Texas A&M Finishes on Top at Art Adamson Invite
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 11 Texas A&M men’s swimming & diving team finished first overall to close out the Art Adamson Invitational Friday inside the Rec Center Natatorium. The Aggies pulled together 1,114 points throughout all three days and saw multiple NCAA A-cut times and two new school records.
Starting the last day of finals, Ethan Goguski led six Aggies with top-10 finishes in the 200 back, swimming a time of 1:40.07. The top finishers also include Baylor Nelson (1:41.17), Thomas Shomper (1:42.21), Anze Fers Erzen (1:43.20), Tyler Hulet (1:44.05) and Kaloyan Levterov (1:43.61).
The Maroon & White tallied three top-eight finishes in the 100 free with swims from Connor Foote (42.86), Collin Fuchs (43.24) and Kaloyan Bratanov (43.29).
Sweeping the breaststroke events throughout invite, Alex Sanchez set a new program and pool record with his NCAA A-cut time of 1:51.09. Andres Puente followed shortly behind with the second-fastest swim in school history, putting up an NCAA A-cut time of 1:51.14.
Leading the Aggies in the 200 fly, Fers Erzen placed third with a time of 1:44.59.
To cap off the invite meet, the 400 free relay team of Foote, Bratanov, Fuchs and Nelson earned a second-place finish as they swam an NCAA A-cut time of 2:50.20.
The Aggies return to the pool on Jan. 4 as they travel to compete against Auburn in a dual meet.
Post Meet Quotes
Head coach Jay Holmes on closing out strong …
What a great meet for this team, I’m really proud of them. We really appreciate all these teams coming here to make this an exciting environment and a very competitive meet. It was fun seeing our guys compete the way they did. We really feel like this day could be our strongest day. We asked our guys to come in this morning and prove us right, and they did.
On the 200 backstroke …
The 200 backstroke is a big event for us, we’ve been counting on that all year long. Ethan [Gogulski] was very aggressive in the morning, going under 1:40. That was probably one of the best swims of the day just because he got it done in the morning. At night, we had five guys in the final. That group trains together a lot and seeing them compete like that was fun.
On the 100 free …
We had three guys in the top eight of the 100 free. I think that’s the first time Collin [Fuchs] has ever beat [Kaloyan Bratanov] head-up in the 100 free, he’s going to have to live with that until they race again. Connor Foote just keeps continuing to impress us. He is nowhere near where he is going to be later, he hasn’t completely adapted to college swimming yet. We really think he is going to be a very elite swimmer. We just saw bits and pieces of him at this meet, but for him to continue earning a spot in championship finals and compete the way he did is impressive.
On the 200 breast and Alex Sanchez setting a pool record …
Alex Sanchez had never beat Andres [Puente] head-up until he did it in the 100 breast yesterday, and then he did it again today in the 200 breast. Alex Sanchez is now our pool record holder, breaking the record set by the current men’s head coach at Georgia, Neil Versfeld, when he competed here for NCAAs. Alex was just pretty amazing this week and now he’s our school record holder and pool record holder, and those pool records are very fast. Seeing him celebrate, having that much fun afterward, and seeing our team celebrate with him was a lot of fun.
On the 200 fly …
The 200 fly was a tough event, you could tell everyone in the field was just running out of gas. Clayton [Conklin] and Jace [Brown] just took off and went, knowing they were going to fade anyway. That can be a painful way to swim it, but they know that’s what they have to do. Anze Fers Erzen, even though he’s not a 200 flyer, continues to step up there and it’s pretty impressive.
On the 400 free relay …
We came close to setting the school record on the 400 freestyle relay, didn’t quite get it, but that was a really good swim for those guys. It’s not any fun to get second in it, Alabama did a really good job putting their relay together. We made it interesting at the end, Baylor [Nelson’s] anchor leg was pretty smoking fast, but it gives us things to shoot for later on.
On the Art Adamson Invitational …
Looking around the swimming world, everyone knows about the Art Adamson meet, which is part of the reason we call it the Art Adamson Invite. We want people to remember Coach Adamson. You hear people saying ‘what’s going on at Adamson’ and that’s pretty cool that they know this is always our invite meet and there is always some good swimming happening. It’s a great tribute to Coach Adamson.
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