Tigers Win Key Events Versus Florida

by Chris Heigle
Tigers Win Key Events Versus Florida

BATON ROUGE – The LSU swimming and diving team lost to Florida in the first SEC meet of the season, Friday, but earned some wins in key events. The men fell short 164.5-129.5, while the women fell 196-104. Both the men and women squads are now 2-1 on the season.

The Tigers continued to dominate in the diving well, sweeping all four diving events for the second week in a row.

Juan Celaya-Hernandez continued to show why he is one of the best divers in the country, winning both springboard events. The junior won the one-meter, scoring 429.75, while taking the crown on three meter with an LSU Natatorium record of 478.13.

Lizzie Cui extended her dual-meet streak to 14 consecutive victories after winning both springboards. Cui took gold in the three-meter, scoring 356.55, and won the one-meter, diving to a score of 330.60.

“We had to re-shuffle our routine because of the meet being rescheduled, but I’m glad we were able to sweep the diving events,” said diving head coach Doug Shaffer. “It’s early October, so it’s still early for us, but I’m proud of the way we competed. The end of the meet was a sort of mini SEC Championships in that the noise level rose and our divers got very excited, and they did very well.”

In the pool, the men picked up four victories, while Leyre Casarin was the lone winner for the women.

“It’s been a long week for us,” explained swimming head coach Dave Geyer. “It’s weeks like this that really test your character. We started off a little rough, but started to settle down and see some of those wins in the middle of the meet. We knew coming in that Florida was a really quality team, but I’m impressed with some of the times we swam.”

Karl Luht, Matt Klotz. Thomas Smith, and Lewis Clough each earned a win for the Tigers.

Luht won the 100-yard backstroke for the second week in a row, winning gold with a time of 48.45 seconds. Luht still holds the 10th fastest time in the country.

Klotz proves to be one of the better sprinters in the country, winning the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.45. That time currently sits tied for 17th in the country.

Smith easily won the 200-yard backstroke, touching the wall at 1:46.92, while Clough won the 100-yard butterfly in 48.42 seconds.

Casarin was the only female swimmer to top the podium in an individual event, as she won the 100-yard freestyle for the second week in a row with a time of 50.98 seconds.

The women also ended the meet with a win the 200-yard freestyle relay, as Summer Spradley, Haylee Knight, Casarin and Grace Horton teamed up to swim a 1:32.73.

Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Lexington to take on Kentucky on October 23 at 3:00 p.m. CT.

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