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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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Aggies earn five first place finishes at SEC Championships

Photo by Paul Burke

The Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team cheer each other on before the meet starts.

Texas A&M junior Shaine Casas earned the Commissioner’s Trophy at the conclusion of the 2021 SEC Championships for the second consecutive year.
The junior helped the men’s team secure a fourth place finish with 843 points as the event concluded on Friday. The women’s team finished in sixth place last weekend with 839 points.
Casas defended his titles in the 200 back (1:36.85) and 200 IM (1:39.26). With his 200 back time, Casas owns the three fastest times in the nation in the event and is the only swimmer to finish under 1:39.0 this season.
Casas also lowered the school records with a third place finish in the 100 fly (44.91), in the 50 back portion of the 200 medley relay (20.61) and in the 200 free portion of the 800 free relay (1:31.28).
In addition to his individual success, Casas was a part of several top-five relay teams. Along with Jace Brown, Andres Puente and Kaloyan Bratanov, Casas earned a fifth place finish in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:06.08.
A&M’s 200 free relay team, consisting of Casas, Bratanov, Tanner Olson and Mark Theall, set the school record with a time of 1:16.37, which earned fourth place at the meet.
Casas, Olson, Brown and Theall combined for a second place finish in the 200 medley relay, setting a new school record in 1:23.28. With a time of 20.61 in the 50 back, Casas secured his place as the ninth fastest time in the history of the event.
The Aggies also lowered the school record in the 800 free relay with a time of 6:11.63, which is the second fastest time in the nation this season and set a pool record at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
A&M’s 400 free relay team, consisting of Bratanov, Theall, Elijah Sohn and Clayton Bobo, finished in fifth place in 2:52.93.
Bratanov also recorded a sixth place finish in the 100 free in 42.98, while Theall finished just outside of the top-10 with a time of 43:19.
In the 200 IM, Bratanov followed Casas’s first place performance with a seventh-place finish in 1:44.29, as Vincent Ribeiro and Brown followed in 1:45.33 and 1:46.33 respectively.
Theall added a pair of top-10 finishes during the meet, finishing second in the 200 free (1:32.48) and sixth in the 500 free (4:15.57).
Puente also had a pair of top-10 finishes, securing fifth in the 200 breast (1:54.51) and sixth in the 100 breast (52.58). Hudson Smith and Jacob Schababerle notched 17th and 18th place in the 200 breast in 1:55.88 and 1:57.17 respectively.
Brown earned points in the 100 fly with his time of 47.21 earning him eighth place, and Olson notched a 14th place finish in the 50 free (19.72).
Junior Ethan Gogulski finished first in the 100 back C final, recording a season-best time of 1:43.32, while Ribeiro and junior Mark Schnippenkoetter finished 12th and 15th in the 400 IM.
Last week, the women’s team competed at their SEC Championships, finishing in sixth place.
Senior Taylor Pike earned a pair of medals, finishing second in the 100 fly (51.71) and third in the 200 fly (1:54.19). Pike’s 100 fly time was a personal best for the senior.
Pike headlined a group of four Aggies in the 200 fly as senior Jing Wen Quah placed sixth (1:55.79), junior Danielle Hepler placed ninth (1:55.79) and freshman Olivia Theall placed 16th (1:59.58).
As part of the 400 medley relay team, Pike, Kara Eisenmann, Alaya Smith and Chloe Stepanek earned seventh place in 3:34.08.
The leadoff for the 200 medley relay, Eisenmann recorded a best-time leadoff 50 back (24.80) to lead the team to a fifth place finish in the event in 1:37.49. The senior also finished eighth in the 200 back (1:54.94) and 12th in the 100 back (53.24), leading Sarah Szlaruk-Traipe, who finished 22nd in 53.85.
Stepanek also earned points for A&M in the 100 free with a time of 48.21, 200 free in 1:43.58 and as part of the 800 free relay. She was also part of the sixth place 400 free relay team.
Quah and senior Camryn Toney added season-best times in the 400 IM with times of 4:08.80 and 4:08.75 respectively, as Toney also placed sixth in the 1,650 free with a new personal record of 16:06.20.
A&M freshmen Desirae Mangaoang and Emme Nelson notched top-20 finishes in the 200 breast, touching the wall at the same time for a season-best 2:11.52.
Kylie Powers added points in the 100 breast with an eighth place finish, while Alaya Smith followed her to lead the B final in 59.76.
The diving teams also had success at the Mizzou Aquatic Center last weekend.
Women’s senior Charlye Campbell earned first place on the 3-meter board, while junior Aimee Wilson placed just behind her in second. Wilson and Campbell also combined for a pair of top-five finishes in the 1-meter, with Wilson taking first and Campbell fourth.
Senior Kurtis Mathews became the second A&M men’s diver to record back-to-back diving titles, as he defended his title in the 3-meter. Mathews also finished second in the 1-meter and 22nd in the platform dive.
Sophomore Tony Stewart recorded a 17th place finish in the platform, also finishing 20th in the 3-meter and 22nd in the 1-meter.
Freshman Kyle Sanchez rounded out a trio of A&M point-scorers in the platform event with a 21st place finish, adding an 18th place finish in the 1-meter and 16th place in the 3-meter.
The women’s diving team added ninth and 14th place finishes from junior Chloe Ceyanes and sophomore Alyssa Clairmont respectively in the 1-meter, 13th and 18th place finishes by Clairmont and Ceyanes in the 3-meter and Clairmont’s seventh place finish in the platform event.
Next up for the Aggies is NCAA competition with the Zone D Diving Championships taking place March 8-10 in Austin, the women’s NCAA Championships being held March 17-20 and the men’s March 24-27 in Greensboro, N.C.

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