KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Alabama swimming and diving men’s team took the homestanding Tennessee Volunteers down to the wire Friday morning, before falling 156-144 in Knoxville. The Crimson Tide women fell to the Lady Vols by a score of 206-94.
The Alabama men won six individual races and opened and closed the meet with relay wins, while the women’s team swept the distance events, totaled four individual wins and posted top-three finishes in 10 events. The UA men are now 2-2 on the season and 1-1 in Southeastern Conference competition, while the women go to 1-2 overall, 0-2 in the SEC. Tennessee’s men and women both go to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC.
“We were a little slow getting started on the men’s side today outside of the 200 medley relay and dug ourselves a hole early that proved to be too deep to dig out of,” UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. “On the upside, I was real pleased with the way they came back at the end and tried to pull the meet out – they didn’t quit on it.”
Already the fastest 50 freestyler in the nation this year, senior Robert Howard posted a season-best 19.65 to pick up the win in that event. He also won the 200 freestyle with a season-best 1:36.80. Fellow senior Laurent Bams won both the 100 breaststroke (54.04) and 100 freestyle (43.88) for the second meet in a row to remain perfect in SEC competition in those events this season.
Junior Zane Waddell once again won the 100 butterfly (47.53), while freshman Nicholas Perera (1:50.81) closed out the individual races with a win in the 200 individual medley.
Waddell, Bams, senior Knox Auerbach and Howard opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay with a 1:26.86. Howard anchored the relay with his third consecutive sub-19 second 50 freestyle split. Waddell, Sam DiSette, Auerbach and Howard used a 2:55.85 to win the closing 400 freestyle relay.
On the women’s side of the meet, freshman Kensey McMahon won both the 1,000 and 500 freestyles, while classmate Rhyan White won the 200 backstroke and senior Justine Macfarlane won the 100 breaststroke. McMahon’s 9:56.07 in the 1,000 is a season-best mark and ranks the rookie fifth all-time at Alabama in the event.
“Kensey took control of both her races from the very start and never left any doubt,” Pursley said. “She swam aggressively from start to finish and really looked good today.”
The Crimson Tide returns to action Nov. 15-17 at the Georgia Tech Invite in Atlanta.