HOUSTON - The LSU Swimming and Diving program wrapped up the first day of competition at the Phil Hansel Invitational in Houston, Texas with multiple victories.
The No. 19 Lady Tigers are competing against 13 women's teams, while the No. 20 Tigers are competing against four men's teams. After the first day, the men's team is in first place with 322 points and the women's team is in fourth with 119 points.
Preliminary competition will begin tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. The finals will begin at 5 p.m.
Live meet results are being posted on uhcougars.com, diving results can be found on Divemeets.com and a full recap of each day's events will be available on LSUsports.net.
"With so many teams here, you don't know where everyone is with their rests and all the things like that," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. "We went through prelims not in our technical suits and then went with them in the finals. That explains some of our time drops from prelims to finals. I wanted to force us to race harder in the prelims."
The men's 400 medley relay team of senior Nick Kunkel, senior Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez, sophomore Frank Greeff and Tuomola took first with a time of 3:15.12. Sophomore Michael Young, Rooker, senior Raymond De Padua and Tuomola came in second with a mark of 3:15.97.
"Going one-two in the 400 medley relay was pretty exciting," Geyer said. "I know that those eight men like competing against each other."
The 200 free relay team of senior Andrei Tuomola, junior Michael Saco, freshman Gabe Rooker and senior Zack Wepasnick took first place with a time of 1:21.24. Tuomola posted a lead off split of 20.25.
Senior Craig Hamilton won the 500 free with a season best of 4:22.77, which earned him an NCAA 'B' cut. His mark was only three seconds slower than the program record that he set during last season's NCAA Championships. Even more impressive, Hamilton dropped 10 seconds from his preliminary swim.
Alvarado Jimenez (1:49.90), Kunkel (1:50.75) and junior Shane Coltharp (1:52.63) took second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 200 individual medley. Rooker finished in sixth with a mark of 1:53.06.
Saco (20.22) and Tuomola (20.35) finished second and third in the 50 free.
"The men went in and stepped up with a win in the 200 free relay," Geyer said. "Then we followed that up with Craig winning the 500. It was good getting that momentum going in the meet. We had some depth in the 200 IM. We had a pretty solid 50 free as well."
"Putting three men in the final was an excellent start to the men's competition," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "This is day one of a three day meet. I felt that we got off to a good start, but we've got to get our rest tonight and get back out tomorrow."
On the women's side, freshman diver Cassie Weil registered a score of 324.25 in a third place finish on the three-meter. During the prelims, Weil notched a score of 332.75.
"We had a good day one. It was long," Shaffer said. "This was our first championship style event, so it gave us an opportunity to work some bugs out. The women's contest lasted over three hours, which is not typical. It made for some challenges. In some cases we performed well in those cases, and in some we need to tweak some things."
Junior Torrey Bussey won the consolation final of the 200 individual medley with a season low time of 2:00.15. Senior Sally Wood captured the 'C' final on the 200 IM with a season best time of 2:00.48. Both marks were NCAA 'B' cuts.
In the 50 free, Carter finished in 12th with a time of 23.16. White emerged victorious in the 'C' final with a time of 23.14, which is a season best.
Freshman Jessie James posted a season best in the 500 free with a time of 4:51.99 en route to winning the 'D' final. Her mark was over 10 seconds faster than her preliminary swim.
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ORDER OF EVENTS
Women events are odd numbers and men events are even numbers.
13/14: 200 Medley Relay
15/16: 400 I.M.
17/18: 100 Butterfly
19/20: 200 Freestyle
21/22: 100 Breaststroke
23/24: 100 Backstroke
27/28: 800 Freestyle Relay
29/30: 1650 Freestyle
31/32: 200 Backstroke
33/34: 100 Freestyle
35/36: 200 Breaststroke
37/38: 200 Butterfly
39/40: Platform Diving
41/42: 400 Freestyle Relay
Swimming Prelims- 10 am
Women's 1m - 11am
Men's 3m - 30 minutes after the completion of Women's 1m
Finals: Women's 1m Final - 5pm
Men's 3m Final - during the first break of the evening swimming session
Swimming Finals- 6 pm
Swimming Prelims- 10 am
Diving Finals: Men's and Women's Combined Platform Final - 12pm
Swimming Finals- 6 pm