Tigers Claim SEC Title with Historic Women’s 200 Free Relay
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
For the second straight night, Auburn wasted no time at the SEC Championships. The women’s 200 freestyle relay team fed off the electric environment at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center in Auburn and won gold in the first event of the night Wednesday.
It was a historic performance from the Tigers as the foursome of Julie Meynen, Claire Fisch, AJ Kutsch and Robyn Clevenger set the SEC record and the school record with a time of 1:25.41. In fact, it was the second-fastest women’s 200 freestyle relay time ever in collegiate history.
“This is our race,” Fisch said. “We practice this every day. This is our house, so it means that much more.”
“I could not have done it without these girls,” added Kutsch, the only non-senior in the group. “They mean the world to me, and this being their last SECs and being able to be a part of that – it’s an indescribable feeling. I am so grateful for them.”
“They broke the SEC record by more than a second and posted the second fastest time in the history of our sport,” Auburn head coach Gary Taylor said. “What more can you say? Congrats to them. Major kudos to our coaches Duncan Sherrard and Gideon Louw on their work with those women in getting them confident and ready to go. They were fantastic tonight.”
Meynen made the podium a second time later in the night finishing third in the women’s 50 freestyle with a lifetime-best 21.54. Fisch also swam a lifetime best at 21.60 to finish fourth, and Kutsch, who qualified for the A Final, took seventh place in the conference.
Through the first two nights, the Auburn women are third overall with 352 points.
It was another solid performance from the men who capped the night with a second-place finish from sophomore Conner Pruitt in the 1-meter diving competition. With 301 total points, the Tigers are currently sitting in seventh place with three nights of competition remaining.
“I’m proud of our efforts today,” Taylor said. “We’re still learning and growing. There are things we can work on, but there was a lot that you can build off heading into the next three days. This is going to be a war of attrition, and every day is going to be tough. You’ve got to be ready to go in the morning. I think this team is very capable of putting in three more days like we had today.”