LSU Heads to Athens for SEC Championships

by Tanner Craft
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LSU Heads to Athens for SEC Championships

BATON ROUGE– The LSU swimming and diving team is set to head to Athens, Georgia, to compete in the 2019 SEC Championships at Gabrielsen Natatorium on the University of Georgia campus. 

The Lady Tigers will be back in the pool for the first time since February 1st and 2nd when they competed against Houston and Rice.  The men will be back in action for the first time since January 19 when the Tigers traveled to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies.  

Competition will begin on Tuesday, February 19 and will conclude with the crowning of the 2019 SEC team champions on Saturday, February 23.  

Swimming Coach Dave Geyer On The Magnitude of the SEC Championships:

“This is the conference championship of all conference championships. The depth of our conference and having it as a combined men’s and women’s meet is unparalleled across the country.”

Geyer On Championship Preparation:

“The training has been put in at this point. Our championship preparation has gone as planned.  Now the athletes just need to be able to execute physically and mentally. We are ready.”

Diving Coach Doug Shaffer On Championship Season:

“The championship season is always an exciting time and my favorite part of the season. This is where we get to showcase our talents. Our preparation has been exceptional and I’m excited for the opportunity for our athletes. At this point, it’s all about the mental mindset, letting go, being in the moment and competing. It’s game time!”

Keep An Eye On These Tigers:

Juan Celaya-Hernandez – Junior (Diving)

Has won 18 of 24 events…  Named SEC Male Diver of the Week four times after performances against Navy and UCONN where he won both springboard events with scores of 405.70 and 471.35 on the one-meter and three-meter, respectively, Florida where he won the one-meter and three-meter with scores of 429.75 and 478.13, Incarnate Word and Delta State where he won the one-meter with a score of 438.35 and the three meter with a score of 460.00 to take the Gold in both events, and at the Georgia Diving Invite where his 382.90 on the one-meter and 428.50 on the three-meter were more than enough to sweep the events.

Lewis Clough – Junior (Freestyle/Butterfly)

Took second in the 100-Yard Freestyle against Navy and UCONN with a time of 45.44… Won the 200-Yard Freestyle in the same meet with a time of 1:39.01… Took the bronze in the 200-Yard Freestyle against Florida with a time of 1:40.05… Won the 100-Yard Butterfly in the same meet with a time of 48.82… Against SMU and Loyola, won the 200-Yard Butterfly with a time of 1:50.19 and the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 45.14… Took the gold in the 100-Yard Freestyle against Incarnate Word and Delta State with a time of 45.05… Won the 200-Yard Freestyle against Texas A&M with a time of 1:38.75.   

Lizzie Cui – Senior (Diving)

Has been named SEC Women’s Diver of the Week twice this season… The first time was after an overwhelming win on both springboard events where she won the one-meter by over 68 points with a score of 322.10 and the three-meter by over 33 points with a score of 336.80… The second time after winning four events over two meets – winning both springboard events against Kentucky with scores of 306.45 and 319.80 on the one-meter and three-meter, respectively and then against Tulane and Loyola where she scored a 323.10 and a 342.30 on the one-meter and three-meter.

Helen Grossman – Junior (Fly/Sprint Freestyle)

Started off the season with a second place finish against Navy and UCONN in the 200-Yard Butterfly with a time of 2:01.70… Earned her fist individual win of the season on Day Two of same meet with a 55.03 in the 100-Yard Butterfly… Took the silver against Florida in the 100-Yard Butterfly with a time of 54.61… Won the 200-Yard Butterfly against Tulane and Loyola with a time 2:01.94… Against Houston and Rice, won the 100-Yard Butterfly with a time of 54.32… Won the same event against Texas A&M with a time of 54.01. 

Tennyson Henry – Senior (Mid-Distance Freestyle)

Started the season with a third place finish against Navy and UCONN in the 200-Yard Freestyle with a time of 1:53.78… Took home the bronze against Tulane and Loyola in the 500-Yard Freestyle with a time of 5:04.60… Won the 500-Yard Freestyle against Incarnate Word and Delta State, touching the wall in 5:02.78… Won the 500-Yard Freestyle again against Houston and Rice with a time of 4:59.44… Was a part of the 800-Yard Freestyle Relay Team that broke a 22-year old pool record at the LSU Natatorium along with Alyssa Helak, Kit Hanley, and Ellie Baldwin

Haylee Knight – Senior (Sprint Freestyle/Fly)

In an early season meet against Florida, took the silver in the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 23.49… Was the second leg on the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay team that took the gold against Florida… Earned her first individual win of the season against Loyola in the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 23.65… Followed that performance up with a win in the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 51.86… Touched the wall first in the 50-Yard Freestyle on Day One of the Art Adamson Invitational with a time of 22.29… Won the 100-Yard Freestyle on Day Three of the Art Adamson Invitational with a time of 48.24… Against Houston and Rice, Knight placed third in the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 23.39… Won the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 23.17 against Texas A&M… Has five top-five finishes including two wins since November 16. 

Karl Luht – Junior (Sprint Backstroke/Freestyle)

Started off the season against Navy and UCONN with a second place finish in the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 20.95…Followed that performance up with a win in the 100-Yard Freestyle with a time of 44.98…Won the 100-Yard Backstroke against Florida with a time of 48.45… Won once again against SMU and Loyola in the 50-Yard Freestyle with a time of 20.80…Won the 100-Yard Backstroke against Incarnate Word and Delta State with a time of 46.16… Won same event against Texas A&M with a time of 47.89… Luht currently holds the 19thfastest 100-Yard Backstroke time in the country with a 46.19 which also ranks 7thin the SEC.

Luca Pfyffer – Sophomore (Breaststroke/IM)

Started off season with a second place finish in the 200-Yard Breaststroke against Navy and UCONN with a time of 2:02.61… Won the 100-Yard Breaststroke on Day Two of same meet with a time of 56.52… Took the bronze against Florida in the 200-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 2:02.36… Won the 100-Yard Breaststroke against SMU and Loyola with a time of 56.45… Followed that performance up with a victory in the 200-Yard IM with a time of 1:51.71… Finished second in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 56.19 and the 200-Yard IM with a time 1:52.39 against Texas A&M. 

Nicole Rozier – Junior (IM/Fly)

Started the season off with a win against Navy and UCONN in the 200-Yard IM with a time of 2:02.42… Followed that performance with a win in the 100-Yard IM with a time of 57.21… Took home the bronze in the 200-Yard Butterfly against Tulane and Loyola with a time of 2:03.66… Set a personal best in the 100-Yard Butterfly on February 2 with a 54.00… Has racked up six top-five finishes and two wins since the start of the new semester… Won twice against Houston and Rice in the 100-Yard Butterfly and the 200-Yard IM with times of 54.00 and 2:02.03, respectively. 

Thomas Smith – Senior (Backstroke/IM)

Began the year with a win in the 200-Yard Backstroke against Navy and UCONN with a time of 1:47.84… Once again won the 200-Yard Backstroke against Florida with a time of 1:46.92… Took the bronze in the 100-Yard Backstroke against SMU and Loyola with a time 50.27… In the same meet, won the 200-Yard Backstroke with a time of 1:46.18… Touched the wall first in the 200-Yard Backstroke against Incarnate Word with a time of 1:46.07… Won twice against Texas A&M in the 200-Yard Backstroke and the 200-Yard IM with times of 1:45.90 and 1:51.76, respectively.

Summer Spradley – Senior (Breaststroke)

Started off the season with a win in the 50-Yard Freestyle against Navy and UCONN with a time of 23.45… On Day Two, took the silver in the 100-Yard Breaststroke with a time of 1:03.50… Touched the wall second in the 100-Yard Breaststroke against Florida with a time of 1:03.93… Took the gold in the 100-Yard Breaststroke once again with a time of 1:02.64, this time against Tulane and Loyola… Won the 100-Yard Breaststroke against Incarnate Word and Delta State and then Houston and Rice with times of 1:03.11 and 1:02.69, respectively.

Aimee Wilson – Freshman (Diving)

The freshman won every event last time out against Houston and Rice.  She won the three-meter and one-meter with scores of 346.95 and 320.03, respectively and then the platform with a score of 265.50…  Earned her first Diver of the Week Award after her performance against Incarnate Word and Delta State where she both won for the first time in her career but also set a new pool-record on the three-meter with a score of 373.85. 

Schedule 

For the day-by-day schedule and order of events, please visit https://lsul.su/2GGOWot

For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit LSUsports.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LSUSwimDive.