Aggie Men’s Swimming & Diving collects five medals on day two of the SEC Championships
Sophomore Shaine Casas and junior Kurtis Mathews added more gold to the Aggies’ collection as the Texas A&M men’s swimming & diving team compiled five medals on the second day of the 2020 SEC Championships Wednesday at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center on the Auburn campus.
The men’s team extended its lead, boasting a score of 438, with Florida 43 points behind in second with 395 points.
Mathews became the first Aggie to sweep the springboard events at the SEC Championships. The last time both springboard events were won by the same individual was in 2013. His score of 436.50 shattered the school record that dated back to 2011, set by Grant Nel (426.00). Freshman Victor Povzner also supplied 22 points for the Maroon & White as he placed eighth with a score of 328.10.
Casas set a school record and pool record in the 200 IM, clocking in at 1:39.91. Replacing his own best time in the nation, he became the seventh person in the history of the event to finish in under 1:40.00. Junior Mark Theall added a silver medal to the collection as he broke the school record in the 500 free with his NCAA A-cut time of 4:10.77. The 200 freestyle relay crew of senior Adam Koster, senior Mike Thibert, Theall and sophomore Clayton Bobo swam a school-record time of 1:16.57 to earn the bronze.
The Maroon & White return for more Thursday at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center for day three of the SEC Championships. The prelims start at 9:30 a.m. and the finals are set for 5:30 p.m.
Men’s head coach Jay Holmes
On finishing third in the 200 free relay…
“I’m glad we were able to get on the podium. We threw Mark Theall on their because we knew he’d do well, and that was a big difference. Of course, Adam [Koster] gave us a great start to get ahead on it. It was a really good race.”
On Mark Theall and Adam Koster collecting silver medals…
“Vegas [Mark Theall] said that whenever he finished, he didn’t look at his time first because he wanted to see what time Kieran [Smith] got. He said, ‘What did that guy just go to beat me like that.’ That’s the fastest that anybody has ever been in that event in the history of time. Vegas went 4:10[.77], and that’s a great swim. Adam [Koster] getting second in the 50 free was huge. He had a sense of urgency today in the 50 free that we haven’t seen in a while. He’s getting a lot better. He’s swimming it faster every time he does it. From the morning with the prelims, leading off in the relays and then going in the 50 free tonight, he just keeps getting better and better.”
On Shaine Casas in the 200 IM…
“He was actually a little disappointed. You could see that when he saw his time, he was disappointed. It was his best time, a school record and a pool record. He just has that high of expectations to where he’ll go 1:39.91, but he’ll still have so much higher expectations than that.”
Head diving coach Jay Lerew
On Kurtis Mathews sweeping the springboards…
“He was awesome. He dove really well. Especially considering he was coming off the World Cup trials, went back to school, got nervous about coming here so soon after getting back, and then he did what he did in back-to-back days. I’m very proud of him.”
Junior diver Kurtis Mathews
On being the first Aggie to sweep the springboard events at the SEC’s…
“I didn’t realize that had never happened before. It feels great. It was a really tough competition with great competitors out there. I dove well enough today to break Texas A&M’s 1-meter record [six dives], taking it from my fellow Australian Grant Nel. I’m sure he’ll be chuffed to hear about that.”
Follow the Action
Check 12thman.com and follow @AggieSwimDive on Twitter for results.