Nov. 21, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The Alabama men's and women's swimming and diving teams return to action Nov. 22-24 with the Auburn Invitational at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center in Auburn, Ala.
After opening the season with a trio of dual meets, Alabama is changing gears with the three-day invitational that will feature prelims and finals each day. The meet will give the swimmers and divers the chance to compete in more events than they would in a dual-meet setting.
"A meet like this gives everyone a chance to show what they can do in events they don't usually compete in," UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. "We're going to be tested against some very tough competition this weekend and I'm looking forward to us getting up on the blocks and racing."
On the men's side of the meet, the Crimson Tide faces a stiff test with the likes of Southeastern Conference foes Auburn and the fourth ranked Georgia Bulldogs, as well as a rematch with the 14th ranked Florida State Seminoles.
The women's action should prove to be equally entertaining with the Tide facing top ranked Georgia, No. 21 Auburn and a rematch with No. 19 Florida State. Both Alabama's men and women swam FSU in Tide's second dual meet of the season, with the UA women coming out on top and the men falling short against the Seminoles.
The deepest and most competitive race may prove to be the 200 breaststroke. The Tide will be led by a pair of freshmen, Anton McKee, who ranks fourth nationally and Pavel Romanov who ranks 26th. Georgia features a pair of top ten performers in Chase Kalisz and Nicolas Fink. Auburn's Michael Dunderstadt and Florida State's Juan Sequera each have times that rank in top 40 coming into the weekend.
In the women's 100 and 200 breaststroke events, Tide captain Kaylin Burchell has posted times that rank in the top 25 of each event. Along with sophomore Stephanie Klotz, she will look to pace the field for Alabama. The duo will look to hold off Annie Zhu and Melanie Margalis of Georgia each of whom have top 12 times in the 200 event.
The men's 100 freestyle promises to be a fast paced race with each team having at least one swimmer represented in the top 35 nationally. Alabama will look for BJ Hornikel to pace their effort, while Marcelo Chierighini of Auburn, Paul Murray of Florida State, and Matias Koski of Georgia will look to lead their respective teams.
The women's distance events will feature a talented field with each school having swimmers ranked in the top 35. Alabama freshman Bonnie Macdonald will anchor the Tide's effort, while Georgia's Amber McDermott and Brittany MacLean, Auburn's Ashley Neidigh and Florida State's Madison Jacobi will be looked to for strong performances for their respective team.
The meet gets underway Friday at 9:30 a.m. CT, with the prelims of the 200 freestyle relay, the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the 50 freestyle, men's 3-meter diving, women's 1-meter diving and the 400 medley relay. Finals will get underway at 5 p.m.