SEATTLE --- Texas A&M earned its record 17th straight top 25 finish by placing 13th at the 2012 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships on Saturday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.
Led by junior John Dalton's six All-American finishes, the Aggies scored 97 points and trailed California, Texas, Stanford, Arizona, Michigan, Auburn, USC, Florida, Louisville, Indiana, Georgia and Ohio State in the team standings. The Aggies have finished in the top 25 at NCAAs every season since 1996, which is a record for all sports at Texas A&M. A&M has finished in the top 15 at NCAAs the past five seasons.
Highlighting A&M's final day in Federal Way was the Aggies' eight place finish to close out the meet in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Undeterred by not being invited to the meet, the relay foursome of sophomore Kyle Troskot, senior Boris Loncaric, junior John Wagner and Dalton surprised the field by qualifying for the Championship final with a time of 2:53.85 in the prelims. In the evening finals, the Aggies sped to a time of 2:55.42.
Dalton added more points with a third-place finish in the consolation 100 free (11th place overall) with a time of 43.15.
All 10 members of the Aggies' NCAA team earned at least one All-America honor with Dalton leading the way with four relay and two individual citations. Loncaric earned five with four in relays and one individual award. Also garnering All-America mention were senior John Ariens (2), senior Amini Fonua (3), sophomore Hayden Jones (1), senior Grant Nel (2), sophomore Paul-Marc Schweitzer (1), freshman Luke Shaw (1), Troskot (3) and Wagner (2).
Another highlight for the Aggies was scoring in all five relays, which they did for just the second time in school history. Only the 2001 Aggies that placed 10th at the NCAA Championships in College Station had done it previously. The 2012 Aggies also matched their highest finish ever in the 800 free relay by placing 11th to match the 2001 squad's relay.
The Aggies set one school record at the 2012 Championships with Dalton taking down Ozzie Gardner's four-year old record in the 50-yard freestyle. Dalton sped to a time of 19.44 to eclipse Gardner's 19.49 that was set at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
2012 Aggie All-Americans
John Ariens (2), John Dalton (6), Amini Fonua (3), Hayden Jones (1), Boris Loncaric (5), Grant Nel (2), Paul-Marc Schweitzer (1), Luke Shaw (1), Kyle Troskot (3) and John Wagner (2)
14th in the 50 free (school record)
11th in the 100 free
14th in the 100 fly
5th in the 1m
16th in the 3m
15th in the 1m
200 medley relay
(John Ariens, Amini Fonua, Boris Loncaric, Kyle Troskot)
400 medley relay
(John Ariens, Amini Fonua, Boris Loncaric, John Dalton)
200 free relay
(Kyle Troskot, John Dalton, Amini Fonua, Boris Loncaric)
400 free relay
(Kyle Troskot, Boris Loncaric, John Wagner, John Dalton)
800 free relay
(John Dalton, Paul-Marc Schweitzer, John Wagner, Luke Shaw)
Aggies Earn 17th Straight Top 25 Finish at NCAAs
March 25, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)