Swimming and diving falls to A&M

The LSU swimming and diving teams fought hard but were defeated by Texas A&M here Saturday on Senior Day at the LSU Natatorium.

The Lady Tiger women's team entered the meet winners of three straight but lost to the 13th-ranked Aggie women, 168-126. The LSU men were downed by a score of 165-133.

"It was the last dual meet for the men, so now they get a chance to rest and get ready for the championship meets," said head coach Adam Schmitt. "We come into any meet looking to try to win. At some point, you have to step up and get your hand on the wall. Today, we just got out swam by a very good team."

Prior to Saturday's meet, six seniors were honored for their service to the program over the past several seasons, including Hannah Martin, Rachel Taylor, Jenna Molinski, Heather Brand, Matt Coenen and Ryan Ashby.

Following the festivities, A&M opened the meet with a 1-3 finish in the women's 400 medley relay. The Lady Tigers took second with a time of 3:51.81, as did the men in their heat with a clocking of 3:23.54.

LSU picked up its first victory thanks to Julius Gloeckner, who bested the Aggies with a 1:40.05 swim in the 200 free.

Six events later, the freshman was victorious again, this time taking the 200 butterfly (1:52.48). Gloeckner ran away with the event touching the wall nearly four seconds ahead of the competition. He finished off his three-win day with a first-place time in the 400 individual medley (3:57.15).

Kevin Braud was a multi-winner on Saturday as well, sweeping both men's backstroke events. Braud captured the 100 back (50.45) and later won the 200 back (1:49.31).

Miko Malberg won the 50 free in a photo-finish time of 20.52, .08 seconds ahead of A&M's Andrew Sullivant. In the 100 free, the two swapped finishes as Sullivant took first with a mark of 45.91. Malberg was .07 seconds behind at 45.98.

On the women's side, LSU earned a 1-2 finish behind Colleen Bertirotti's winning swim of 51.53 and Katie Gilmore's second-place clocking of 52.55.

Berit Aljand also earned a second-place time on the day, clocking a mark of 2:04.12 in the 200 back.

The final women's event of the day was highlighted by two times that were faster than any other previous Natatorium times in the 200 free relay.

The Aggies set a new pool record by winning the event in 1:34.19. LSU also overtook the old record with a second-place clocking of 1:34.60. The previous record of 1:34.99 was set by LSU two weeks ago against Florida.

"Unfortunately, we lost it but we will get it back," said Schmitt. "With our 'A' lineup in, we will be pretty solid. That is going to be one of our better relays this year. When everything comes together, we will be ready."

In diving, freshman Ryanne Snyder collected her NCAA Zone 1-meter qualifying score with a third-place mark of 265.57. Hali Saucier was victorious again, winning the 1-meter (281.02). Alyson Thomas placed third at 279.74.

Thomas later gathered a win in the 3-meter (299.70), while Saucier took runner-up (298.35).

Due to several injuries, the Aggies did not bring their women's diving team.

"I was proud of the women competing in a situation that presented itself as not really competitive," said diving coach Doug Shaffer. "I have seen the transition I have wanted to see at this point in the season. We have some things we need to work on, but we are in a perfect position going into the SEC Championships."

Nathan Schreiber delivered an impressive performance in the men's 3-meter portion. Schreiber, a freshman from San Antonio, Texas, placed second with a score of 343.57.

Andrew Keane was the Tigers' highest finisher in the 1-meter with a final score of 319.35.

"Andrew Keane and Nathan Schreiber both had their best dual-meet performances I have seen," added Shaffer.

The LSU women's team closes its dual-meet season against Tulane on Friday, Feb. 3. The men return to action with the women, Feb. 15-18, at the SEC Championships in Knoxville, Tenn.

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