Swimming & Diving Completes Tennessee Invite

LSU's Craig Hamilton
LSU's Craig Hamilton
Steve Franz
Seth Medvin
Seth Medvin

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The LSU Swimming and Diving program left the Tennessee Invitational with a wealth of experience after competing valiantly at the site of the 2012 SEC Championships.

The men's squad finished the three day event in second place with an overall team score of 931 and the women finished fifth with an overall team score of 517.5.

"Overall this was a great meet for our team," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. "A number of athletes are either faster than they were a year ago and getting closer to where they were at conference championships, and that is what we look for here.  The last night is always the toughest to step up and compete in and we brought our pride to the finals tonight."

Junior swimmer Amanda Kendall earned her third gold medal of the event, winning the 100 free by over second and a half with a mark of 48.19. Senior Samantha Goates emerged on top in the consolation final of the same event with a time of 49.79, which was the second fastest time in the event.

Junior swimmer Craig Hamilton posted a second place finish in the 1650 free with a mark 15:16.80. After swimming in the 1500-meter free this morning, Hamilton decided to push himself in the evening session and amassed over two miles in competitive swims for the day.

Three Tigers earned significant points in the 200 backstroke after qualifying for the championship final. Freshman Michael Young posted a time of 1:47.15 in a bronze medal finish, junior Nick Kunkel earned fifth with a time of 1:47.92 and junior Simon Diefenthal posted seventh with a time of 1:48.94.

Kunkel picked up his first Olympic Trial cut in the 100 back with a time of 57.40 in the morning prelim session.

Junior swimmer Andrei Tuomola narrowly missed out on his third first place finish of the Invitational. He finished second in the 100 free with a time of 43.78.

Sophomore swimmer Ricardo Alvarado Jiminez broke the two minute barrier in the 200 breaststroke. He picked up his season high with a mark of 1:59.74.

The 200 fly duo of juniors Sara Haley and Audrey Lawson finished fourth and seventh respectively with times of 1:57.41 and 1:59.69.

"There were some especially great swims by Audrey Lawson and Sara Haley in the 200 fly with both times right off their personal bests," Geyer said. "Andrei Tuomola posted two sub 44 second 100 free swims tonight, which was great for him.  Ricardo Alvarado Jiminez broke that two minute barrier which he has been looking for.  Samantha Goates had a huge 'B' final swim, getting under the 50 second mark in the 100 freestyle."

In the last events of the day, the women's 400 free relay took first behind Kendall, Haley, freshman Amber Carter and Goates with a blistering time of 3:18.54. The men's 400 free relay finished in second behind Tuomola, freshman Frank Greeff, junior Martin Jungfleisch and sophomore Michael Saco.

On the platform diving event for the first time this season, LSU's diver performed successfully.

"I am pleased with the progress and results we posted in the men's and Women's platform events," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "Daniel, Kevin, Alex and Elle all posted career high scores. It was a good way to round out a successful meet."

On the women's side, freshman Alex Bettridge scored a five-dive total of 229.55 in a fifth place finish and was trailed my junior Elle Schmidt in sixth with a total of 221.95.

On the men's side, sophomore Daniel Helm finished third with a six-dive total of 334.45 and sophomore Kevin Leong finished sixth with a score of 294.85.





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