AUBURN – After a strong weekend at the Georgia Fall Invitational, five Auburn swimmers and divers were honored as the SEC Athletes of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday.
The Tiger women swept the weekly awards as senior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Week, senior Vennie Dantin was named SEC Female Diver of the Week, and Sarah Peterson was named SEC Female Freshman of the Week.
On the men's side, junior Kyle Owens was the SEC Male Swimmer of the Week and Allen Browning was the SEC Male Freshman of the Week.
Vanderpool-Wallace, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, posted a pair of NCAA automatic qualifying times over the weekend, recording the fastest times in the nation so far this year in the 50 freestyle (21.77) and 100 freestyle (46.99). The NCAA and US Open record-holder in the 100 free, she is one of two women to have ever broken the 47-second mark in the event; the other is 11-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, who swam alongside Vanderpool-Wallace in Sunday's 100 free final. Vanderpool-Wallace also finished second in the 100 fly in 52.17, a B-cut time that ranks second only to teammate Olivia Scott (51.86) in the SEC.
Dantin earned the SEC weekly diving honor for the fourth time this season as she won both the 3-meter and platform events in Athens for her ninth and 10th individual wins so far in 2011-12. The Conroe, Texas, native captured the 3-meter title with a 348.30 to outpace teammate Anna Aguero, who was the top qualifier in preliminaries. She then came back with a 287.90 to again lead an Auburn sweep of the top two spots (along with Aguero) in the platform final.
Peterson won all three of her finals races in the 200 breast (2:13.65), 200 IM (2:00.44) and 400 IM (4:13.09) at the Georgia Invitational, winning the C-final in the first two events and the B-final in the third. A native of Friendswood, Texas, Peterson's time in the 200 IM currently ranks third in the SEC and first among league freshmen, while her 400 IM time is seventh best in the league, third-best among freshmen. In addition, her 200 breast time ranks eighth in the SEC, second-best among SEC freshmen.
For the Tiger men, Owens earned two individual victories and helped a relay team to a win over the weekend. With wins in the 200 IM (1:45.04) and 200 backstroke (1:44.28), along with a runner-up finish in the 100 backstroke (46.54), he now owns the top times in the SEC in all three events. The native of Johnson City, Tenn., also has the third-best SEC time in the 100 butterfly (48.37) after an 11th-place finish in that event. Owens also swam the leadoff leg of the 400 medley relay that won in a time of 3:11.13, also the best time in the league so far this year.
Browning, who came to Auburn from Alpharetta, Ga., earned his second SEC Freshman of the Week honor with his performance in Athens. His time of 3:53.13 in the 400 IM was Auburn's first B-cut of the year in the event, ranking him sixth in the SEC. He also helped the 800 freestyle relay team to a second-place finish with a time of 6:30.74 as his leadoff split was a 1:39.15.
It was the second time this season that Auburn took five of the six swimming and diving weekly honors. Florida's Mike Lewark was the league's other honoree as the SEC Male Diver of the Week.
Auburn's divers will wrap up the fall portion of the season at the USA Diving Winter Nationals, which take place Dec. 15-22 in Knoxville, Tenn. The full squad resumes competition in the new year as the Auburn women welcome Texas on Jan. 10 and the Tiger men host the Longhorns on Jan. 12.