AUBURN, Ala. - The University of Alabama swimming and diving program finished strong at the 2015 Southeastern Conference Championships at Auburn University in February, piling on two more event titles on the meet’s final day, for a total of seven on the week - five for the men and two for the women.
Kaylin Burchell continued to pour it on her senior season, adding the SEC 200 breaststroke championship to the 100 breaststroke title she won Friday. On the men’s side, sophomore Kristian Gkolomeev extended his reach on Saturday, adding the 100 freestyle title to the 50 championship he won Wednesday. He was also part of the Tide’s SEC champion 400 medley and the 200 freestyle relays.
Burchell, who has family ties to Magoffin County, over the summer earned a place on the United States National Team after posting a 2:26.22 in 200-meter breaststroke during prelims of the USA Summer National Championships, the third fastest time in the prelims, which ranked her 27th in the world at the time. She became the first active Alabama swimmer to earn a place on Team USA since the early 1990s. Burchell swam a 1:08.65 in the 100m breaststroke at the USA Summer National Championships to set the school long course meters record in the event. She finished sixth in the 50m breaststroke at the USA Summer National Championships.
As a junior in 2014, Burchell earned All-American honors after taking seventh in the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships. She also competed in the 200 breaststroke and both medley relays at the NCAA Championships and broke her own school-record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.17 on the way to a third-place finish at the SEC Championships. She was named First Team All-SEC following her junior season.
A Richmond native who graduated from Madison Central High School, Burchell is the daughter of Lynne Robertson and Todd Burchell. She is a general health studies major.
Burchell earns Women’s NCAA Championship Berth
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Led by two-time Southeastern Conference champion Kaylin Burchell, four Alabama swimmers have earned berths for the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships which will be held March 19-21 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Burchell, seeded second in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 200 breaststroke going into the national championships, will be joined by junior Emma Saunders, sophomore Bridget Blood and freshman Mia Nonnenberg.
A native of Richmond, Burchell is the Tide’s lone returning NCAA scorer after finishing seventh at last year’s national championships. She also earned a place on the United States National Team last summer.
Saunders, making her second trip to the NCAA Championships, is the school record holder in the 200 freestyle and 100 and 200 backstrokes and is the Tide’s most versatile swimmer. Blood, ranked second all-time at Alabama in the 100 breaststroke, is also making her second NCAA appearance. Nonnenberg, the lone rookie among the individual swimmers advancing to the national championships, is the school record holder in the 200 and 400 individual medleys.