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Swim records fall in SEC Championships

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 00:02

SEC swim photo

Roger Zhang -- THE BATTALION


After a weekend in which she broke SEC, NCAA, American and U.S. Open records, Breeja Larson found satisfaction in improving just one mark: her own personal best.

"It's special, but I kind of see it as ‘I broke my best time' just like Cammile [Adams] and Paige [Miller] broke their best times," the Olympian Larson said. "It is still special, but to me it's kind of like you want to do your best time every time. If it happens to break the record, it's a bonus. Racing is fun and going fast is fun, so this was a fun night for me."

Larson, Adams and more broke records at the A&M Recreation Center and Natatorium as the women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams finished second and seventh, respectively, at the first-ever SEC championship meet in A&M history.

The first place in the men’s team competition went to Florida, which managed to break Auburn’s 16-year winning streak while Georgia won its fourth straight women’s team title. The A&M women were in contention for first place until the last day.

Larson, who also won the SEC Female Swimmer of the Year, led the way for the Aggies with wins in the 400-medley, 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-breaststroke."It's her best by a little bit, but it's the fastest anybody's ever gone so that's outstanding,” said head coach Steve Bultman of Larson’s record-setting 100-yard breaststroke final. “I think the fact that she and [Auburn sophomore Molly Hannis] had tied in the prelims definitely got them both fired up. I think that helped push her to the record."

Larson and Georgia’s Annie Zhu broke the SEC meet record in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching the wall with times of 2:05.71 and 2:05.99, respectively, each breaking the previous record.

Adams also secured wins for the Aggies in the 200-yard butterfly, and along with Larson, Miller and Liliana Ibanez-Lopez won the 400-medley relay. Ibanez also won the consolation final in the 100-freestyle while Miller won the 100-backstroke.

In the men’s competition, John Dalton led the way for the Aggies, breaking the 100-freestyle record twice. Diver Ford McLiney finished joint second in the platform diving event and put himself in the third spot in the team’s all-time Top Ten.

"We rely on him for so many things," A&M head coach Jay Holmes said of Dalton. "He's in the water more than anyone else. We expect a lot out of him, and I expect him to keep getting better. He broke the 100-free record today and he already has the 50-free record. He hasn't broken the 200-free record, but I really believe he will."

Holmes said he was disappointed in his team’s finish.

"I think my guys raced really well," Holmes said. "We had some really good swims in there. I'm disappointed in the team finish, but there are several events that we're going to have to get a whole lot better in and those key events cost us. We've historically gotten better as the season goes on and we're continuing to do that."

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