Sept. 12, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In the first collegiate dual meet of the season, the Alabama men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each cruised to victory over Delta State University. The women swept the Statesmen by a score of 216-79, while the men picked up the victory, 199-98.
“This meet allowed us to gauge where we are early in the season, get a look at our freshmen and just get a baseline for the season,” UA head coach Dennis Pursley said. “Even though this meet is a week earlier than last year, we’re much farther along than we were when we traveled to Delta State to open the season last season.”
The Crimson Tide started the meet strong, picking up victories in the 400 medley relays. Senior All-Americans Kaylin Burchell and Kristel Vourna, along with junior Emma Saunders and sophomore Bailey Scott swam to victory on the women’s side. For the men, NCAA champion 50 freestyle champion Kristian Gkolomeev, sophomores Pavel Romanov and Connor Oslin, and junior Brett Walsh combined for the win.
On the women’s side of the action, four women swept their respective events. Burchell swept the breaststroke events, Saunders swept the backstroke events, and sophomore Leah Bird swept the butterfly events. Vourna also had a win in her first individual race of the year, touching the wall first in the 50 freestyle. Sophomore Bonnie Macdonald won both the 1,000 and 500 freestyles.
Sophomore Emily Zapinski started her second seasons with Tide strong, winning the 200 freestyle, respectively. Freshman Temarie Tomley, began her college career with a bang as she picked up a victory in the 100 freestyle while fellow rookie Mia Nonnenberg won the 200 individual medley to give the Tide a sweep in the individual events.
Individually for the men, Romanov swept the breaststroke events. Junior Abbas Qali touched the wall first in the 100 butterfly for his first collegiate win, while sophomore Taylor Charles picked wins in the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Junior Travis Kerner won the 1,000 freestyle while classmate Brian Westlake won the 500 freestyle.
Gkolomeev won his lone individual event of the day as he swam to victory in the 50 freestyle. All-American Connor Oslin won the 100 backstroke. Freshman Will Freeman had a strong collegiate debut winning his first event, the 200 freestyle.
In the diving events, sophomores Dakota Toner and Brent Sagert swept their respective events in the competition. Toner posted scores of 254.48 off the platform and 241.28 off the one-meter board, while Sagert had a score of 318.68 off the platform and 281.03 off the one-meter board.
The Tide closed the meet in the same fashion as they began it, winning each of the 400 freestyle relay races to round out the competition. For the men, Gkolomeev, Walsh, sophomore Alex Gray, and senior Clark Garner combined to finish in front. On the women’s side of the meet, Saunders, Justine Panian, Bailey Scott and Tomley combined to finish first.
Alabama returns to action on October 10 against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Ga.