AUBURN – Alabama’s Zane Waddell came into this week’s Southeastern Conference Championships in Auburn as the fastest 50 backstroker in the nation and the only swimmer under 21 seconds in the event during the regular season. In his first race of the week, the senior led off Alabama’s 200 medley relay with a 20.33, putting him more than a half second ahead of his nearest competitor.
A bad final turn dropped the quartet of Waddell, Liam Bell, Tyler Sesvold and Jonathan Berneburg into fourth place with a 1:24.65.
Rhyan White, who was ranked fifth in the 50 backstroke nationally coming into these championships, posted a career-best 23.81, shaving more than a tenth of her previous best, to lead off the women’s 200 medley relay. White, Kaila Wong, Flora Molnar and Allie Surrency took fifth place with a time of 1:36.71, just two-tenths of a second off the school record set in November.
The Tide bettered its school record in the women’s 800 freestyle relay for the second time this season when sophomore Morgan Scott, senior Alexis Preski, sophomore Kensey McMahon and junior Lydia Jackson, shaved nearly half a second off the standard set in November with a 7:08.26, good for seventh place on the night.
Wednesday marks the first full day of events.