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This was actually last night, but for those interested ...
SEATTLE, Wash. - Alabama sophomore Alex Coci shattered the school record in the 100 butterfly on day two of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships being held in the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center this week.
"Alex just continues to have an incredible season," UA head coach Eric McIlquham said. "He had a great swim in prelims to break the school record and earn a second swim. Then he came back tonight and was even better, shaving another three-tenths of a second off the school record and earning honorable mention All-American honors."
Coci broke the record in the preliminaries of the 100 butterfly, clocking a 46.87 to become the first Crimson Tide swimmer under 47 seconds, bettering the record of 47.04 set by current UA assistant coach Stefan Gherghel in 2003.
Then in finals, Coci shaved almost four-tenths of a second off his preliminaries time to plunge the school mark to 46.50 while finishing three spots better than his prelims finish, taking 12th place, earning honorable mention All-American honors in the process. He came into the meet seeded 29th in the 100 butterfly.
Coci will take a shot at Gherghel's 200 butterfly mark on Saturday, the final day of the NCAA Championship, where he is seeded 14th. Gherghel, who is on the deck coaching this week, was a two-time NCAA 200 butterfly champion as well as a two-time Olympian.
Sophomore BJ Hornikel also competed on Friday, taking 22nd in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:36.11. He will close out his championship run in the 100 freestyle, where he is seeded 11th.
Hornikel and Coci are both in the midst of their NCAA Championship debuts this week.
Saturday's preliminaries get underway at 11 a.m. PDT while the finals start at 7 p.m. PDT. Saturday night's finals will be on ESPN3, while a recap of the championships will be shown on ESPNU on a taped delay basis on April 1.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
Thanks Chris. Stefan Gherghel was a team mate when I was at Bama. For reference for everyone else, he was Romanian and (I think) top 10 at the olympics. However, he was better at long course meters (50 meters is international competition) whereas NCAA swimming is done in a 25 yard pool. Either way, its kind-of a big deal to break that record.
Wow, 22nd with a 1:36.11. I'm sure most folks don't appreciate just how fast that is and to not even make finals or consolation finals. Congrats Alex on those great swims!
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