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Crimson Tide Swimming and Diving...

on Sunday, November 20, 2016

Crimson Tide Swimming:


Alabama started the final night of the Georgia Tech Invitational with an individual win and another school record and closed with another relay win and the men's team title at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the Yellow Jackets' campus.

Alabama's men battled Florida down to the wire, both in team points and in the final relay. Freshman Zane Waddell led the Crimson Tide's 400 freestyle relay off with a 43.05 before turning it over to seniors Alex Gray and sophomores Robert Howard and Laurent Bams. 

Florida's Caleb Dressel, the defending NCAA 100 freestyle champion and a member of United States' Olympic gold medal-winning 400-meter freestyle relay, gave the Gators a .07 lead going into the final leg. Bams ate that margin up over the first 50 and hung on to give UA a 2:51.06-2:51.10 win over Florida.

The relay also pushed Alabama's men ahead of the Gators to give them a 1,269-1,252 win. Host Georgia Tech took third. On the women's side, Alabama took third with 909.5 points, just 13 behind second place Florida. Auburn was first with 1,142 points.

"We were jumping out of our skin on that final relay,"
UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. "Considering the weekend we've had on both the men's and women's side, that race, the way it came down and the grit we showed in getting our hand on the wall first, was icing on the cake. It was a good, good meet for us."

Junior Mia Nonnenberg, who set two school records at this meet a year ago, set another on Saturday, shattering the school 1,650 freestyle record with a time of 16:04.70, which put her four seconds ahead of the field and eight seconds better than the previous UA mark.

One race later, sophomore Katie Coughlin outraced the field in the 200 backstroke, winning by just under a second with a career-best 1:55.16, which ranks her second all-time at Alabama.

Alabama's men went 1-2 in the 200 backstroke with senior Connor Oslin touching the wall with a 1:41.64, just ahead of junior Christopher Reid.

Florida's Dressel won the 100 freestyle, but Alabama went 2-3-4-6-7-10, led by Waddell's 43.15. The sprint phenom went a career-best 42.97 in prelims, making him one of five men UA history to go under 43 seconds in the 100.

In the men's 200 breaststroke, seniors Anton McKee and Pavel Romanov took third and fifth, respectively, with McKee leading the way with a 1:56.44. Junior Taylor Charles was fifth in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:46.19.

Junior Temarie Tomley took fifth in the women's 100 freestyle with a time of 49.52. Senior Bridget Blood was fourth in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:13.01. Tomley also led off Alabama's third-place 400 freestyle relay, combining with junior Bailey Scott, who bettered her own 50 freestyle school record earlier in the week, sophomore Morgan Fleming and junior Hannah Musser to stop the clock at 3:18.98, just off the school record.

The meet marks the final swimming and diving competition of the fall semester. The Tide divers have one more meet in 2016, the Auburn Diving Invite Dec. 17-19.

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