Seven Seniors Win Nine Events In Senior Tribute

Senior Kara Kopcso collected two wins against Alabama for the senior tribute
Senior Kara Kopcso collected two wins against Alabama for the senior tribute
MG Miller
Fraser McAlpine
Fraser McAlpine
Communications Student Assistant

BATON ROUGE- The LSU swimming and diving team combined for a strong showing at the senior tribute at the LSU Natatorium against Alabama. Colleen O’Neil, Kara Kopcso and Lizzie Cui tallied two individual wins apiece as the No. 25 ranked women’s swimming and diving team (4-1) powered past the Crimson Tide, 189-110.

On the men’s side, Sven Saemundsson won two freestyle distance events as the men (1-2) fell by a score of 161-138. In all, seven seniors combined to win nine individual events on the day.

The team will return to action at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, January 21 at the Rec Center Natatorium in College Station, Texas for a dual meet against Texas A&M.

“I think coming out of holiday training, getting up and competing for the first time, I think we did alright,” said head swimming coach Dave Geyer. “I think we took better care of our self before the race. Alabama’s a talented team and you saw that on the men’s side, but they just had a little more depth than we had on some events, but we pulled off some individual wins there.”

“On the women’s side, (we) started off great with a win on diving and going 1-2 in the (400 medley) relay and kept that momentum going, so it was good for the women’s team and that senior class to walk out of here with a victory.”

LSU opened up the swimming portion of the meet with the 400 medley relay, as Kate Zimmer, Kopcso, O’Neil and Leah Troskot came in first with a time of 3:41.09.

In the 200 free, Devon Dabney took first at 1:51.18, and Zimmer also secured an individual victory in the 100 back, posting a time of 56.29.

O’Neil grabbed her first win in the 100 breaststroke, timing at 1:02.72. In the 200 fly, Kopcso and Gabrielle Pick finished first and second in order, finishing with times of 1:59.66 and 2:00.97 respectively.

Troskot swam to second place in the 50 free at 23.16, securing victory in the 100 free at 50.53. In the 200 back, Sophie Weber added another win for LSU with a time of 2:00.77. O’Neil took her second win in the 200 breaststroke, timing out at 2:18.56.

Kopcso earned another individual victory in the 100 fly, clocking at 54.18. Lauren Thompson claimed second in the 400 IM with a time of 4:23.56, and the 400 free relay team of Haylee Knight, Troskot, Summer Spradley and Kopcso took first with finish of 3:24.70.

On the men’s side, Saemundsson posted his first win of the meet in the 1650 free with a time of 15:45.86, and in the 200 free, Jake Markham earned second overall at 1:39.28.
In the 100 breaststroke, Silas Dejean secured a victory with a time of 54.74. Brandon Goldman, Alarii-Levreault-Lopez and Harrison Jones finished 1-2-3 in the 200 fly, clocking at 1:48.94, 1:48.97 and 1:50.60 respectively.

Markham added another second-place finish in the 100 free with a time of 44.79, and Dejean also placed second overall in the 200 breaststroke, touching the wall at 1:59.69.

In the 500 free, Saemundsson collected his second win of the meet, swimming to a finish at 4:32.65. Logan Rysemus tallied his first individual win of the day, earning a time of 48.55 in the 100 fly.

Levreault-Lopez took second in the 400 IM at 4:00.94, and the relay team of Lewis Clough, Rysemus, Karl Luht and Markham wrapped up the meet with a second-place finish in the 400 free, touching the wall at 2:57.99.

For the diving team, Cui swept one and three-meter for the women with scores of 279.38 and 351.90 respectively.

The men’s team compiled a 1-2-3 finish on both one and three meters. Andrew Suchla won one- meter with a score of 369.53 for a career-high, moving him to sixth on LSU’s all-time list.

Celaya-Hernandez also picked up his eighth win on the year and third this week after diving to a score of 387.90 on three-meter.

“We did well. We just came off three long days of competition, but it’s great to come home and compete in our pool,” said head diving coach Doug Shaffer. “It was a great time to honor our two diving seniors (Suchla and Katie Lagarde) with their senior event and recognition.”

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