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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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A&M swimming and diving continues success in SEC Championships

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The Aggies men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both will look to improve in multiple areas this season.

The Aggie men’s and women’s teams capped off day two of the swimming and diving SEC Championships with more record-breaking swims in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Sophomore Sydney Pickrem broke the record in the 200m IM in 1:53.64, beating the previous record of 1:54.45 set by Julia Wilkinson at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Despite such a fast race, Pickrem finished as the runner-up in the relay.

The next best finish in the 200m IM came from junior Bethany Galat at 1:54.86 in third place, followed by junior Lisa Bratton (1:56.30) in fifth andsophomore Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo (1:56.60) in sixth.

Senior Sarah Gibson won the 500m freestyle in a season’s best time of 4:38.92 and wasn’t the only Aggie in the race.

Other swimmers in the race included senior Sycerika McMahon, who finished in 8th place in 4:46.38, and sophomore Claire Rasmus and freshman Sarah Metzch winning the top two spots in the C final in 4:41.07 and 4:45.16, respectively. Junior Caitlyn Moon rounded out the group by taking 23rd place. All in all, the 500m freestyle relay earned A&M a total of 72 points.

A&M head coach Steve Bultman said he was not only happy with Gibson’s race, but the rest of his team’s performance in the 500m freestyle.

“Sarah swam a good, smart, solid race,” Bultman said to 12thman.com. “She took care of business and raced home at the end. She was well-paced, even splits so that was good to see. We also got some solid points from Sycerika McMahon, and Claire Rasmus and Sara Metzsch had really strong swims in the evening.”

On the one-meter dive, seniors Zoey Alaniz and Madison Hudkins combined with sophomore Alaïs Kalonji, earned 24 points. Hudkins finished in 11th, followed by Alaniz in 20th and Kalonji in 22nd.

After two days of competition, the defending SEC Champion women are still in first place with 488 points followed by Georgia at 410 points and Auburn at 310 points.

For the men, Junior Mauro Castillo Luna broke the 200M IM record twice in one day — his preliminary swim of 1:45.09 and his consolation final win in a time of 1:44.12 were better than the previous record of 1:45.39, set at the 2014 SEC Championships. Castillo owns three records now — the 100m and 200m breastroke and the 200m IM.

Head coach Jay Holmes said Castillo’s determination and resolve earned him those records.

“Mauro actually looked up at the record board earlier this season and said ‘I’d like to have all three of those records,'” Holmes told 12thman.com. “He’s had his heart set on getting the 200 IM record after he got so close last year. It was a great swim and a testament to his heart and hard work.”

With a preliminary swim of 19.04 and a final swim of 19.22 in the 50m free, senior Cory Bolleter broke the previous record held by Kyle Troskot of 19.32, which Troskot set in 2014 at the American Short Course Championships. Bolleter’s final time earned him 4th place.

Following day two, the men have fallen to third place at 324 points behind Auburn (346) and Florida (486.5).
The competition will continue starting tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with the 400m IM preliminaries and will conclude at 6 p.m. with the 200m free finals.

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