Tigers Extend Lead at SEC Swim Meet

The men's team extended its lead at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships while the women's team made a move.

Tuscaloosa, Ala.--The Auburn men's team extended its lead on day two of the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships while the Auburn women's team moved into second place on Thursday.

The men's team has 322 points with two days of competition left as it goes for its 12th straight SEC title. Florida is in second with 233 points.

"We feel good about where we are right now," says Auburn head coach Richard Quick. "Tomorrow morning's preliminaries will be critical to our success and how the meet works out. On paper, tomorrow should be our best day, but we have got to step up tomorrow and win the preliminaries."

(left to right) Cesar Cielo, Alexei Puninski, Scott Goodrich and Steve Scheren celebrate their victory in the 200 freestyle relay.

The AU women's team has scored 230 points and trails Florida, which has 272. The women's team moved up from its day one finish of sixth place.

One of the highlights on Thursday for Auburn was a win for Kelly Marx in the one-meter springboard men's competition. He scored 352.20 to win his first conference title.

"That was a great win for Kelly," said AU diving coach Jeff Shaffer. "When you minimize your mistakes, you maximize your opportunity and you will be successful and that is really how that contest played out."

Cesar Cielo, the 2007 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, won the SEC 50 meters race for a third straight year with a time of 18.91, breaking his own SEC record of 19.02.

Cielo also swam the opening leg Auburn's winning 200 free relay team. Every member of the team swam a split in less than 20 seconds as the Tigers finished with a time of 1:16.92 to take the win.

The women's team took a one-two finish in the 200 individual medley as 2007 champ Ava Ohlgren (1:54.97) edged Emily Kukors (1:55.14).

Sophomore Maggie Bird swam a 4:40.72 to finish second in the 500 freestyle. It was the second fastest time in AU history.

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