Faith Johnson Wins 50 Free on Day 2

Feb. 20, 2013


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Men's Points
1. Auburn 417
2. Florida 412.5
3. Georgia 372
4. Tennessee 300.5
5. Texas A&M 288.5

» Full Results

Women's Points
1. Georgia 500
2. Texas A&M 464
3. Florida 443
4. Tennessee 429
5. LSU 277

» Full Results

Freshman // High Point, N.C.

Johnson won her first SEC individual title, tying Georgia's Chantal Van Landeghem in 21.90. She also swam a leg on the bronze medal relay team.

Senior // London, England

The Vols' team captain took fourth in the 50 freestyle in 19.70. He also swam the first leg of the 200 freestyle relay team in 19.46 as the Vols took fourth.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Freshman Faith Johnson captured the 50-yard freestyle title and set a national age group record to highlight Tennessee's performance Wednesday at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

In an unusual finish, Johnson and Georgia's Chantal Van Landeghem both touched the wall simultaneously and tied for first place in the sprint freestyle in 21.90 seconds.

"I was just so excited about it because during the whole day I was pumped and ready to swim," Johnson said. "The whole time I was thinking, `I'm going to win. I'm going to go a 21.9.' Then it happened. I'm so happy."

Senior Caroline Simmons made it a 1-3 Tennessee finish, taking bronze in 21.97.

The times were the second- and third-fastest times by the Lady Vols in program history. In addition, Johnson's time set a new American age group record for 18-year-olds.

"I was so excited because I hadn't dropped since my junior year (in high school) until this morning," Johnson said. "It was a great feeling."

Swimming in her first SEC Championships, Johnson has excelled in the spotlight so far at the Student Rec Natatorium. The night before, she anchored the Lady Vols' gold medal-winning and record-setting 200 medley relay team.

She already has three medals at the conference meet. She teamed up with Simmons, Kelsey Floyd and Lindsay Gendron to take silver in the 200 freestyle relay to finish the evening competition. Their time of 1:27.13 was a new Tennessee school record.

In the team standings through two days of competition, both the Vols and Lady Vols are sitting in fourth.

The men have 300.5 points, trailing Auburn (417), Florida (412.5) and Georgia (372). The women completed the second day with 429 points and are behind Georgia (500), Texas A&M (464) and Florida (443).

"We actually had a really good day," Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. "Our morning was phenomenal. Our 500s, our 200 IMs, our 50s. That kind of runs the gamut of skills, and I thought we were really good in every one. We had some tremendous drops.

"Tonight I think we had some nerves and kids got a little rattled. We still had some people get better tonight, and that's our goal every time."

In addition to Tennessee's record-setting 200 freestyle relay team, Gendron also broke her own school record in the 500 freestyle. In the morning prelims, she swam in 4:36.71.

On the men's side, the Vols were paced Wednesday by senior Ed Walsh. He took fourth in the 50 freestyle in 19.70, swimming both the prelims and finals under 20 seconds. He also anchored the Vols' 200 freestyle relay team that came in fourth.

For a look inside Wednesday's races:

Sean Lehane finishing fifth in the B final of Men's 500 free with a time of 4:21.07, a new career high. Ryan Signorin takes seventh 4:23.52 (season & career high), while Sam Petersen finished eighth 4:30.11 in the C finals.

Lindsay Gendron came in fifth with a time of 4:37.36 in a highly competitive race from start to finish. In the morning prelims, she set a new school record in 4:36.72, breaking her previous record by more than two seconds. Caroline Finkbeiner in the C finals placed fifth with a time of 4:49.70, a new personal best.

Tristan Slater, after finishing eighth a year ago, placed seventh this year with 1:45.47. He shaved nearly three second off his career fastest in this race. Drew Peterson finished sixth in the C finals with a new career high time of 1:48.42.

Amanda Carner and Molly Hannis swam side-by-side in the C final for Tennessee and each set new personal bests.Carner finished third (1:59.52) andHannis 7th with 2:01.63.

In the championship finals, Ed Walsh finished fourth with time of 19.70. Troy Tillman shaved nearly half a second off his personal best with a time of 20.07 finishing sixth, while Oystein Hetland placed eighth with a season best 20.25. GustavAbergLedjstrom and Jacob Thulin represented UT in the C finals, finishing second and seventh respectively. Ledjstrom cuts over a second off his personal best with a time of 20.05 and Thulin 20.20 is a new personal best.

Faith Johnson ties withChanta VanLandeghem of UGA, for first with a time of 21.90. This is the second fastest recorded time in the nation this year, and two seconds faster than Johnson's previous career best. Caroline Simmons came in right behind her teammate to secure the bronze for Tennessee with a time of 21.97, a new career best atUT. In B finals HarperBruens with a new personal best of 22.75 placed eighth, while Kelsey Floyd swam 22.10 for first place (5th fastest in nation this year & new career best). Cherelle Thompson, in the C final, finished sixth with a career best of 22.97.

Tori Lamp was our lone competitor in the 1-meter finals. Through some stiff competition and scoring, she placed fifth with a 300.50. Senior Jodie McGroarty missed the evening finals by just two points, taking ninth place. Freshman Samantha Lera took 12th, giving the Lady Vols three scorers in the event.

Tennessee brought home fourth in the championship of the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:18.32. The team consisted of Ed Walsh, Troy Tillman, Gustav Aberg-Ledjstrom, and Jacob Thulin. This was Tennessee's fastest time of the season in the 200 freestyle relay.

The LadyVols closed the night by capturing silver with a time of 1:27.13, second fastest in the nation. Georgia set the new SEC record of 1:26.89, and all three top times where faster previous SEC record and three fastest times in the nation this year.





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