No. 4 Men’s Swimming & Diving falls to No. 11 Georgia

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ATHENS, Ga. – Kurtis Mathews and Benjamin Walker highlighted the day as No. 4 Texas A&M swimming & diving team dropped the 157-143 decision to the No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday at the Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Mathews and Victor Povzner swept the diving boards with one-two finishes. Mathews snagged the gold in both events with scores of 447.53 in the 3-meter and 398.85 for the 1-meter. Povzner placed second, tallying scores of 356.70 and 371.33 in the 1-meter and 3-meter respectively.

Walker was the standout of the swimmers, collecting first-place finishes in all the events he competed in, the 100 breast (54.08), 200 breast (1:57.26) and the 200 IM (1:47.24). Shaine Casas also packed on a couple wins in the 100 back (47.21) and the 200 back (1:43.86), in addition to a second-place finish in the 100 fly (47.73). Luke Stuart, Mike Thibert and Adam Koster supplied the remainder of the first-place finishes for the Aggies in the 200 fly (1:49.86), 50 free (20.34) and 100 free (43.58) respectively.

Next up, Texas A&M will travel with travel to LSU on Saturday, January 18 at 11 a.m. for the second-to-last dual meet of the season before the 2020 SEC Championships. Check 12thMan.com and follow @AggieSwimDive on Twitter for updates and results.

Top Times On The Day

200 Medley Relay – Shaine Casas, Benjamin Walker, Adam Koster, Mike Thibert – 1:26.89 *

1,000 Free – Felipe Rizzo – 9:33.60

200 Free – Adam Koster – 1:38.44

100 Back – Shaine Casas – 47.21 *

100 Breast – Benjamin Walker – 54.08 *

200 Fly – Luke Stuart – 1:49.86 *

50 Free – Mike Thibert – 20.34 *

100 Free – Adam Koster – 43.58 *

200 Back – Shaine Casas – 1:43.86 *

200 Breast – Benjamin Walker – 1:57.26 *

500 Free – Luke Stuart – 4:32.10

100 Fly – Shaine Casas – 47.73

200 IM – Benjamin Walker – 1:47.24 *

400 Free Relay – Adam Koster, Mark Schnippenkoetter, Alberto Gomez, Mark Theall – 2:58.67

First place finishes are marked with “*”

Post Meet Quotes

Men’s Swimming Head Coach Jay Holmes

On the dual meet …

“First off it was a really exciting meet. Coming in we knew there would be some events where we wouldn’t match up well against them, and there were some places they wouldn’t match up well with us. The difference in the meet was the toss up events like the 200 free and 100 fly. Credit Georgia; they won when they had to. Kurtis [Mathews] and Victor [Povzner] getting one-two in both diving events was really important. Kurtis was on fire today. Adam [Koster]’s first-place finish in the 100 free and leading off the 400 free relay were really impressive swims. Swim of the meet in our mind. Fun seeing Benjamin [Walker] do what he does. He won everything we asked of him today. After Benjamin won the 200 IM, we had a decision to make. Just winning the 400 free relay would mean that we would finish the meet in a 150-150 tie. So to win we would have to get first and third. Jason [Calanog] and I knew we wouldn’t be happy with any decision to settle for a tie. We moved [Mike] Thibert to the ‘B’ relay in hopes of giving them the better chance of beating their ‘B’. Obviously it didn’t work out that way.”

On moving on from today…

“We’re hoping we learned something from today, because we still have a lot to accomplish this season. This one meet doesn’t deter us from any goals we have. Everything we are working for is still completely ahead of us.”

On facing LSU next week…

“LSU’s another SEC school, but we have a history with LSU. We’ve been swimming at LSU way before we were in the SEC. Our teams know each other pretty well. There’s a lot of history in that series between A&M and LSU, and we’re excited to go to it. Obviously, with today we aren’t as happy as we could’ve been, but we’re going to learn something from this. We’re going to go to LSU looking forward to a great meet.”

Head Diving Coach Jay Lerew

On the divers placing one and two in both dives…

“Kurtis [Mathews] had a great day. He got a really high score on the 1-meter with almost 400 points and on the 3-meter he got a big time score. That’s an SEC Champion type score there if he can pull that off again. Victor [Povzner] was good on the 1-meter. He had some struggles on the 3-meter, but I think we’re where we want to be.”