Swimming & Diving Hosts Annual Alabama Clash
BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Swimming and Diving program will host Southeastern Conference rival Alabama in a mid-season dual meet on Friday, Nov. 2, starting at 1:30 p.m. CT in the LSU Natatorium.
All admission to LSU Swimming and Diving home meets is free.
"It is LSU vs. Alabama," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. "Over my seven years here, this meet has produced some of the most exciting dual meets within collegiate swimming. It really brings out the best in both programs every time we come together. It does not matter what time of the year or what time of the season. It does not matter who is sick or who is feeling great. It does not matter who is on top of the water or who is drowning. It is a fierce rivalry in the water."
Fans that are arriving in Baton Rouge for Saturday night's football game between the two schools are encouraged to attend. In addition, the meet will also serve as a "Tiger Night" for all LSU student-athletes.
"LSU-Alabama is a big rivalry in every single sport," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "We have two very well matched up teams. If there is one swimming and diving event that our LSU fans want to see, this is the one to come to."
The 22nd ranked Men's team (1-1, 0-1 SEC) is going for their first conference victory after falling to Auburn on Oct. 20. Senior distance swimmer Craig Hamilton will look to keep dropping time in the 1000 freestyle as he works on perfecting his mile time that has earned him NCAA Honorable-Mention All-American status the past two seasons.
Sophomores Michael Young and Frank Greeff, members of last year's All-SEC Freshman Team, are also firing on all cylinders in the early competitive season. Junior diver and NCAA Honorable-Mention All-American Daniel Helm leads a deep men's diving group.
The 17th ranked Lady Tigers (4-1, 1-1 SEC) are fresh off of a weekend sweep of Tulane in New Orleans and North Carolina State at home. Junior swimmer Torrey Bussey totaled four individual victories and two relay victories. Bussey's 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke are both currently ranked within the top-20 in the nation. The 200 medley relay team of freshman Caley Oquist, Bussey, junior Rainey White and sophomore Amber Carter set the LSU Natatorium record with a time of 1:41.97. That mark is the 10th fastest 200 medley relay time in the nation.
LSU female divers have claimed victory in every event this season. Freshman diver Cassie Weil swept the diving events against NC State, and has won five of her six possible events thus far this season. Sophomore Alex Bettridge, an NCAA Honorable-Mention All-American on the three-meter springboard last season, picked up the one-meter title against Tulane.
The two programs provide a solid mid-season test for each other. Currently, Alabama men's team (1-1, 0-1 SEC) is ranked 20th in the nation. At the SEC Championships last year, the Crimson Tide men's team finished in sixth, one spot behind the Tigers. The men's side returns NCAA All-American BJ Hornikel.
The Alabama women's team (2-1, 1-1 SEC) finished seventh, two places behind the Lady Tigers. NCAA All-American Kaylin Burchell returns for the Crimson Tide.
Last season the LSU Swimming and Diving program sparked a huge weekend for LSU athletics against Alabama with a pair of victories in the LSU Natatorium. The men's team defeated Alabama by a 151-149 margin in a dual that came down to the final event. The women's team also picked up a victory by a score of 175.5-124.5.
"Tiger Nights" is an attempt for all LSU student-athletes to support one another and assist in the increase of student attendance and involvement at athletic events. Teams will be attending events to fight for the new Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes' LSU Tiger Spirit Award, to be awarded at the end of the year. Teams will have the opportunity to attend all sporting events and accumulate points to be totaled at the end of the year.
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