Strong Start for AU at SEC Swimming Meet

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn men's team is in first place and the Auburn women are second after Wednesday night's competition at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

Auburn won three of the four swimming events contested on Wednesday night. The schedule moves into high gear on Thursday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center for the competition that runs through Saturday night.

The Auburn men, who are shooting for a 13th consecutive SEC title, have scored 118 points, eight more than Florida.

In the women's competition, Florida is in first place with 116 points and Auburn is in second place with 88.

The AU women's 800 freestyle relay team set a new NCAA and U.S. Open record. Ava Ohlgren, Caitlin Geary, Melissa Marik and Maggie Bird swam a time of 6:54.01 on Wednesday night.

"I think we were really building off the guys' relay," said Ohlgren who had just watched the Auburn men's team come through win a win.

The men's 200 medley relay team of Jared White, Michael Silva, Matt Targett and Jakob Andkjaer won the event in a time of 1:23.69. It was the second fastest in Auburn history behind the 1:23.24 NCAA record time swam last year at the national championship meet by Scott Goodrich, David Maras, Alexei Puninski and Cesar Cielo.

"It was a great start," said Auburn co-head men's coach Brett Hawke who is directing the Tigers with Richard Quick trying to recover from a brain tumor. "It's exactly what we wanted. We came in tonight and showed the nation what we're made of. Mission accomplished for the first day."

The men's team also won the SEC 800 freestyle relay for the first time in eight years as junior Tyler McGill outkicked Florida's Balazs Gercsak in the final leg as the team of Gideon Louw, Pascal Wollach and Will Dove posted a time of 6:18.15.

The Auburn women's 200 medley relay team of Rachel Goh, Micah Lawrence, Alanna Dillette and Ariana Vanderpool-Wallace were second with a time of 1:36.59.

In the one-meter springboard diving competition, Auburn's Kelly Marx and Dan Mazzaferro scored 372.75 points to tie for second place.

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