Alabama Swimmers Win U.S. Open Relay Title
Alabama swimmers broke a pair of school records and came away with the 400 medley relay title on day four of the U.S. Open being held in East Meadow, N.Y., at the Nassau County Aquatics Center this week.
The Crimson Tide quartet of Christopher Reid, Pavel Romanov, Laurent Bams and Robert Howard combined to post a 1:39.11, bettering the previous school record and the rest of the U.S. Open field by more than a half second.
It was an especially big day for Romanov, the NCAA champion, All-American and Academic All-American, who in addition to swimming the breaststroke leg on the Tide’s champion relay, also earned both a bachelor's and master's degree as part of Alabama’s graduation weekend. Romanov earned both degrees simultaneously though UA's University Scholars Program.
All-American Hannah Musser also missed Saturday’s graduation ceremony while competing in the Open this week. Tide swimmers Szymmy Day and Emily Zapinski also earned their undergraduate degrees.
Before leading off the Tide’s medley relay, Reid grabbed the silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke on Saturday, turning in a 54.54. Earlier in the day, Howard dropped a full second off his prelims time in the 200-meter freestyle, clocking a 1:49.50, another Alabama school record, to win the B final and post the third fastest time overall.
Howard had already won the 100-meter freestyle earlier in the meet, while Reid took bronze in the 200-meter backstroke. Both men, along with Luke Kaliszak and Laurent Bams, were part of the Tide’s silver-medal winning 400-meter freestyle relay.
In other Open action, Mia Nonnenberg took fourth in the 400 individual medley after touching the wall in a time of 4:45.87.
The Tide has seven swimmers slated to swim the 50-meter freestyle and three scheduled for the 200-meter individual medley on Sunday, the Open’s last day.