Winning its eight title overall and sixth in the last seven years, Auburn did so for coach Richard Quick who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor earlier in the year. Taking over for Quick, former Auburn standout swimmer Brett Hawke did a great job in helping guide the Tigers to the title. He said Tuesday was the culmination of a great season for the team.
"It's a great day for us," Hawke said. "We feel really privileged to be here. With all of the difficulties we've gone through with coach Quick, basically what he's gone through, we're glad that we can represent him in such a special way and also the university."
Team members pose with Coach Richard Quick (in the vehicle with his wife June). Quick is underdoing treatment for a brain tumor and turned coaching duties over to Brett Hawke and the rest of the AU staff in December.
The Tigers, who were in second place entering the final day of competition in College Station, Tex., scored 526 points to outdistance second-place Texas. Auburn accumulated 54 All-America honors by 17 athletes, while breaking three NCAA and 11 school records. The Tigers won four relay events while Kohlton Norys won the 100 backstroke title. Hawke said thinking back on that day he's not sure they could have done it all over again.
"It's just a phenomenal achievement," Hawke said. "If we had sat back and thought about it in the lead up to this championship we probably would have swum very tight and not achieved what we wanted to. We went in there loose and put all the pressure on the other teams. It brought out the best in us thinking about what Richard was going through."
Standout Matt Targett talks about the title in front of the crowd.
One of the most decorated swimmers in Auburn's history and a big reason for another title, Targett said his time at Auburn has been very special with yet another national title.
"What's important are the four words that really sum up this place and my experience here," Targett said. "Those are tradition, spirit, family and history. I want to thank everybody for being a part of that. It's amazing standing up here with a national championship."
Auburn rolled the trees outside Jordan-Hare Stadium because of construction going on at Toomer's Corner.