Alabama Swimming Opens Home Season

The Alabama swimming and diving teams open their home season Saturday at noon against Emory and Tulane in the Don Gambril Pool at the Alabama Aquatic Center.

"We got off to a pretty good start down in Tallahassee a couple of weeks ago," Alabama Coach Eric McIlquham said. "We had some great performances to get things, started including several that rank in the top-25 nationally. Now we have a chance to keep moving forward, but this time we'll be at home in front of friends and family."

The meet is also the Tide's third annual "Power of Pink" event which helps raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer and is sponsored by Tuscaloosa Toyota.

"In addition to being our home opener, Saturday is also our Power of Pink event, which is a great way for our guys and girls to give back to the community and support a tremendous cause," McIlquham said.

In the Tide's opener against Florida State and South Carolina, sophomore Alex Coci won all three of his individual events, turning in times in the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 200 IM that rank in the top-10 nationally. For his efforts, Coci was named the Southeastern Conference Swimmer of the Week.

In Tallahassee sophomore BJ Hornikel continued his undefeated dual meet streak in the 100 freestyle while senior Joe Ziegler opened his final season with a win in the 200 backstroke. Junior Reese Shirey also pulled in a winning effort in the 200 backstroke.

Rookie Kaylin Burchell was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after opening her UA career with a pair of wins in the breaststroke events with times that ranked her in the top-25 nationally. She also turned in the meet's top breaststroke split in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore Lauren Piper also picked up a win in the Tide's opening weekend, taking first in the 100 backstroke.

There will be several giveaways in conjunction with Saturday's meet, including Power of Pink t-shirt to the first 100 fans through the doors. Throughout the meet, fans will have an opportunity to win hats, Tervis tumblers, headbands and umbrellas. One lucky fan will win an iPad through a raffle.

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