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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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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Going for gold

More program records are shattered and gold medals are collected in Day 4 of SEC Championships
Photo by Chris Swann/The Battalion
Senior swimmer Charlotte Longbottom surfaces during the Women’s 200 LC Meter IM at the 2023 Art Adamson Invitational at the Texas A&M Natatorium on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

With SEC Championships chugging along, the Texas A&M men’s and women’s swimming and diving team have gotten better with each day, and, arguably, Day 4 has been its best day yet.

If beating the program record in the 50-yard freestyle wasn’t enough, sophomore Connor Foote etched his name once again in the 100-yard butterfly. After placing third in prelims, Foote retained his spot, claiming bronze in 44.76 seconds.

“Connor Foote had our swim of the day, breaking Shaine [Casas’] school record and getting on the podium,” coach Jay Holmes said.

Fellow sophomore Baylor Nelson reigns as the best in the individual medley for a second-straight year, winning gold in the 400-yard individual medley after sweeping the 200-yard event just a day ago. He dropped 3 seconds from his prelims time to garner a career-best 3:38.05.

After missing out on finals for women’s 3-meter diving, sophomore Joslyn Oakley more than made up for it, scoring first in 1-meter with 325.65.

Besides scoring gold, more Aggies scored vital points throughout finals.

Just a year ago, sophomore Giulia Goerigk made her name known as a freshman, claiming bronze in the 400y individual medley. This year around, she continued the noise with a repeat of last year, winning bronze again in the event with a time of 4:06.79.

Freshman Miranda Grana followed her teammate’s footsteps as she clocked a team-best 51.32 in the 100y butterfly to win third place.

Senior Chloe Stepanek continued her SEC dominance, winning bronze in the 200-yard freestyle with a season-best 1:42.41.

Seniors Jordan Buechler and Abby Grottle scored critical points for the Maroon and White with career-bests in the 200y free, going for 1:44.79 and 1:46.35, respectively.

Junior Joelle Reddin and senior Abigail Ahrens also went career-bests in the 400y individual medley to bring up the score, with times of 4:16.18 and 4:13.66, respectively.

The No. 11 women’s team sits at fifth place so far, while the No. 8 men’s team holds fourth place.

Heading into the final stretch of championships, tomorrow will feature 200-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 400-yard medley relay and men’s platform final.

In Feb. 21’s action, the Maroon and White saw their breakthrough of the day, starting with the 500-yard freestyle.

Florida transfer sophomore Hayden Miller scored much-needed points, racking up a fifth-place finish as well as getting a new career-best with a time of 4:39.16.

The women’s team kept up the momentum heading into the 50-yard freestyle. Coming off a career-best time of 22.06 and a third-place finish in prelims, senior Chloe Stepanek secured a top-five finish in finals with 22.12

Though the No. 8 A&M men’s swimming and diving team slipped a spot, the Aggies saw broken program records and a 1-2 finish to headline the day.

Starting off the bat with the 200y freestyle relay, sophomores Connor Foote and Baylor Nelson with seniors Carter Nelson and Collin Fuchs combined for a fifth-place finish and secured an A-cut time with 1:16.59.

After winning the 200-yard individual medley a year ago, Nelson came into finals seeded third and with his event on the line, he delivered.

He successfully defended his title as the fastest swimmer in the 200y individual medley with a time of 1:41.72 and right behind him was senior Alex Sanchez with 1:42.55, marking another 1-2 finish for the Aggies.

Though he didn’t win the event, Foote set a new program record in the 50y freestyle, blazing through the event in 18.97 seconds as well as winning the B-final.

Wrapping up the day, the men’s diving team returned to action with 3-meter diving. Though senior Victor Povzner defended his title as the best in 1-meter diving just a day ago, he was unable to repeat his winning efforts, finishing fourth with a score of 412.40.

However, junior Allen Bottego stole the show for the Aggies, grabbing bronze and improved his score by more than 30 to dive into a new career-high of 421.05.

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About the Contributor
Justin Chen
Justin Chen, Sports Writer
Justin Chen is a journalism senior minoring in sport management and communication. Justin has covered football, men's basketball, volleyball, baseball and swim & dive. Justin also writes feature NBA pieces and covered the Miami Heat for Sir Charles In Charge. When not writing, he likes to frequent the gym, support Arsenal and watch anime.
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