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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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Women’s swimming and diving gigs TCU

Sophomore+Chloe+Stepanek+took+the+500+Yard+Freestyle+for+the+Aggies+by+13+seconds.
Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore Chloe Stepanek took the 500 Yard Freestyle for the Aggies by 13 seconds.

After falling to Texas on Oct. 15, the Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team came out on top Friday with a clean sweep of firsts in all events and top-three finishes in five of those.

On Nov. 5, the No. 21 Aggies flattened the Horned Frogs 181-108 when they hosted Texas Christian University at the Rec Center Natatorium. The maroon and white swept the board, taking first place in all 16 events and first through third in the 200-yard medley relay, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard freestyle and 1-meter dive. 

The three 200-yard medley teams swept the podium, with freshman Kaitlyn Owens, junior Andrea Perttula, sophomore Olivia Theall and sophomore Chloe Stepanek taking first place and finishing with a time of 1:40.98. 

Sophomore Abby Grottle started the meet with two early first-place medals in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 200-freestyle with times of 10:02.58 and 11:50.46, respectively. Senior Mollie Wright followed with a second place behind Grottle in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 1:50.46. 

“I am very happy with my performance today,” Grottle said. “I didn’t have any expectations coming into this meet timewise. I was just focused on sticking my hand on the wall first for my team.” 

The maroon and white took the 100-yard backstroke, with Stepanek taking first place with a time of 55.49, followed by sophomore Sarah Szklaruk and freshman Meredith Brown with times of 56.42 and 56.61, respectively. Stepanek also took first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:54.92.

A&M women’s swim and diving coach Steve Bultman said he was impressed with Perttula, who did not compete in her normal events but still dominated. She placed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:02.59 and was followed by senior Kylie Powers and sophomore Bobbi Kennett with times of 1:03.27 and 1:04.09, respectively. 

“Andrea Perttula had some really good swims,” Bultman said. “100[-yard] breast was a season-best by a substantial amount. 

“We let them choose some different events if they wanted, and she did the 100[-yard] fly and she swam in the exhibition heat and ended up with a best time for her by a good second-and-a-half, and she had a good relay lead off as well.”

Senior Aimee Wilson, who was named SEC Diver of the Week for the sixth time in her career on Oct. 12, took first in the 1-meter dive with a score of 363.08. Wilson was followed by senior Chloe Ceyanes, 332.55, and junior Alyssa Clairman, 304.2, who took second and third. 

“Right now, our team is at a great point,” Wilson said. “We’re very supportive of each other; we have a really happy environment and culture. If we keep that going through the season, we should continue to perform the way we are and show everybody that Texas A&M is a strong force.” 

Recently named the Texas A&M Whataburger October Athlete of the Month, Wilson, a Canada native, also took first on the springboards in the 3-meter dive with a score of 328.28. 

“The atmosphere was awesome today,” Wilson said. “My parents are actually in the stands. It’s their first time visiting me in college in all four years, so having them cheering me on really made the whole meet for me today.”

Bultman said it was nice to have former swimmers in town for the Aggie All-American Alumni Weekend, and noted the team will now shift focus toward its next meet in two weeks. 

“Our next meet is our invitational, which is really our biggest meet of the fall,” Bultman said. “That’s the one that we’re kind of pointing for. We’re excited to see how that’s gonna go.”

The Art Adamson Invitational will take place Friday, Nov. 16, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Rec Center Natatorium in College Station.

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