25th in the first coaches' poll while the men are receiving votes. The Crimson Tide women are 3-0 overall, 1-0 in Southeastern Conference competition, while the men are 1-1 overall, 0-0 SEC. The coaches' poll comes out eight times a season. Pollsters representing eight conferences along with two at-large voters have the task of ranking the top dual meet teams in the nation throughout the season.