By (James Ogletree)

The Alabama women’s swimming and diving team began the 2017 SEC Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee with a school record on Tuesday, and the men’s team tacked on a runner-up finish in a relay.

The women’s 200 medley relay, composed of seniors Caroline Korst and Bridget Blood along with juniors Hannah Musser and Bailey Scott, finished in 1:37.02- good enough for fifth place. It also set a school record and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Dennis Pursley said three of the four participants achieved personal bests on their respective splits in the relay.

On the other side of the 200 medley relay, the men’s team of seniors Connor Oslin and Pavel Romanov, junior Luke Kaliszak and freshman Zane Waddell took second place with a time of 1:23.52. Their time earned them second place, only .08 seconds behind Florida, and another automatic NCAA bid.

“We got a little bit of a taste of what we did to Cal last year at the NCAA Championships, getting touched out on the last stroke for the relay like that,” Pursley said. “I can tell you it is a lot more fun on the other end. Zane had a great anchor leg, probably our best leg of the race, but he swam against a guy who is one of just two in the history of NCAA swimming under 18 seconds.”

Senior Alex Gray, juniors Matthew Adams and Christopher Reid and sophomore Robert Howard took fifth place in the men’s 800 freestyle, coming in at 6:22.41.

The women’s 800 freestyle relay team, made up of juniors Mia Nonnenberg and Temarie Tomley and freshmen Cameron Brown and Line Bruun, clocked in at 7:11.24, leading to an 11th-place finish.

“We probably could have and should have been faster on the 800 relays, but hopefully that puts a fire in belly coming back tomorrow,” Pursley said.

Senior Brent Sagert took 14th place in the 3-meter springboard with a score of 310.85 points. Senior Kara Fredlock scored 19th place in the women’s 3-meter springboard at 282.05 points, with sophomore Ayanna Woods not far behind in 24th (273.20).

At the conclusion of day one, the Alabama men’s team ranked seventh with 119 points, and the women’s team stands in ninth with 87 points.

Alabama will begin day two at the SEC Championships at 9 a.m. CT Wednesday morning with the with the preliminary rounds of the men’s and women’s 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and women’s 1-meter spring board.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports