ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama swimming and diving broke a pair of school records on day three of the Southeastern Conference Championships being held at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., this week.
Robert Howard closed out the night with a school-record 1:32.76 in the 200 freestyle, finishing just off the podium in fourth place. The senior became the first UA swimmer under 1:33.00 in the 200 freestyle on the way to his first individual school record.
It’s been a very good week for the Alexander City native, who has posted four top-four finishes, with three SEC titles, including the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle and medley relays. Both relay titles came in SEC-record time, with the freestyle relay also getting under the school record.
After standing untouched for 33 years, the men’s 400 individual medley record fell not once, but twice on Thursday. Junior Kyle Maas broke Peter Berndt’s 1986 mark by two seconds in prelims with a career-best 3:45.29. In finals, freshman Nicholas Perera won the B final of the event with a 3:43.64, shaving another 1.65 off the school record. Perera finished ninth overall while Maas finished 16th in finals with a 3:48.96.
All three of the Tide’s divers scored in the men’s 3-meter springboard event, with freshman Kevin Li leading the charge with a 10th-place finish with 357.50 points. Senior Robby Costine was 17th with 330.25 points and freshman Hunter Jaynes was 24thwith 289.45 points.
Seniors Knox Auerbach and Laurent Bams finished 13th and 15th, respectively, in the 100 butterfly after clocking times of 46.60 and 47.01.
On the women’s side of the meet, junior Alexis Preski took 16th in the women’s 400 individual medley with a 4:15.12, after earning her spot in the B final with a time of 4:11.94 in prelims.
Sophomore Flora Molnar won the C final of the 100 butterfly, taking 17th overall with a 52.44. Freshman Rhyan White clocked a career-best 53.28 to take 22nd overall. Sophomore Leonie Kullmann went 1:46.15 in the C final of the 200 freestyle to take 20th.
In the team race, the Tide men are fifth with 441.50 points after day three, just a half point out of fourth, while the women are 11th with 209 points.