MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A mainstay of the University of Alabama’s relays through his first two years, junior Robert Howard made the first individual championship final of his career at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday night, taking seventh place in the 50 freestyle in a time of 19.09.

Alabama is in 12th place in the team standings after Thursday’s events with 38. It opened the night with a 10th-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. Howard, sophomore Zane Waddell and seniors Braxton Young and Christopher Reid combined to post a season-best 1:16.35, less than a quarter of a second off the school record.

The Crimson Tide’s 400 medley relay finished 11th overall after a 40.82 final leg by Howard, pacing the Tide to a season-best 3:05.20. The relay team included senior Luke Kaliszak with the backstroke leg, followed by junior Laurent Bams on the breaststroke and Waddell on the butterfly leg.