ATHENS, Ga. -- The LSU Swimming and Diving team took to the pool and diving boards of Gabrielsen Natatorium for the first day of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championships.
Alex Bettridge started off SEC Championships with a sixth place finish on 1-meter with a final score of 314.80. In the prelims, Cassie Weil finished 15th (269.45) and Allie Alter finished 26th (235.25)
“We had a bit of a smorgasbord today,” LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “This is the first time Alex has made the finals on the first day of SEC Championships She had a legitimate personal best on 1-meter which is bittersweet because it was for sixth place. There was some tough competition and all of the women had great performances.”
In the prelims of the men’s 3-meter, Kevin Leong was the top Tiger Diver with a 14th place finish and final score of 318.25. Last year, Leong finished 18h overall. Fellow senior, Sean McKinney, finished 16th overall with a score of 305.35. Freshman Zakary Rowton followed in 17th place with a final score of 288.60. All three collected points for the men’s team.
“All three of the men scored today, but we didn’t have some of the performances I expected out there. Even though all three scored, we were really below par on what we can do,” Shaffer said.
Swimming kicked off with the 200 medley relay. LSU’s team of Caley Oquist, Torrey Bussey, Amber Carter and Leah Troskot won the first heat. The women finished sixth overall in the relay with a time of 1:37.34. The mark is an Automatic qualifying time for NCAA Championships. Carter had the fastest 50 fly split of the meet with a 22.88.
“I challenged everyone to create their culture on the pool deck and I think they really embraced it,” LSU swimming coach Dave Geyer said. “The women set the tone with an outstanding 200 medley relay. It was a great start to the meet.”
The Lady Tigers’ 800 freestyle relay team of Danielle Stirrat, Megan Cox, Kara Kopcso and Sophie Weber set a program record with a time of 7:11.39. The group took the win in the first heat and finished eighth overall. Danielle Stirrat led off the relay with a time of 1:46.72, which is the fastest time in LSU history.
The women started huge and then followed it up with a program record. It’s a team of two sophomore and two freshmen, which helps us down the road,” Geyer said.
“We have such a young program on the men’s side,” Geyer said. “It’s very encouraging for the meet. The men split times well and there wasn’t much fade on the back end. They did what they needed to do and the points will even out.”
Wednesday’s competition kicks off at 9 a.m. with prelims of the 500 freestyle, 200 IM and 50 freestyle. Prelims of the men’s 1-meter will begin at 12 p.m. Finals of these events will take place in the night session starting at 5 p.m. Live video can be found at Georgiadogs.com.
Pictures from the day and a full recap will be available after every final on lsusports.net. For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit LSUsports.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter @LSUswimdive.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, February 19
500 freestyle (Prelims)- 9 a.m.
200 IM (Prelims)
50 free (Prelims)
Men’s 1-meter (Prelims) 12 p.m.
500 freestyle (Finals)- 5 p.m.
200 IM (Finals)
50 Free (Finals)
Men’s 1-meter (Finals)
200 Freestyle Relay (Finals)
Thursday, February 20
400 IM (Prelims)- 9 a.m.
100 Butterfly (Prelims)
200 Freestyle (Prelims)
Women’s 3-meter (Prelims)- 12 p.m.
400 IM (Finals)- 5 p.m.
100 Butterfly (Finals)
Women’s 3- meter (Final)
200 Freestyle (Finals)
Friday, February 21
200 Butterfly (Prelims)- 9 a.m.
100 Backstroke (Prelims
100 Breaststroke (Prelims)
Men’s Platform (Prelims)- 12 p.m.
200 Butterfly (Finals)- 5 p.m.
100 Backstroke (Finals)
100 Breaststroke (Finals)
Men’s Platform (Final)
400 Medley Relay (Finals)
Saturday, February 22
100 Freestyle (Prelims)- 9 a.m.
200 Backstroke (Prelims)
200 Breaststroke (Prelims)
Women’s Platform (Prelims)- 12 p.m.
1650 Freestyle (Finals)- 5 p.m.
100 Freestyle (Final)
200 Backstroke (Final)
200 Breaststroke (Final)
Women’s Platform (Final)
*All times listed in CT.