A&M's Larson Shatters NCAA, American Record
Larson and Tennessee sophomore Molly Hannis both broke the SEC meet record in the morning session with identical 58.22 clockings. Properly motivated by the challenge, Larson separated from Hannis after the first 50 yards on her way to a time of 57.43, while Hannis came in second in 58.24. Larson's time broke her own SEC, NCAA, American and U.S. Open record of 57.53 set at the Phill Hansel Inviational at the University of Houston last November.
"It's special, but I kind of see it as ‘I broke my best time' just like Cammile (Adams) and Paige (Miller) broke their best times," Larson said. "It is still special, but to me it's kind of like you want to do your best time every time. If it happens to break the record, it's a bonus. Racing is fun and going fast is fun, so this was a fun night for me."
Added Aggie head coach Steve Bultman, "It's her best by a little bit, but it's the fastest anybody's ever gone so that's outstanding. I think the fact that she and Molly had tied in the prelims definitely got them both fired up. I think that helped push her to the record."
While Larson's record-setting effort was the highlight of the day at the SEC Championships, it was the entire Aggie squad that was making noise on Friday evening at the Rec. The Aggies won every race in the pool and took second in the platform dive as they moved into second place with 985 points and pulled within 73 points of front-running Georgia (1,058 points).
The Aggies opened the meet with a dominant performance in the 200-yard butterfly with Aggie Olympian Cammile Adams taking first in SEC meet record fashion in 1:52.48 and teammate Caroline McElhany right behind in 1:53.24. Senior Jordan King chipped in a sixth place finish in 1:57.53 as the Aggies scored a whopping 84 points in the event.
Junior Paige Miller kept the Aggies on the winning track with her victory in the 100 backstroke. She touched the wall in 51.62, which extended her personal winning 100 back winning streak at conference meets to three - two in the Big 12 and one in the SEC. It was also the eighth straight year that the Aggies have won the 100 back at conference - four by Julia Wilkinson, three by Miller and one by Lindsey King.
One of biggest surprises of the day was a dazzing performance by sophomore Jessica Macaulay in the platform dive. Macaulay went toe-to-toe with defending SEC Champion Tori Lamp before settling for a runner-up finish with a career best 328.20 point total. Lamp took her second straight SEC crown with a SEC meet record score of 341.90. Macaulay became the second diver in A&M history to break the 300-point barrier in the platform dive, joining school record holder Janie Potvin (375.0 at last year's Big 12 Championships).
The Aggies closed out the meet with an electric performance in the 400 medley relay. The foursome of Miller, Larson, McElhany and sophomore Lili Ibanez outclassed the field on the way to a SEC meet record time of 3:28.93. A&M finished nearly two and a half seconds faster than runner-up Georgia (3:31.34). The Aggies also took a half-second off the school record set at last year's NCAA meet by Miller, Larson, McElhany and Kim Pavlin (3:29.42).
SEC Day 4 Wrapup
By Chandler Smith
College Station, Texas - The Texas A&M women, after setting three SEC records and one U.S. Open record, are biting at the heels of first-place Georgia as the Florida men maintain a healthy first-place lead in day four of the SEC Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Natatorium.
The Aggies, though still trailing in team points to Georgia at the conclusion of the evening's finals, owned the day on the women's side after producing three of four SEC record-breaking performances. Tennessee would round out the SEC record-breaking frenzy by clinching its own SEC record in women's platform diving.
Led by junior and Olympic gold-medalist Breeja Larson, Texas A&M made its share of noise upon winning four of five women's events and sweeping all swimming events. Larson's time of 57.43 in the women's 100-yard breaststroke shattered her own US Open and NCAA record time of 57.53 in addition to breaking the SEC meet record.
Texas A&M juniors Camille Adams and Carol McElhany would finish first and second, respectively, after posting times of 1:52.48 and 1:53.24 in the women's 200-yard butterfly. Adams' time broke the SEC meet record of 1:52.53 previously held by Jemma Lowe of Florida. Junior Paige Miller would be the final individual event winner for the Aggies after her 51.62 finish in the women's 100-yard backstroke.
Adams, Miller and Larson would join Lilian Ibanez-Lopez in the women's 400-yard medley relay for the final event of the evening's finals. The Aggie relay team would break Texas A&M's final SEC record of the day with a finishing time of 3:28.93, a record previously held by Tennessee.
Tennessee diver Victoria Lamp won her second consecutive platform diving title while also breaking the SEC record for women's platform diving with a point total of 341.90. Lamp would beat out Texas A&M's Jesse Macaulay and Georgia's Laura Ryan who posted scores of 328.20 and 319.95, respectively.
The Florida men, after a momentous Thursday finals performance, opened Friday's finals by concluding the 200-yard butterfly with the top three times. Junior Marcin Cieslak and Sebastien Rousseau would both make NCAA "A" cuts with times of 1:42.17 and 1:42.18, respectively.
Auburn would win two men's events, the 100-yard backstroke and the 400-yard medley relay. Senior Kyle Owens would finish with the only NCAA "A" cut of the event with a time of 45.60. The Tigers' relay team of Owens, Stuart Ferguson, Marcelo Chierighini and Arthur Mendes would then edge Florida with a time of 3:05.92 to the Gators' 3:07.80.
Georgia sophomore Nic Fink claimed first in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing with the sole NCAA "A" cut with a time of 52.34.