2006 MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONS The number 10 was significant for the 2005-06 Auburn men’s swimming and diving team. Ten represents the number of fingers 480.5 that head coach David Marsh proudly dis440.5 plays championship rings. Ten is the golden 362.5 number of national championships that the 307 2005-06 Tigers helped bring home to The Plains. 268.5 The four-man senior class of George 250.5 Bovell, Kurt Cady, Eric Shanteau and Doug 223 Van Wie have an endless list of accolades, 209 including Olympic medalist, NCAA Champi197 on, SEC Champion and All-American. One more honor stood within reach in 2005-06, 183.5 an honor that no one before them had been able to accomplish - go undefeated in 2006 Auburn Titles every category. • George Bovell The Tigers, who sported a No. 1 ranking 200 FR the entire season, entered the 1996 Olympic pool in Atlanta, Ga., looking to extend • Cesar Cielo their streak to four. Marsh wanted his team 200 FR to get out to a strong early start and that is • Bryan Lundquist exactly how the story played out. 200 FR The Auburn 200 free relay team of Cesar • Steve Segerlin Cielo, Matt Targett, Bryan Lundquist and Bovell, came out roaring on the opening Platform night finals. The quartet captured the title • Matt Targett in 1:16.15 and got the ball rolling in the 200 FR Tigers direction. Keeping the momentum going was the 400 medley relay who finished as runner-up. The Tigers held a 42 point lead over Arizona with two critical days remaining. “It has been way too long since we have won a relay,” Marsh said. “It was nice to see us get back on the top of the podium in a relay and it was thrilling for the team. It creates a lot of momentum and excitement for the rest of our team.” Arizona came out blazing on day two and slowly chipped away at the Tigers lead. The Wildcats 200 medley relay started the night off with a NCAA record-breaking performance (1:23.88) and the Tigers had to settle for second. Shanteau duplicated his third-place finish in the 400 IM and Alexei Puninski, just 30 minutes after swimming the fly leg on the 200 medley relay, finished seventh in the 100 fly. The Wildcats caught the Tigers in the fifth event of day two, the 100 breast, as AU had no one swimming in the event, while Arizona had one in the finals and one in consols. This effort helped boost the Wildcats to a one-point deficit with three events remaining. In the 100 back,Van Wie turned in a stunning 46.22 performance, to take second (just .30 off the title) as he was out-stretched by Northwestern’s Matt Grevers. All eyes would turn to the diving well where Steve Segerlin would finish third in the 3-meter final with a score of 401.20 to put Auburn ahead by seven points going into the 800 free relay. After a pool record 6:16.67 by the Wildcats in the 800 free relay and a sixth place finish by AU in the event, Arizona sat atop the leader board by five points with one day to go. “Arizona had the magic tonight,” Marsh said. “They were just on fire. The final 2006 NCAA Results 1. Auburn 2. Arizona 3. Stanford 4. Texas 5. Florida 6. California 7. Southern California 8. Michigan 9. Georgia 10. Northwestern
Auburn enjoying solid swims at the 2006 NCAA Championships.
Co-captain Eric Shanteau guided the squad to its fourth-straight NCAA title night is going to be a knock-down, drag-out. Their strength is their quality, our strength is our depth.” The Tigers found themselves in somewhat unfamiliar territory. Never in any of the other five championship meets had the Tigers ever trailed at the end of day one or two. The lesson that Marsh and his staff stressed throughout the year - team championships are won in the morning sessions - would be the theme of the final day. “If we come in in the morning and get five, six, hopefully seven into the finals,” Marsh said, “we will be in good shape. It is in the teams hands.” Auburn’s showed its strength in numbers, qualifying seven individuals (five more in consols) and a relay for the Saturday night showdown. The Tigers all but assured itself a victory by qualifying more swimmers than Arizona. The 100 free finals would be the showcase event of the finals as five AU swimmers would decorate the finals and consols. With the team lead there for the taking, the Tigers wasted no time in recapturing the top position. In the second event (200 back),Van Wie and James Wike produced 23 points to give Auburn the advantage, an advantage that they would never lose again. In the premier event of the evening, the 100 free, Auburn got three swimmers in the consols to outscore Arizona 13-0. The Tigers then split with the Wildcats in the finals as Cielo took fourth and Targett seventh, all but cancelling out a third-place finish by Arizona’s Simon Burnett and a fifth-place finish by Wildcat Lyndon Ferns. The Tigers and Wildcats each put one in the 200 breast finals but the difference came in the 200 fly as Auburn had two competitors in consols and one in the finals and Arizona had no qualifiers in either. With two events remaining and 26.5 separating the two teams, Auburn looked poised for its sixth overall team crown. And it didn’t hurt that the 10-meter platform, where Segerlin was in position for the win, was up next. After a record-breaking 469.30 points in the platform finals, Segerlin took all suspense out of the race for the team title. Segerlin’s victory marked the fourth straight year an Auburn man has been crowned champion on platform. “It feels awesome coming from a really long line of NCAA champions at Auburn,” Segerlin said. “This is the best performance in Auburn history,” Auburn head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. “We talked about being focused and confident and having the courage to step up and most importantly to have fun. We had nothing to lose, our swimmers took care of business, and this was bonus points for the team.” In the final event, Arizona continued to dominate the relays as they claimed the 400 free relay (the Wildcats won four of the five relays, Auburn won the other) and Auburn was second. The points didn’t matter - the 10th finger was filled. “Today it feels really good, like a relief,” Marsh said. “It is such an intense meet from top to bottom. This men’s team in particular has come from everywhere and it took all year to bring this team together. The last two months I saw synergy happening within our team and you have to have that at this meet to be successful.” Team mission, check. Senior mission, check. Bovell, Cady, Shanteau and Van Wie concluded their storybook four-year careers with a 31-0 dual meet record and four SEC and NCAA team titles. This senior class alone put together 13 SEC titles and six NCAA titles to go along with 56 All-American honors. “There is no other way that this senior class wanted to go out,” co-captain Shanteau said. Strength in numbers said it all for the 2006 team and Marsh will no longer have to drive home the importance of the morning sessions. For everyone in attendance at the 2006 championships, we all can walk away knowing that team titles are earned in the a.m. - By Carol White, Auburn Media Relations
2010-11 Auburn Swimming & Diving Guide