Alabama Swimming and Diving breaks three school records on day two of 2017 SEC ChampionshipsBy James Ogletree | 02/17/2017 1:28am
Three Alabama swimming and diving records fell on the second day of the 2017 SEC Championships, and the Crimson Tide also recorded three top-three finishes.
"We have some momentum building after today," UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. "We were a little better this morning than last night and we definitely picked it up with our best session so far tonight."
Freshman Zane Waddell posted a career-low 19.17 in the finals of the men's 50 freestyle, good for second place overall. His time was the second fastest in Crimson Tide history in the men’s 50 freestyle.
"Zane swam an extraordinary 50 to move up to second in a very fast race," Pursley said.
Sophomore Robert Howard won the B final in the men’s 50 freestyle with a career-best 19.52, sixth-best in Alabama history. Sophomore Laurent Bams (19.63), junior Luke Kaliszak (19.65) and senior Alex Gray (19.94) also placed in the race, earning 11th, 13th and 20th, respectively.
Junior Bailey Scott, who redshirted last season with a shoulder injury, broke her own school record twice in the women’s 50 freestyle, posting a 22.21 in prelims followed by a 21.84 in the finals, leading to a third-place finish.
"Bailey has really overcome a lot, coming off a rough year, so to be able to come in here and break the 22-second barrier, it was good to see," Pursley said.
Waddell, Kaliszak, Howard and Bams earned third place in the men’s 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:16.40. Waddell led off with a 19.26, the third-fastest time of his career.
Senior Anton McKee broke the school record for the 200 individual medley in prelims with a 1:44.47, and broke it again in finals with a 1:44.45 to take sixth place. McKee is the first Alabama swimmer under 1:45 in the 200 individual medley, having broken Riley Boulden’s 2010 record of 1:45.54.
Junior Mia Nonnenberg nearly broke her own school record in the prelims of the women’s 500 freestyle, and then did in the finals, finishing with a 4:43.20 to take third in the B final and 11th overall.
After two days of competition, Alabama's men are in fifth place with 287 points while the women are in 10th place with 187 points.
"We need to get more people involved as we go along," Pursley said. "Hopefully those that swam well today will keep getting better and the rest will be inspired. The spirit was high tonight and people are excited and anxious to contribute."