By (Matthew Speakman)

Alabama swimming and diving traveled to Atlanta, Ga. to participate in the Georiga Tech Invitational against multiple teams. Alabama is currently 2-1 on the year as well as 1-1 in their conference. Two other Southeastern Confernece teams (South Carolina and Arkansas) will be competing in the meet.

“We have not reached perfection in any thing yet,” said head coach Dennis Pursley. “Some things we have made a lot of progress in and we want to continue to do well.”

The meet, hosted by Georgia Tech swimming and diving, will take place over the course of three days, and started on Nov. 19. On the first day, Mia Nonnenberg broke a 30-year-old school record in the 500 freestyle.

Alabama sophomore swimmer Mia Nonnenberg set the school record in the 500 free style race after swimming to a time of 4:43.98 in day one of the Georgia Tech Invitational. She broke Laurence Bensimon’s record that stood for 30 years. This is Nonnenberg’s third school record after breaking the records for the 200 and 400 individual medley in her freshman year.

The Tide picked up wins in both the men’s and women’s 400 medley relays. Sophomore Luke Kaliszak combidned with juniors Anton Mckee and Connor Oslin as well freshman Robert Howard to capture a victory with a time of 3:10.59. The women saw senior Emma Saunders and junior Bridget Blood combine with sophomores Hannah Musser and Temaire Tomley to win with a time of 3:35.80.

Mckee also captured an individual win on the first day, racing to a time of 4:17.46 in the 500 freestyle. Sophomore Christopher Reid also had an individual win after posting a career-best time (1:46.04) in the 200 inidividual medley.

Sophomore Paige Matherson finished seventh in the 500 freestyle in the women’s side, but posted a career-best time of 4:51.54. Saunders also captured a career best in the 200 individual medley, finishing third with a time of 1:59.59. That performance was enough to put her at fifth all-time for Alabama.

Senior Justine Panian (23.26) along with freshman Morgan Fleming (23.39) and Musser all finished top 10 in the 50 freestyle race. On the men’s side, Kaliszak finished second in the 50 freestyle at 19.87 and Howard finished eighth at 20.56

Kaliszak, Howard, freshman Knox Auerbach and senior Crews Wellford combined to take finish second in the 200 freestyle relay, touching the wall at 1:20.45. For the women, Sophomore Temarie Tomley, Felming, Musser and Panian finished third in the 200 freestyle relay at 1:31.04.

Swimmers will compete in many different events spanning across the next two days days. The length of the meet provides the swimmers with added rest going into each meet.

“You are able to focus on the races more,” said junior swimmer Connor Oslin. “You can give it your all and everything you got throughout the whole entire three days.”

Alabama is coming off of a win in their last meet against South Carolina. That was the team’s first win against a conference opponent. This week they will be able to square off against South Carolina, as well as Arkansas to see how strong they are against their own conference. They wil also get the opportunity to face an ACC opponent in Georgia Tech.

This meet falls at a point midway through their season. This invitational will give the swimmers an opportunity to see where they are at midway through their season and give them something to build off of for the back half of their meets.

“We want to be good ambassadors for the university and for the sport of swimming in the way that we compete in a sportsmanship sense,” Pursley said. “We want to be the most spirited team in the competition and we want to be the toughest competitors.”

Away meets like this one provide an opportunity for many of the swimmer’s families to come out and support their swimmer that is competing. For Oslin, a Georgia native, this meet provides him a stage to show out in front of many of his family members and supporters. It also gives him a chance to show out in front of some coaches who did not recruit him.

“It will be nice to go in and show them a mistake they made with not recruiting me,” said Oslin. “With a big meet like this I will be able to put on a better showing, because it will be better competition,spread out over more days.”

This invitational is Alabama’s chance to keep their momentum building off of their last win. The break in between the two meets allows them to get well rested and attack this invitational with another solid performance. Alabama has the chance to be in a good position midway through their season.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports