Men, Women Split Swim Meet Vs. FSU

The Alabama swimming and diving teams closed out their 2010-11 home slate Saturday with a down to the wire performance on Senior Day against Florida State in front of a packed Alabama Aquatic Center.

The Alabama men extended their season-long win streak to 7-0 with a 157.5-141.5 victory over the Florida State Seminoles while the Crimson Tide women fell just short, 157-143, to go to 0-7 on the year.

"The men just keep rolling along," Bama Coach Eric McIlquham said. "We're continuing to get strong swims as we move through the year and we're looking to keep that going into the championship season. On the women's side we were just a little short again this week. We had some great performances to get the meet down to the last relay but we just didn't have the depth to finish it off."

After honoring its 16-member senior class in a pre-meet ceremony, Alabama came fast off the blocks, winning both opening relays.

"Our seniors have spent four years in this pool, training, working hard, sweating and pushing," McIlquham said. "To be able to send them off with a great meet against tough competition was a great thing. That said, this team, seniors included, have a lot left to do."

Seniors Alan Axford and Daniel Armstrong combined with freshmen Alex Coci and BJ Hornikel to post a 1:31.54 to win the 200 medley relay. Freshmen Lauren Piper, Alex Popa and Kristel Vourna joined with senior Kelsie Ludolph finished more than two seconds ahead of the field with a 1:44.01 in the women's 200 medley relay.

Senior Catalin Cosma won a tough race in the mile, touching the wall at 15:35.82 just ahead of FSU's Tyler Sell, before coming back later in the meet to win the 500 freestyle with a 4:32.88. Junior Joe Ziegler won the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke, touching at 1:39.51 and 1:48.37 respectively. The Tallahassee, Fla., native has won those two events in every dual meet this season.

Hornikel remains undefeated in the 100 freestyle after touching with a 44.92, more than half a second ahead of the field. Sophomore Anestis Arampatzis won the 200 butterfly with a 1:48.36 and was second to teammate Coci in the 100 butterfly. Coci posted a 48.69 to win the 100 fly.

Alabama's men closed out the meet and the Seminoles with a 3:01.85, 400 freestyle victory by Coci, sophomore Brandon Lowe, Hornikel and Ziegler.

On the women's side, Vourna led the way for the Tide with a trio of individual titles to go with her win as part of the 200 medley relay. She took top honors in the 50 freestyle with a 23.32, the 100 freestyle at 51.08 and the 100 butterfly with a 54.53.

Junior Suzanne Schwee won the 200 butterfly handily with a 2:02.96 while freshman Paige McCleary took first off the 1-meter board, scoring 273.53 points. Piper and senior Kate Shannon Gray went one-two in the 200 IM with Piper touching at 2:04.87 to take first place.

Also on hand were more than 70 Alabama swimming and diving alumni, including past NCAA Champions Jonty Skinner, who also served as the Tide's head coaching in the early 90s, Glen Mills and Wayne Chester as well as five-time Olympic medalist Jon Olsen. The impromptu reunion was held to honor long-time Alabama mentor Don Gambril, who is in his final year as an instructor at the University.

Alabama finishes off its regular season next Saturday in Columbia, S.C. against South Carolina and Georgia.

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