By (Matthew Speakman)

Alabama swimming and diving will traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, where it took on the Gamecocks on Oct. 31 in the teams third meet of the season.

“We want to see our swimmers compete with enthusiasm and mental toughness,” said head coach Dennis Pursley said before the meet. “We don’t want to use our long terms goals as an excuse to not perform well at this time of the year.”

A meet this early in the season can allow each swimmer to improve on their individual events. They can use meets like this one to help them move up in the rankings, and establish a good platform for the rest of the season.

“We have been seeing a lot of improvement,” said sophomore Mia Nonnenberg. “We have a great freshman class, and there is a lot of potential there.”

Team moral can be a large part of winning and losing a race. The members of Alabama’s swimming and diving team focus on being a loud vocal presence whenever they walk into a building.

To accomplish this, the team comes up with chants and cheers to help will their fellow teammates to victory in close races. They try to be the loudest team in the country. Creating a loud environment in a road meet can really have an impact on the entire team’s motivation to swim as hard as they can.

“We are behind each other for every race,” said sophomore Luke Kaliszak. “We are with each other and we are really supportive as well as vocal. We have a real strong presence on the pool deck, and that is going to be a top priority for this meet.”

On the meet, the men swam to a 166-132 victory, while the women captured a 191.5-108.5 win in the meet.

Both teams improve to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in conference matchups after the victories. Alabama won 17 individual events and also swept both relays that took place.

Junior Kristian Gkolomeev earned a victory in the 50 freestyle, racing to a 20.19 finish in the event. Sophomore Will Freeman finished first in the 200 butterfly, while junior Anton Mckee swam to a victory in the 200 breaststroke.

Junior Connor Oslin took home victories in the 100 butterfly, as well as the 100 and 200 backstroke. Oslin joined junior Pavel Romanov, senior Abbas Qali and junior Alex Gray to swim to a first place finish in the 400-medley relay. Senior Crews Wellford, freshman Robert Howard, Gray and Gkolomeev captured a win in the 400 freestyle relay for the men.

On the women’s side, freshman Katie Kelsoe took home two individual wins in the 100 and 200 backstroke races. Senior Emma Saunders also captured two individual victories, taking first in the 100 and 200 freestyle races.

Kesloe combined with sophomores Hannah Musser and Temarie Tomley as well as junior Bridget Blood to win the 400 medley relay. Saunders joined Musser, Tomley and sophomore Lindsay Morrow to bring home a victory in the 400 freestyle relay.

Blood also earned an individual victory, swimming to a first place finish in the 100 breaststroke. Semopr Stephanie Klotz took home the cron in the 200 breastroke, while Musser won the 100 butterfly. Sophomore Mia Nonnenberg won two races, finishing first in the 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley.

Alabama Swimming and Diving will be back in action as they travel to Atlanta, Georgia, for the Georgia Tech Invitational on Nov 19-21.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports