BATON ROUGE, La.- The Texas A&M men’s swimming and diving team fell to No. 19-ranked Louisiana State, 186-114, in dual meet action on Saturday at the LSU Natatorium.
The Tigers started fast with victories in the first four races of the day and the Aggies weren’t able to turn the tide. The LSU victory stopped the Aggies’ streak of 10 consecutive wins over the Tigers’ swimmers and divers.
“I thought LSU swam the best they have all year, especially early in the meet,” Aggie head coach Jay Holmes said. “We lost the first four races of the day, and we had a hard time climbing out of that hole.”
The Aggies won five races on the day, including a pair by breaststroker Alejandro Jacobo and the 200-yard freestyle relay for the second straight week.
Jacobo swept the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes, taking the 100 breast in a season-best 55.21 and the 200 breast in 2:03.92. Jacobo also swam a hot 24.97 breaststroke split, the fastest of the day, on the Aggies’ second-place 200-yard medley relay.
“Alejandro just keeps winning his events,” Holmes said. “He’s in a really good place right now. He’s swam fast all year no matter what we do to him in practice. He keeps finding ways to get it done.”
The Aggies also received a strong effort from sophomore Israel Duran, who came to the aid of A&M’s injury-depleted distance crew by placing third in the 1,000-yard freestyle in his first competitive 1,000 at A&M. Duran then went on to win his specialty in the 200 butterfly (1:48.42) and place second in the 100 fly (49.97).
“It probably wasn’t fair to Israel to ask him to swim the 1,000, but he said he could do it and he really helped us out,” Holmes said. “Then he came through with another comeback victory in the 200 fly. His last 35 yards in the 200 were impressive.”
For the second straight week, senior Ozzie Gardner emerged victorious in the 100 freestyle in a time of 45.57 and was second in the 50 free (20.82).
“Ozzie is really swimming with a lot of desire and purpose,” Holmes said. “It’s his last year and he wants to swim fast and do well.”
Holmes also singled out sophomore Jason Bergstrom’s third-place finish in the 100 backstroke (season-best 50.87), senior Ryan Latone’s third-place effort in the 500 free (season-best 4:35.56) and senior Luke Chambless’ fourth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke (season-best 2:05.91).