Arizona, a team with better short-distance swimmers, raced out to a 10-point lead over the Tigers after the first day with 161 points.
Emily Kukors swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 individual medley on Thursday night. She finished third in the race.
Finishing the day four points ahead of host-school Georgia, which will likely be the Tigers' main competition in day three on Saturday, head coach David Marsh said he's pleased with where he teams stands.
"It was a very good day," he noted.
The Tigers got most of their individual points on the day in the 500 freestyle and 200 individual medley. In the 500 freestyle Hayley Peirsol finished second, Adrienne Binder finished fourth and Chelsea Haser came in seventh. In the 200 IM Emily Kukors, Julie Stupp Lauren Duerk came in third, seventh and ninth, respectively.
"Chelsea Haser was really the spark for us today qualifying in the finals of the 500 freestyle," Marsh said. "We are very proud of our IM competitors."
The 200 free relay with swimmers Kara Denby, Jana Kolukanova, Jeri Moss and Kukos, and the 400 medley relay with Rachel Goe, Duerk, Tawnie Bethune and Kulukanova also scored points for the Tigers.
Women's co-head coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker and Marsh (right) check their stopwatches during a race in Athens.
"We did what we needed to on the relays," Marsh noted. "We knew coming in what we wouldn't be blowing anyone out of the water on relays, but we have to fight hard to maintain high finishes and with a third (200 free) and fifth place (400 medley) finish."
Marsh said before the event that the second day, which starts at 10 a.m. CT on Friday, would be the most important. If the Auburn swimmers can hold their ground on Friday, they should be in good position to with their fourth title in five years, with many of their best events coming on the final day.