Feb. 19, 2005
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The 2005 Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships concluded Saturday evening as the Lady Vols finished in seventh place. The night was full of great performances for the Orange and White as Julia Stowers took down two school records while the 400y freestyle relay standard which had stood since 1993 was toppled.
The evening got underway with the 1650y freestyle, which was a timed-final format. Stowers turned in a swim for the ages, setting two marks in the process. The senior claimed fourth place by finishing in 16:12.13 which broke Leslie Mix's mark of 16:13.06 from 1994. Additionally, Stowers' split time at the 1000y freestyle was 9:48.29 which toppled Mix's split. Meanwhile, Misty Cain (Marietta, Ga.) also had a great performance, setting a career best in the event with a time of 17:00.69 to notch 13th place. This improved over her showing from last year's league meet, where she finished 15th in the event.
Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.), Jessica Blevins (Bluefield, W. Va.), Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio) and Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio), who on Friday had broke the mark in the 200y freestyle relay, took down the standard in the 400y free relay on Saturday night. The foursome finished in 3:22.10 to take fourth place and erase a mark which had stood since 1993.
In the 200y backstroke, All-American Jacque Fessel (Cincinnati, Ohio) took second place in the consolation final, and 10th overall, finishing in time of 1:59.41.
Tomes, swimming in the 100y freestyle consolation final set yet another career best. She blazed to a time of 50.30, which is the 10th fastest time in school history.
In the final individual event of the league championships, the 200y butterfly, Betsy Brockman (Batavia, Ohio) finished in a time of 2:04.92.
The 2005 league championships will be remembered on Rocky Top for record-setting swims as eight school standards would fall. Stowers toppled Mix's mark in both the 1000y and 1650y freestyle. Fessel reset her own mark in the 100y backstroke, becoming the first Lady Vol swimmer to ever eclipse the 54 second barrier. Tomes also made history, as in the 200y IM she touched the wall under two minutes on two occasions. No other swimmer in the annals of the program has ever posted sub two minutes and one second.
The team also took aim at the relay records as they brought down four of the five. The first to go was the 200y medley relay which was shattered by the quartet of Fessel, Magnuson, Tiffany Clay (Mason, Ohio) and Tomes. The group would do it again the next night, this time in the 400y medley relay, besting the standard by more than one second. The Lady Vols would then bring down a 200y freestyle relay mark which had stood since 1992. Magnuson, Blevins, Terveer and Tomes teamed up to topple the mark by .16 seconds. On the final night of action that group erased an 11-year old record in the 400y freestyle relay.
Also looked back at with fond memories will be all of the season and lifetime-best efforts achieved by the orange-clad swimmers. During the four days of action, there were 67 individual swims. Of that total, 43 were career lows while 55 were the quickest of the season.
On Sunday, a few Lady Vols will swim in time trials in an effort to post more qualifying times for the NCAA Championships. Prior to the national event, the Orange and White will swim in one final last chance meet as they travel to Athens, Ga., for the Bulldog Invite Feb. 26-27. The NCAA Zone Qualified divers will compete in the Zone Championships scheduled March 11-13 while the NCAA Championships will take place March 17-19.
|Jacque Fessel||32 points|
|Megan Tomes||31 points|
|400y Freestyle Relay||30 points|
|800y Freestyle Relay||28 points|
|200y Medley Relay||28 points|
|200y Freestyle Relay||26 points|
|Julia Stowers||19 points|
|Christine Magnuson||12 points|
|Misty Cain||4 points|
|Sallye Hartman||3 points|
|Lauren LeRoy||2 points|
|Betsy Brockman||2 points|
THREE LADY VOLS ADVANCE TO FINALS ON LAST DAY OF SEC SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The final day of action of the Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships got underway Saturday morning with Betsy Brockman, Jacque Fessel and Megan Tomes advancing to the evening's consolation finals. On the day there were 11 career-best times and 16 season-low markers.
"We were a little off our game this morning, but we still came through with a lot of athletes going personal-best times," Head Coach Dan Colella said. "It is bittersweet because we had a couple of people just miss out on making it back tonight. Now it's time to finish out the last session and see what happens."
The preliminaries kicked off with the 200y backstroke. Fessel touched the wall in a season-best marker of 1:58.69 to take ninth, which was just .07 seconds in back of eighth-place finisher Haley Chura of Georgia. Elizabeth Christy (Indianapolis, Ind.) established a lifetime-best time of 2:06.57 to take 24th. Ashley Yeager (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Graciela Breece-Rodriguez (Boulder, Colo.) clocked times of 2:04.83 and 2:07.68, respectively, both of which were season lows.
Next up was the 100y freestyle, an event in which nine Lady Vols would compete in. Eight of those swimmers would set career bests while Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio) just missed out on her lifetime marker but did clock her fastest time on the year. Leading the way was Tomes who checked in with an NCAA "B" marker of 50.52. Freshman Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.) continued swimming well for the Orange and White, turning in a 50.65 which lowers her provisional qualifying time and places her as the seventh-fastest swimmer in program history. She is the top alternate heading into the evening session. Terveer claimed 25th overall while senior Jessica Blevins (Bluefield, W. Va.) took 27th, which is her best-ever showing in the 100y freestyle at the league championships. Tatiana Athayde (Rio de Janerio, Brazil) placed 30th to establish the highest-ever finish for the junior at the SECs in the event. Right behind her was freshman Laura Fehrman (St. Charles, Ill.) who touched the wall in 52.66. Danyelle Vincent (Rohnert Park, Calif.) broke the 54-second barrier for the first time in her collegiate career with a final marker of 53.54, while Kristin McGrath (Durango, Colo.) continued to impress in her journey back from a knee injury, as her time of 58.46 was nearly two seconds faster than her previous lifetime marker.
In the 200y butterfly, Betsy Brockman (Batavia, Ohio) provided some excitement for the Orange and White by blazing to her quickest swim on the year. She finished in 2:04.99, less than a second off her collegiate best. Julia Lutz (Lilburn, Ga.) touched the wall in 2:07.57 to set a lifetime best while Elizabeth Wueste (Norcross, Ga.) had her fastest swim of the year with a 2:09.43 marker.
Brockman also swam well in the 200y breaststroke, taking more than six seconds off her season-best time with a 2:21.72 to finish 17th and is the top alternate for the evening consolation final. Tiffany Clay (Mason, Ohio) fought through an injury to post a time of 2:22.70 and place 18th while Sallye Hartman (Gates, Tenn.) turned in her second-quickest time on the year to notch 24th.
The championships conclude this evening with finals in the 200y backstroke, 100y freestyle, 200y breaststroke, 200y butterfly, 400y freestyle relay and 1650y freestyle. The 400y free relay and mile will be timed finals.
The Orange and White will then turn its attention to the Bulldog Invite Feb. 26-27, which is a last chance meet. The NCAA Zone Qualified divers will compete in the Zone Championships scheduled March 11-13 while the NCAA Championships will take place March 17-19.