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Auburn Men and Georgia Women Capture SEC Team Titles

Feb 24, 2000

Courtesy: University of Auburn
AUBURN-- Auburn's men's swimming and diving team won its fourth consecutive SEC Championship with 752 points and the Georgia women secured their fourth consecutive team title, as well, with 850 points on the final day of competition at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center Saturday.

Florida's men's squad made a strong push on the final day vaulting past Tennessee to place second in the team competition with 680.5 points, as Gator swimmers won four of the five individual swimming titles. Senior Matt Cole won the 200-yard backstroke in a SEC-meet record time of 1:41.76, while teammate Nathan Summers captured the 100-yard freestyle defeating in 43.39. Summers beat out a trio of Auburn Tigers that placed second through fourth. Tennessee placed third in the team standings with 637 points.

Also winning individual titles for the Gators were Duncan Sherrard and Ricardo Monasterio. Sherrard, a sophomore, broke an SEC-meet record and edged out South Carolina's Zsolt Gaspar by two-tenths of second in the 200-yard butterfly with a winning time of 1:43.79. Monasterio recorded a victory in the 1650-yard freestyle in 14:59.41.

Auburn junior Dave Denniston defended his title in the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:55.81 to capture the Tigers lone individual title of day four. Tennessee junior Gabi Chereches won the men's platform diving competition with a 595.40 point total.

"I am extremely proud of our men's team. At the start of the year, our goals were to prepare for the Olympic trials, NCAA's and the SEC Championships," Auburn head coach David Marsh said. "This was a big step. My admiration goes out to the Florida and Tennessee teams for the way they swam."

The Georgia women continued their dominance of the meet, as a pair of seniors each won their fourth consecutive SEC title in their respected events and two other Bulldogs captured individual titles. Courtney Sheally won the 100-yard freestyle in a SEC-meet and pool record time of 48.40, while Kristy Kowal backed up her 100-yard breaststroke title from Friday's competition, with a victory in the 200-yard breaststroke in a SEC-meet record time of 2:09.27.

The four consecutive titles in the 100-yard freestyle for Sheally and in the 100-yard breaststroke for Kowal mark the first time those feats have been accomplished in SEC history.

"It feels terrific to win this championship. I feel terrific for Kristy Kowal and Courtney Sheally. It's a very emotional time for them and the coaches," Georgia women's head coach Jack Beurele said. "I am really proud of them for defending the SEC Championship. It was not easy. Auburn brought out the best in us."

Freshman Maritza Corriea won her second SEC title of the competition with a pool record time of 16:09.83 in the 1650-yard freestyle, while Bulldog teammate Keegan Walkley won the 200-yard backstroke in a SEC-meet and pool record time of 1:55.27.

Auburn senior Mimi Bowen helped lead the Tigers to a second-place team finish posting a victory in the 200-yard butterfly clocking a time of 1:59.05. Louisiana State junior Ashley Culpepper won the platform diving competition with a 507.75 point total. Auburn finished competition with 701 points. Florida was third with 510 points.

The Auburn men and Georgia women capped off the competition with respected victories in the 400-yard freestyle relay.