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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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Just keep winning

Aggies launch come-from-behind win over LSU Tigers
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Aggie swimmer competes in the Men 100 Butterfly during Texas A&M’s meet against Tennessee on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 at Rec Center Natatorium (Katelynn Ivy/The Battalion)

Coming off a win against TCU on Saturday, Jan. 13, the No. 6 Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team repeated its winning efforts, this time in Baton Rouge. Despite LSU’s early lead, the Aggies rebounded and won 182-118. 

Sophomore Baylor Nelson took over the meet and won his individual events starting in the 200-yard freestyle. With a time of 1:34.68, the former top recruit of 2022 took down the 200y freestyle pool record. He also stamped his name in A&M history in the 500-yard freestyle after finishing 4:19.06, the third-fastest time in program history.

“We took Baylor [Nelson] out of the 200 back and put him into the 500 free,” coach Jay Holmes said. “When we asked him how fast he could go if we moved him to the 500 he called his shot and said he would go under 4:20, and he did just that for the win. He did just about everything today … He has developed in himself an incredible knack of doing what it takes to win. It is a pleasure watching him do it time after time.”

Nelson wrapped up his last individual event, nabbing first in the 200-yard individual medley with 1:45.49. Shortly after, he was joined by four other Aggies in the event. Freshman Logan Brown claimed second with 1:47.52, sophomore Max Vega Cuevas finished third with 1:48.40 and junior Munzy Kabbara rounded out a fourth place finish with 1:48.52.

Bringing out the brooms and joining Nelson in sweeping individual events was senior Thomas Shomper, as he finished first in all the backstroke events. The Austin native went 47.38 in the 100-yard backstroke and 1:44.98 in the 200-yard backstroke.

“Putting Baylor in the 500 was only feasible because we were confident Thomas Shomper would still win the 200 back,” Holmes said. “If Tommy hadn’t already proven himself it would not have made sense to move Baylor, but Tommy did his job today winning both backstroke events.”

After finishing second in the 200y individual medley, Brown secured a win in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing at 1:56.14.

Diving belonged to the Maroon and White as juniors Allen Bottego and Rhett Hensley went 1-2 in 3-meter diving, with scores of 370.85 and 368.03 respectively. After winning SEC diver of the week, senior Victor Povzner won 1-meter diving with a score of 369.98. 

Sophomore Connor Foote and junior Clayton Conklin punched in a 1-2 finish in the 100-yard butterfly, with 47.00 and 47.36 respectively. 

Though Nelson and Shomper headlined for the Aggies, the Maroon and White made their mark throughout the day. A&M started off the day with a second place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Led by Foote, junior Seth Reno, senior Alex Sanchez and Shomper, they touched the wall at 1:26.56.

The Aggies saw their first 2-3 finish, starting in the 100-yard breaststroke as Brown and Sanchez finished with 54.04 and 54.41. Foote and senior Collin Fuchs rounded out the final 2-3 finish for A&M in the 50-yard freestyle, with times of 20.28 and 20.30 respectively.

Multiple Aggies scored points in the 200-yard butterfly. Conklin grabbed second with 1:46.51, Cuevas finished third with 1:46.68, freshman Roberto Bonilla Flores scored fourth with 1:47.15 and Kabbara nailed fifth with 1:50.21.

A&M finished the day with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, composed of Fuchs, Foote, Reno and Nelson, touching the wall at 2:54.92.

Next up, the Aggies will come back and defend home pool against SMU on Friday, Feb. 2.

“We are not sharp yet, and January is like that,” Holmes said. “But February is coming at everyone fast.  We still have a lot to get done, but for today we are again thankful to get the win.”

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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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