COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Alabama swimming and diving came away from day four of the Southeastern Conference Championships being held on the Texas A&M campus this week with a pair of top-three finishes in the men’s 100 backstroke and one of the league’s top academic honors.
Senior Luke Kaliszak and sophomore Zane Waddell made it to the podium, going second and third in the men’s 100 backstroke, after touching the wall at 45.68 and 45.83, respectively. It was a career-best time for Waddell and ranks him third all-time at Alabama.
Between the individual swims and the relays, Kaliszak was honored at the SEC Male Swimming Scholar-Athlete of the Year following a vote of the league’s coaches. Kaliszak, an NCAA champion and 10 time All-American, carries a 3.9 grade point average as a pre-med major. It marks the third year in a row an Alabama swimmer has earned the honor after back-to-back honors by 2017 senior Connor Oslin.
Junior Justine Macfarlane used a career-best 59.70 to take fifth in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Junior Emma Murray took eighth in the C final and 24th overall in the 100 breaststroke after posting a 1:01.77 in prelims.
Junior Laurent Bams took eighth in the men’s 100 breaststroke after posting a 52.83 in prelims.
The men’s 400 medley relay of Kaliszak, Bams, Waddell and junior Robert Howard took sixth with a 3:07.37. The women’s 400 medley quartet of junior Katie Kelsoe, Macfarlane along with freshmen Flora Molnar and Leonie Kullmann were ninth with a time of 3:37.82.
Freshman Alina Faunce took fifth in the B final and 13th overall in the women’s 200 butterfly with a career-best 1:57.98. Senior Paige Matherson also scored in the 200 butterfly, taking seventh in the C final and 23rd overall after going a career-best 1:58.66 in prelims. Faunce’s time ranks her third all-time at Alabama, while Matherson’s mark ranks her seventh all-time.
Junior Robby Costine took 14th with 302.95 points and senior David Morton took 24th with 228.90 points in the men’s platform.
Senior Will Freeman took fourth in the C final of the 200 butterfly and 20th overall after posting a 1:45.47. Junior Katie Kelsoe took third in the C final and 19th overall in the women’s 100 backstroke, matching her career-best time of 53.74.
Sunday marks the final day of the SEC championships, with prelims getting started at 10 a.m. CT and finals starting at6 p.m. Day-five events include the men’s and women’s 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke as well as the women’s platform diving event.