COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M junior Simon Frank shattered his own school record in the 400-yard IM to help push the Aggie men into fourth place at the Southeastern Conference Swimming & Diving Championships on Thursday at the Student Recreation Natatorium.
The No. 17 Aggies stand fourth with 426.5 points, and trail No. 5 Florida (748), No. 6 Auburn (630.5) and No. 11 Georgia (549). Rounding out the standings were No. 12 Tennessee (421), LSU (353.5), Missouri (344), South Carolina (314.), Alabama (270) and Kentucky (247).
“It was a good day for us because of how we raced,” Aggie head coach Jay Holmes said. “We knew if we were going to make a move on Tennessee, it would be today and we did. We had guys moving up all over the place from where they were seeded. Event by event, we scored more points in all three of those races than we were seeded. I’m very happy with the way we competed.”
Frank, from Stockholm, Sweden, took more than a second off his previous record with a time of 3:46.70 while placing third in the 400 IM “B” final. Also swimming well for the Aggies in the race was sophomore Hayden Duplechain, from A&M Consolidated in College Station, Texas, who moved to No. 3 on A&M’s top 10 list in the race while placing third in the “C” final with a time of 3:49.55.
“That was really a tough swim by Simon,” Holmes said. “Last year that was for sure a time that would get him to the NCAA meet. He broke the 200 IM record yesterday and then he broke the 400 IM record today. It was a lot of fun for us as a team to see him slugging it out.
“Hayden dropped a lot of time to get to where he was in the finals, and then to drop two more seconds was phenomenal. He’s the third person in school history to go under 3:50. It was a really, really good swim for him and it’s been fun to see him develop.”
Also turning in a strong swim was junior Henrik Lindau, from Karlskrona, Sweden, who took fourth in the Championship final of the 100 butterfly with a time of 46.50. Coming into the SEC Championships, Lindau ranked No. 10 in school history but he jumped all the way to No. 2 on the list with Thursday’s swim.
“After his morning swim, Coach (Douglas) Boyd told him to ‘go for it’ and he did,” Holmes said. “For the first 80 to 85 yards, he was winning. He got a little tired and fell back a little bit, but he improved his time from this morning and we think that will get picked up for NCAAs. In a lot of ways, this was Henrik’s ‘coming out’ and it was fun to see.”
Senior John Dalton became the second fastest 200 freestyler in school history while winning the consolation final in a time of 1:35.24. The Aggies scored big points in the “B” final with the Aggies taking first, third, fifth and sixth in the race. Junior Paul-Marc Schweitzer was third in 1:35.95, senior John Wagner was fifth in 1:36.71 and sophomore Luke Shaw was sixth in 1:37.31.
“John Dalton led the race from wire to wire and kind of dared those guys to catch him,” Holmes said. “We had four guys in the ‘B” heat and scored a whole lot of points in that event.