Texas A&M Sweeps Final Swimming & Diving SEC Dual

LSU's Michael Young
LSU's Michael Young
Steve Franz
Seth Medvin
Seth Medvin

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The LSU Swimming and Diving program fell to both Texas A&M squads in College Station, Texas, in the Tigers final Southeastern Conference dual meet.

LSU will return to Texas A&M's Rec Center on Feb. 19 for the SEC Championships.

"We are going to come back to Texas A&M for our conference championships hungry," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "I think it will happen from the swimming and diving side. We are going to have that type of mindset, which is good."

The Aggies men's team (1-4, 1-3 SEC) defeated the No. 17 LSU men's team (4-2, 2-2 SEC) by a margin of 158-140 in a dual that was not decided until the last event. The loss ended the Tigers three-meet win streak.

"On the front half of the meet we put ourselves in a great position, but the second half of the meet they were getting their hands on the wall first," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. "To win meets you have to get their first in the second half of the meet as well. We came up short. I thought that there were some great performances on the team."

The No. 5 Aggies women's team (6-1, 3-1 SEC) defeated the Lady Tigers (6-2, 3-2 SEC) by a score of 179-107. LSU will host Houston, Rice and Tulane next Friday in the LSU Natatorium.

"When I talked to the women, I told them that this is what SEC's are going to be like," Geyer said. "There are going to be multiple top-10 teams at the conference championships. Just because we had some second and third place finishes does not mean that they were bad swims by any means. I think we raced well."

The Tigers opened up the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay behind the efforts of sophomore Michael Young, senior Andrei Tuomola, senior Raymond De Padua and junior Michael Saco with a time of 1:29.89.

Senior Craig Hamilton added a victory in the 1000 free in the second event with a season best mark of 9:20.89.

The Aggies proceeded to swim 1-2-3 in the 200 freestyle and earn nine first place points in 100 backstroke. Young, senior Nick Kunkel and De Padua finished second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 back.

The Tigers threw down a 1-2-3 finish of their own in the 100 breast. Junior Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez touched the wall first with a time of 56.07, and was followed by junior Walter Loop (56.48) and freshman Collin Finnegan. Loop's 100 breast swim was a career low.

Sophomore Frank Greeff and Tuomola tagged on a pair of victories in the 200 butterfly (1:48.81) and the 50 free (20.38), respectively. At the first diving break LSU led 74-57.

The Aggies regained a slight edge by winning the one-meter springboard event, and continued the momentum with victories in the 100 free and 200 back.

However, LSU retook the lead with a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 breast. Loop posted his second career best of the meet with a time of 2:01.24 in a first place swim. Freshman Gabe Rooker and Finnegan followed behind.

The Aggies responded with wins in the 500 free and 100 fly. LSU again retook the 133-129 lead after junior Sean McKinney won the three-meter dive with his second highest career total of 371.63.

Texas A&M went on to win the 400 individual medley and the 200 free relay to clinch victory.

On the women's side, junior Torrey Bussey posted an impressive 100 breast time of 1:02.89 in a second place finish behind Olympian Breeja Larson.

Seniors Audrey Lawson (2:00.34) and Sara Haley (2:00.79) notched impressive marks in the 200 fly. Lawson's swim was a season low.

Freshman Cassie Weil finished second on the three-meter with a score of 312.61. Senior Elle Schmidt scored a season high 288.60 in a second place finish on the one-meter.




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