ATHENS, Ga. – For the second night in a row the Alabama swimming and diving men broke a Southeastern Conference record on the way to an SEC relay title, while also adding an individual title at the SEC Championships, being held in Gabrielsen Natatorium in this week.
The quartet of junior Zane Waddell, sophomores Sam DiSette and Jack Blake and senior Robert Howard went 1:15.43 to break the former SEC mark held by Auburn. The Tide also shattered the previous school record set in 2015.
“We’re awfully proud to put it all together like that and win another SEC relay title, break another record,” UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. “It was a great way to end a good day for us.”
Howard anchored the winning relay with an 18.10, the fastest relay split in the race by more than half a second.
Howard won the 50 freestyle earlier in the evening with a career-best 18.74, touching the wall two full tenths of a second ahead of the field. Overall, Alabama put seven men in the finals of the 50 freestyle, scoring 112.50 points in that event alone.
“I don’t know that there’s ever been a team to have seven men go under 20 seconds in the 50 freestyle at the same SEC Championship,” Pursley said. “That was really something.”
DiSette took sixth in the 50 freestyle with a career-best 19.38. Waddell won the B Final with a 19.36 to take ninth overall. Blake was 13th with a 19.67 and freshman Jonathan Berneburg was 14th at 19.74. Senior Knox Auerbach won the C Final of the 50 with a career-best 19.71, while sophomore Tyler Sesvold was 22nd after touching the wall with a 19.91.
In other action, junior Kyle Maas took fifth in the B final and 13th overall in the 200 individual medley with a 1:45.66, while senior Christian Arseneau went a career-best 1:45.52 to take third in the C final and 19th overall.
“Those were breakthrough swims for Kyle and Christian,” Pursley said.
Freshman Kensey McMahon took fifth in the B final of the 500 freestyle and 13th overall with a time of 4:41.94 after going a career-best 4:41.64 in prelims. Junior Alexis Preski also scored in the 500, taking second in the C final and 18th overall with a career-best time of 4:41.98.
“The 500 went well for us tonight,” Pursley said. “I’m proud of the adjustments that Alexis made in her race between prelims and finals to drop four seconds tonight.”
Sophomore Flora Molnar was sixth in the B Final of the 50 freestyle after stopping the clock at 22.60, taking 14th overall, while freshman Kalia Antoniou was sixth in the C final and 22nd overall with a 22.54.
Senior Ayanna Woods scored in the women’s 1-meter diving, tallying 243.05 points to take 22nd place.
In the team race, the Tide men are fourth with 331.50 points after day two, while the women are 11th with 181 points.