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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Tight competition

The Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team closed the first day of the NCAA National Championship meet in 10th place with 27 points Thursday at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
The day one action was highlighted by a third place finish from senior diver Eric Sehn on the 1-meter springboard with a personal best and A&M school record score of 420.7, which was 40 points more than his previous six-dive best.
However, Sehn’s six-dive effort was one tenth of a point underneath Purdue freshman and 2008 Olympian David Boudia’s 420.8.
“This is what the NCAAs is all about, it’s gonna be tight competition,” Sehn said. “This is what we trained for, and I can’t be upset with that kind of score.”
Freshman divers Cam McLean and Grant Nel competed in the preliminaries in the morning. Nel finished 18th overall with a score of 325.25. McLean finished 11th in the morning, qualifying for the consolation final in which he claimed an eighth place finish. All three divers will compete again on Friday in the 3-meter springboard event.
“There are two more events for us,” Sehn said. “We’re all ready to show the results of our training and we’re hoping tomorrow will be the same kind of outcome as today.”
In the pool, the Aggies swam in two relay events and one individual in the preliminary session, the 400-yard medley relay, the 200-yard freestyle relay, and the 50-yard freestyle.
The combination of sophomore Balazs Makany, junior Casey Strange, senior Brad Raiford and junior Jason Bergstrom secured a spot in the evening consolation final of the 200 freestyle relay with a preliminary season-best time of 1:18.58. The foursome claimed a 15th place spot later in the evening, gaining four points for the Aggies.
Head Coach Jay Holmes said the team felt as if they could have done better in the relay.
“The 200 relay this morning was our season best time, but we think we’re better than that,” Holmes said.
Strange, who raced in the preliminary session of the 50-yard freestyle, was the only Aggie to compete in an individual event. His time of 19.67 was his second best of the season and earned him a 27th place finish, his personal best NCAA finish.
The Aggies then turned out a new team record in the preliminary heat of the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:08.03. The relay of Bergstrom, junior Nathan Lavery, sophomore Boris Loncaric, and Makany erased the previous mark by more than two seconds and sealed an 11th place finish in the consolation final.
“To hop up and do that this morning, that was fun,” Holmes said. “Those guys did such a great job for us, that was a lot of fun.”
The national meet will resume with the second session of preliminary events at noon Friday. A&M will compete in the 200-yard medley relay and four individual events.
“Tomorrow morning, we’re gonna keep clawing, biting, and scratching to get points,” Holmes said. “We’re hoping to get some great swims in tomorrow.”

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