Men's Swimming Moves Up To Third

Athens, Ga.--Coach <b>David Marsh's</b> Auburn Tigers made a run in Friday's second day of competition at the 2002 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships but still find themselves a distant third behind leaders Texas and Stanford heading into the final day of competition.

With 376 points, the Texas Longhorns hold a narrow margin on first place after day two as the Stanford Cardinal are right on their heels with 361 points.

Auburn stands in third place with 252.5 points and should be able to do no worse than that in the final standings as the Tigers hold nearly a 60-point lead on fourth place Southern California, which has 193 points. Florida stands in fifth place with 190 points and is followed by Minnesota, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia.

The event of the day for the Tigers came in the 200-yard breaststroke. Looking to make up some ground on the leaders and to distance themselves from the middle of the pack, Auburn sent both Patrick Calhoun and Mark Gangloff into the finals. The duo responded with Calhoun finishing second behind Brendan Hansen of Texas with a time of 52.72 and Gangloff had a sixth-place finish with a time of 54.08. The Tigers also had some help in the consolation final as senior Eric van Goethem won the race with a time of 53.98 while freshman Brandt Wilson was right behind him at 54.17.

The night started with the 200-yard medley relay and Auburn improved their qualifying time by a half second from 1:27.02 to 1:26.43 but that was good enough for just sixth place as Stanford set a new pool record with a 1:25.47 to easily defeat the field. Senior Kevin Clements rebounded from his first day struggles to come up with a solid third place finish in the finals of the 400-yard individual medley on Friday night with a time of 3:43.19. Junior James Galloway made the consolation finals and swam to a 13th place finish with a time of 3:49.62.

Auburn placed just one swimmer in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly as junior Andrew Haidinyak qualfied with a time of 47.02 Friday morning. He failed to match that time in the nightcap as he dropped to a 47:18, which was still good enough for a sixth place finish. Sophomore Ian Crocker from Texas won the race with a 45.44 which is an NCAA, American and US Open record time.

The 200-yard freestyle also found just one Tiger in the finals as freshman Wesley Kirkland had a solid fifth place finish with a time of 1:35.82.

The night finished with Auburn coming in fifth place in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:27.48.

Just moments earlier divers Caesar Garcia and Matthew Bricker earned points for the Tigers in the three-meter springboard diving event. Garcia qualfied for the finals but came in eighth place while Bricker finished 15th.

The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships come to a close Saturday with seven events scheduled. The 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breastroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving and 400 freestyle relay are all on tap before the curtain falls on the 2002 season. There are several strong events for the Tigers on day three which should ensure a top-three finish for Coach Marsh and company.

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