Men's swimming team enjoys strong start in day one of SEC ChampionshipsBy Zach Fidel | 02/17/2016 9:53am
The swimming teams will travel to Missouri to compete in the SEC Championships. CW | Layton Dudley
The Alabama men’s swimming and diving team wants to finish in the top three in the SEC championship and its off to a fast start in Missouri. On Tuesday night, the Crimson Tide were on the podium for one relay finish, and finished in the top-five in one of the diving events.
Juniors Pavel Romanov, Connor Oslin and Kristian Gkolomeev teamed up with senior Brett Walsh to win third place in the men’s 200 medley relay. Coach Dennis Pursley had mixed emotions over the relay's outcome.
“That was a little bittersweet,” Pursley said of the relay. “On the one hand, we were only about four-tenths off the school record which is a very good swim, but we were six-hundredths of a second out of first. You look at the race and you can see a 1,000 and one ways to make that up that six-hundredths. But they made it to the podium with one of the fastest times in the nation this year, so it was a good start.”
Fellow junior Brent Sagert had the best finish of his career in SEC championships to take fifth place off the 3-meter springboard.
“Brent’s performance was something we were half expecting, half hoping to see," Pursley said.“If you train long enough with [diving coach] Pat [Greenwell], you’re going to get better, you’re going to progress, so it was great to have a diver in the finals and see Brent compete like that.”
Unlike the men, the women’s swimming and diving team did not have anyone finish in the top five. Four swimmers combined to take 10th place in the 800 freestyle relay, and junior Taylor Zablocki took 11th place in the women’s 1-meter diving event.
After day one of the 2016 SEC championships, the men are in fifth place and the women are in 11th place. The Crimson Tide is back in action on Wednesday with the first full day of individual events.
“We're going to go back in the team meeting this evening and look at where we can get better going into tomorrow,” Pursley said. “It was a solid start, but you want to find those fireworks in the championship competition and I think we can find more in that respect.”