Senior diver takes SEC title

For the Alabama Swimming and Diving teams, the first day finals of the Southeastern Conference Championship started with an SEC Championship and ended with a pair of NCAA Provisional Qualifying standards at the Gabrielsen Natatorium on the Georgia campus.

Crimson Tide senior Lane Bassham, undefeated off both the one and three-meter board during the regular season, kept that streak alive by winning the one-meter board with a score of 298.25, nearly a point better than second place Allison Brennan of South Carolina.

It is Bassham's second SEC title, she won the three-meter board as a redshirt-sophomore in 2002. Sophomore Crystal Rasmussen also scored in the championship final of the one-meter board, taking eighth with 228.35 points.

After day one, Alabama's women are fifth with 71 points while the men are seventh with 52 points. Auburn leads both the men and women's team race.

Sophomore Kathryn Hallquist posted another career best time to win the consolation final of the 100 backstroke. Hallquist shaved a quarter of a second off her previous best, which she posted during the prelims of this meet, to go 55.28. Rookie Arlene Semeco also posted a career best, posting a 23.18 in the 50 freestyle, taking 13th place in the process.

Sophomore Anna Grant combined with freshmen Melina Bassino, Tara Thielemann and Anna Grant to take fifth in the 800 freestyle with an NCAA provisional qualifying standard time of 7:24.29 to finish off day one.

On the men's side, junior Chris Flamion, freshman Igor Erhartic, sophomore JT Jones and senior James Willcox combined to post an NCAA provisional standard 6:32.86 in the 800 freestyle relay, also finishing fifth.

Sophomore Darren Erasmus bettered his career best time set in the prelims of the 50 freestyle, going 20.34 in the finals, finishing 11th while senior Brendan Ashby took 16th with a time of 20.82. Ashby also scored in the 100 backstroke, taking 12th place with a 49.91. Senior Ben Worby scored in the 400 IM, posting a season best 3:53.06 and finishing 12th.

Off the three-meter board, three Tide divers scored, junior Stewart Smith took 13th with 488.35 points while classmate Aaron Ashworth was 15th and sophomore Alan Harris 16th with 460.05 and 444.95 points respectively.

The championships continue Thursday and run through Saturday.


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