Celaya-Hernandez Wins SEC Title on 1M In Record Fashion
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – On Day Two of the SEC Swimming & Diving Championships, sophomore Juan Celaya-Hernandez stole the show again for the Tigers, dominating the men’s one-meter springboard event.
Celaya-Hernandez started the day by winning the prelims with a score of 408.40, beating Texas A&M’s Sam Thornton by 5.80 points, but that was just a small taste of what was to come.
In the finals, Celaya-Hernandez had the best list of his career, and finished with a winning score of 479.10. That score breaks his own school record by 12.05 points, and is also a new SEC record.
“I’m so happy for Juan and his performance tonight,” said LSU diving coach Doug Shaffer. “It was exciting to see his hard work pay off. This was the best list of his career and an SEC and pool record. Estoy muy orgulloso de Juan!”
Meanwhile, Matthew McClellan just missed out on the finals, finishing 11th overall with a score of 322.75. Junior Matthew Phillip wasn’t far behind in 14th place, scoring a 314.80. Freshman Dakota Hurbis finished 25th overall, scoring a 261.65.
In the pool, the Tigers were able to get three swimmers second swims on Day Two.
“I thought we were able to get some momentum going today,” said LSU swimming coach Dave Geyer. “We had a number of freshmen step up in their first races at SEC’s and swim best times, and even work their way onto our top-times list. Nicole (Rozier) was able to squeak her way into a second swim, Haylee (Knight) got into a B, and Joao (Mescolote) finally had a great breakthrough in the 50 free to get into the B-final as well”
Nicole Rozier reached the C-Final in the 200 individual medley in style after swimming a personal-best, B-cut time of 1:59.12, catapulting her to seventh on the LSU all-time list.
In the finals, Rozier swam a 2:00.52 and finished 24th overall.
The other female finalist was Haylee Knight in the 50 freestyle, where she swam an NCAA B-cut time of 22.64 to make the B-Final. In the final, she swam a 22.72 and finished 15th overall.
The women also had another six personal best times throughout the day. In the 500 free, freshman Lexi Daniels swam a personal-best time of 4:54.23.
Finally, in the 50 free, Grace Horton swam to 28th overall with a personal-best tie of 22.91. That time is also good enough for 10th all-time at LSU. Katie Smith and Kit Hanley also got PR’s in the 50 free. Smith swam a 23.79 and Hanley swam a 24.39.
The men’s swimming team had one finalist today. Senior Joao Mescolote made the B-Final in the 50 free with a time of 19.95. In the finals, he swam a personal-best 19.91 seconds for 14th place overall.
The men had a total of six personal-bests in the prelims. In the first event of the day, the men’s 500 free, freshmen Jackson Lucas and Brian McGroarty swam times of 4:27.92 and 4:32.86, respectively.
Along with Mescolote’s impressive swims in the 50 free, Will Arthur swam a personal-best time of 20.82 seconds.
The men’s 200 IM shook up the all-time list. Freshman Cameron Karkoska of Laguna Beach, California, swam an impressive 1:47.88, which was good enough for sixth on the all-time list.
The best time of the 200 IM came from junior Thomas Smith, who swam a 1:47.42, but finished .43 seconds out of the finals in 27th place.
To end the day, the women’s 200 free relay team finished 11th overall with a time of 1:31.59, and the men finished 8th overall, touching the wall at 1:19.27.
“I’m excited for our swims tomorrow as we still have three full days of racing ahead,” said Geyer.
The women currently sit in 11th place with 161 points, and the men are in 10th place with 220.5 points.
Day three prelims start at 10 a.m. tomorrow, with the 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 free on tap for the Tigers.
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