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Seniors Lead Sweep of North Texas

February 01, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas --The Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team ended its regular season Saturday with a 153-97 victory over North Texas at the A&M Recreation Natatorium. The Aggies finish the season unbeaten with a final record of 8-0-1 as they prepare to move on to the Southeastern Conference Championships.

The squad of seven seniors who swam their final meet at A&M made the most of it taking 6 individual wins and contributing to both relays victories. Overall the women’s squad won 14 of 14 events, sweeping 1-2-3 in 11 events.

“It was just a solid performance from a great group of seniors,” head coach Steve Bultman said following the meet. “I wish this group wasn’t seniors, but they really took us to the next level with national and international competition.“

Setting the tempo early, the Aggies opened the meet with an explosive sweep of the 400 medley relay. Coming in first was the foursome of sophomore Claire Brandt, freshman Sycerika McMahon, senior Caroline McElhany, and sophomore Meredith Oliver in a time of 3:43.89. Closing out the regular season on the 200 free relay, the squad of senior Breeja Larson, junior Kelli Benjamin, junior Liliana Ibañez, and senior Allyson Sweeney hit the wall in 1:34.88.

The senior class, which made a huge impact on the season, did the same today. Sweeping the breaststroke events, conference, national champion, and Olympian, Larson finished the 100 breast in 59.61 and the 200 breast in 2:10.11.  School record holder in the 100 back, Paige Miller took first in the event in 54.53. Melanie McClure won the 200 back easily in a time of 2:02.03. Erica Dittmer, a 2012 Olympian for Mexico made short work of the 50 free hitting the wall in 22.94. Fellow Olympian, as well as conference and national champion Cammile Adams swept the butterfly events as she managed 1:57.03 in the 200 fly and 54.60 in the 100 fly.

Tallying more first place finishes for the Aggies was junior Sarah Henry in the 1650 free (16:35.95) and 500 free (4:49.06).  Benjamin won the 200 free (1:49.09) and junior Ibañez came in first in the 100 free in (50.32). McMahon grabbed first in the 200 IM in 2:03.05.

“We are excited to move on,” Bultman added about the SEC meet. “We’ve got a lot of girls already qualified for NCAAs so we feel good heading into the conference championship.”

The team will have two weeks to rest and prepare for the SEC Championships, which will be held in Athens, Ga. from February 18-22. The Aggies finished runner-up in the SEC last season when they hosted the championship meet. 

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