The past week was a busy one for Alabama athletes. Many of our teams came away with big wins, headlined by our swimming and diving winning seven titles at the SEC Championships. One thing is for sure: There is no shortage of success in Tuscaloosa.
Track & Field
Alabama's men's distance medley relay team of Robbie Farnham-Rose, Steven Gayle, Jacopo Lahbi and Matt Airola broke a 15-year-old Alabama record to finish third Saturday at the Alex Wilson Invitational at the University of Notre Dame. The foursome achieved a time of 9 minutes, 29.93 seconds, which makes it the sixth fastest time in the NCAA and second fastest in the SEC this year. The rest of the track and field team had an open weekend to rest and prepare for the upcoming SEC Indoor Championships in Lexington, Kentucky this weekend.
The women's basketball team lost a close 57-55 game to the No. 14 Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday. The Crimson Tide played in front of a record crowd of 3,133 in Foster Auditorium. Sophomore Ashley Williams continued to be a scoring machine, leading all scorers with 21 points. The Tide were unable to secure the victory even though they held the Bulldogs to 31.7 percent shooting, forced 20 turnovers and kept MSU nearly 20 points below their season average. Mississippi State dominated on the boards with 48 rebounds to Alabama's 24. The Bulldogs' dominance in rebounding won them the game, as MSU took 19 and made two more shots than the Crimson Tide.
No. 5 Alabama went into Athens and pulled out a victory against rival No. 11 Georgia on Friday night. The Crimson Tide posted their highest road score of the season, winning 197.675-196.825.
Swimming & Diving
The Crimson Tide won seven SEC titles this weekend in Auburn at the SEC Championships. Alabama athletes won 5 individual titles and two relays. Sophomore Kristian Gkolomeev won the men's 50 freestyle the second night of the championships. Gkolomeev is the defending NCAA champion in the 50 freestyle. Gkolomeev then swam the first leg of the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Gkolomeev, Alex Gray, Luke Kaliszak and Brett Walsh won, breaking Auburn's streak of 12 consecutive SEC titles in the 200 freestyle relay.
Kaylin Burchell won the women's 100 breaststroke with a time of 58.87 seconds. Burchell also went on to win the 200 breaststroke and was named women's swimmer of the meet. Connor Oslin won the men's 100 backstroke and was part of the Crimson Tide's winning 400 medley relay team. Oslin was joined by Gkolomeev, Anton McKee and Walsh as the Tide edged out runner-up Florida by nearly a second.
Swimming and diving closed the final day with double gold. After Burchell won the women's 200 breaststroke, Gkolomeev won the men's 100 freestyle with a school-record 41.68 seconds, the fastest in the NCAA this season. He was named men's swimmer of the meet to join his Crimson Tide women's counterpart Burchell.
Alabama won the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic championship after beating Texas Tech 4-1. The championship was Alabama's second straight in the Blue Gray Classic, after defeating Rice to win the 2014 finals. Maya Jansen won the MVP after winning her doubles match and a 6-1, 6-2 victory on the final day of the tournament. Jansen finished the tournament undefeated with three victories in doubles and two in singles.
Robby Shelton led the Tide with a 3-under 69, as Alabama sits in second place at the Puerto Rico Classic. Overall, Alabama finished the day 3-under 285, trailing conference rival Georgia by five strokes. Tom Lovelady shot 2-under 70 and Dru Love shot 1-under 71. They were the only other Tide players under par. Alabama is seeking their fifth consecutive Puerto Rico Classic title as they tee off Monday morning at 8:00 CT.