Auburn tankers dominate in dual meet wins over Alabama
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – The Auburn women won 15 of 16 events and the Auburn men claimed nine wins as both teams toppled Alabama in dual meet swimming and diving action on Friday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Auburn, 4-0 and ranked No. 10 on both the men’s and women’s side, defeated the No. 5 Alabama men, 166-134, and its No. 25 women, 225-75.
“What we have talked about all year is performing as one unit and you can see that coming through,” head coach Brett Hawke said. “We felt like last year we needed more competition so we really put them under pressure this season. They are working hard in the training pool and it’s showing up in the racing pool. I am just really proud of the wins today.”
The winning men’s 400 medley relay team (3:10.03) of Joe Patching, Michael Duderstadt, Luis Martinez and Peter Holoda accounted for six of Auburn’s eight individual wins.
Patching, who swam leadoff on the relay, won the 200 back for the fourth straight meet, touching in 1:43.53. He also took top honors in the 200 IM (1:47.34), remaining undefeated in the IMs on the season.
Duderstadt, the breaststroke specialist, swept the stroke for the first time this year, winning the 100 in 53.86 and the 200 in 1:59.94. He has now won the 100 in three of four dual meets this season.
Martinez, the butterfly specialist, also swept the stroke, the third time he has done that. He won the 100 in 47.35 and the 200 in 1:47.22.
Scott Lazeroff accounted for Auburn’s two other individual men’s wins, going 1-2 with Pete Turnham on the springboards. Lazeroff scored a 341.03 on the 1-meter and a 380.85 on the 3-meter while Turnham’s scores were a 334.43 on the 1-meter and a 360.08 on the 3-meter, all of which were in-season bests.
Freshman Julie Meynen, who’s star just keeps rising, remained undefeated in the 100 free in dual meets this season, winning in 49.44. She also won the 50 free (22.74) and swam the anchor leg for the winning 400 medley (3:38.96) and 400 free (3:21.17) relays.
Diver Alison Maillard, who was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday, continued her recent string of success. She won both the 1-meter (273.75) and 3-meter (311.93) with personal-best scores for her second straight week with a springboard sweep.
“Alison is starting to step up to where we hoped she would be,” diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “There are still some areas that we have to address, and she’s aware of them. It’s just a matter of making the corrections consistently in practice.
“It’s encouraging to see them start to make the corrections in the competitive situations that we are stressing in practice.”
Right behind Maillard was Maddie Cox, who took second in both springboard events for the second straight week, scoring a 262.65 on the 1-meter and a 304.73 on the 3-meter.
Ashley Neidigh, Natasha Lloyd and Aly Tetzloff all had multiple win afternoons as well. Neidigh won the 500 (4:48.36) and 1000 free (9:45.74) while Lloyd swept the breaststroke events for the third time this season, winning the 100 in 1:01.58 and the 200 in 2:14.87. Tetzloff won the 100 fly for the fourth time this year (53.28) and also took top honors in the 100 back (54.61).
The remaining event winners in the women’s races were Jessica Merritt in the 200 free (1:47.73) as part of a 1-2-3 Auburn sweep, Bailey Nero in the 200 fly in 1:59.54 and Erin Falconer in the 200 back in 1:58.74.
“There is something in those girls eyes this year that says ‘Believe’ and they believe in one another and they believe in themselves more than I’ve ever seen them believe,” associate head coach Lauren Hancock said. “They are swimming with a lot of confidence, and that’s not just at the meet. They are swimming with confidence in practice and it’s bleeding over into the meet. What we are doing at these meets is a direct reflection of what we are doing in practice.”
Auburn returns to dual meet action in a week, traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on Tennessee on Friday, Nov. 11. The dual meet, which will be televised on the SEC Network, begins at noon CT.