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

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

The Battalion

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Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
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A&M swimming in fifth place heading into final day of SEC Championships

Mens+Swimming+and+Diving+vs+SMU
Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel
Men’s Swimming and Diving vs SMU

Heading into the final day of the swimming and diving SEC Championships, the Texas A&M men’s and women’s teams hold fifth and first place respectively, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Aggie women, looking to win back-to-back SEC titles, still hold the lead over the rest of the competition at 961 points. Georgia is in second place at 843 points, followed by Tennessee at 673 points.

A&M head coach Steve Bultman said his team is in a good position heading into day five and will need to swim well in tomorrow’s preliminaries.

“It was another great night,” Bultman said to 12thman.com. “We won three races in the pool and were third on the platform, so the day was definitely a success. The prelims on the last day are so important…The prelims set up the finals so that will be the key to the last day.”

Senior Sarah Gibson earned her third individual SEC-title on day four, winning the 200m butterfly in 1:52.64. Gibson’s time was the second fastest time in school history, behind two-time U.S. Olympian Cammile Adams.

Junior Jorie Caneta won the 100m breastroke in 59.49 and was one of the three Aggies in the race that helped the team score 95 points.

Other swimmers in the race included senior Ashley McGregor (1:00.13) who finished fourth, senior Franko Jonker (1:00.28) taking 6th and senior Sycerika McMahon (1:01.93) who finished 14th in the B final.

Junior Lisa Bratton, Caneta, Gibson and junior Beryl Gastaldello won the 400m medley relay in a season’s-best time of 3:29.81, putting the group at No. 3 on the 400m medley relay in school history.

On the platform dives and for the second-straight year, sophomore Alaïs Kalonjitook third place with a score of 291.25.

For the A&M men, the group broke records across the board — 200m butterfly, 100m breastroke and the 400 medley relay.

Aggie head coach Jay Holmes said he was proud of the effort his team gave and the grow they’ve showed.

“We had some great fight in us tonight,” Holmes told 12thman.com. “We still need to figure out how to be a little better in prelims, but this a typical SEC Championship dogfight and you have to be ready to go. There’s a lot of teams battling and fighting for position and there’s nothing easy here. I’m proud of the way we are progressing and I believe we have even greater things in our future.”

Sophomore Angel Martinez won the 200m fly in 1:43.25, breaking the oldest record in the books — 1:43.98, set in the 2008 NCAA Championships by Israel Duran.

Junior Brock Benetti broke his own school in the 100m backstroke twice — once while placing fifth in the A final in 46.21 and again in the opening leg of the 400m medley relay in 46.07.

Junior Mauro Castillo, while winning the B final in the 100m breastroke, beat his own school record with a time of 52.63. With a 16th place finish in the same race, junior Jonathan Tybur (53.71) now ranks as the second-fastest breastroker in school history.  

The 400m relay team of Bonetti, Castillo and seniors Turker Ayar and Cory Bolleter finished 6th place in 3:07.85, breaking the previous record of 3:08.03, set in the 2009 NCAA Championships.

The maroon and white kept their spot in fifth place on the leaderboard with 549 points, with Florida (929.5) and Georgia (788) still owning the top two spots.

The final day of competition will begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the 200m back preliminaries and conclude at 6 p.m. with the 400m free relay.

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