Feb. 21, 2014
|2. Texas A&M||911|
Hannis put the Lady Vols on the podium for the first time Friday night, earning the silver medal in the women's 100-yard breaststroke final. She tied her career high and the UT record with a fast 58.22. Hannis was also part of the bronze medal winning relay team in the 400-yard medley relay to close the night.
Once again, Rairden led the way for the Vols on Friday night, earning the bronze medal in the 100-yard backstroke. The senior qualified with the fastest time in preliminaries and was barley beat out of first place in the A final. In the 400-yard medley relay, Rairden swam a 45.42 third leg to clinch fifth place to wrap up Friday night.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Tennessee reached the awards podium Friday at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Junior Molly Hannis took silver in the 100-yard breaststroke for the second consecutive year, and senior Sam Rairden finished third in the 100 backstroke. The Tennessee women finished the day with a bronze medal in the 400 medley relay.
In the women's team standings, Tennessee is fourth with 579 points, just ahead of Auburn's 571. Host Georgia leads with 1098.
As a team, the men are in fifth place with 568 points, just four points behind Missouri heading ingot he final night. Florida leads with 1097.5.
The meet concludes Saturday night.
"We had some people stand up and perform beautifully and in finals tonight, we had a few swims that went slower, than faster," Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. "We just talked as a team that it's OK to make those kinds mistakes out of going after it. We had some passionate performances tonight. Some didn't come up the way we wanted, some were great."
Hannis collected her second silver in the 100 breaststroke in another exciting head-to-head battle with Texas A&M's Breeja Larson. Hannis matched her school record in the finals with a time of 58.22 seconds, while Larson pushed ahead to improve her own American record of 57.28.
Rairden, who won silver in the 100 backstroke last season, fell just short of his golden goal in the evening finals. He entered as the top seed thanks to a career-best time of 46.01 in the preliminaries but finished third in 46.05. Auburn's Kyle Darmody won in 45.66.
Sophomore Sean Lehane finished just behind Rairden in fourth in 46.35.
"Both those guys wanted to win it, so it's kind of bittersweet," Kredich said.
Tennessee's women's 400 medley relay team of Lauren Solernou, Hannis, Lindsay Gendron and Faith Johnson ended the evening for the women by taking bronze in the 400 medley relay in an NCAA A-cut time of 3:30.19.
Gendron, an SEC champion freestyler, clocked the fastest butterfly split in the field 51.62 to help Tennessee to the awards stand.
"In some ways, the most exciting swim of the night was Lindsay's split on the 4x100 medley relay," Kredich said. "I think a lot of people counted us out of the mix, including the national championship mix because we don't supposedly have a sprint flyer. Lindsay ends up being the fastest sprint flyer in the field."
Solernou was also in the championship final of the 100 backstroke, taking eighth in 52.77.
After winning silver medals the first two days, redshirt sophomore finished seventh in the platform with a score of 359.10. He had recorded a 401.45 in the preliminaries but had an up-and-down performance in the finals.
"I felt he was set up pretty well for this evening, but it has been two years since he's been in a big time championship environment on platform," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Platform finals are a whole different ballgame. He had a lot of energy, maybe too much of it.
"His mistakes were very aggressive mistakes. I'd much rather see that than trying to be too careful or too perfect. He kept scrapping until the end, and I'm proud of him for that."
Women's 200 Fly
A trio of freshmen represented UT in this event. In the B final, Madeline Tegner finished third at 1:57.81. This B-cut time is also a new career high. In the C final, Michelle Cefal (2:00.68) and Patricia Forrester (2:01.64) finished seventh and eighth in their first SEC race.
Men's 200 Fly
As the Vols' only swimmer in the event, Tristan Slater finished fourth in the B final, clocking in at 1:45.22. This was the Englishman's third individual final off the tournament, earning 15 points for UT, while shaving seconds off his preliminary time.
Women's 100 Back
Senior Lauren Solernou raced in her third consecutive A final, finishing in eighth place, just .15 off her career high. UT won its first race of the night in the C final, where Madison Hahn and Christina Leander went 1-2. Hahn's 53.95 time is a season high, while Leander's 53.98 time is a new career high.
Men's 100 Back
Senior Sam Rairden swam the fastest qualifying time today and got off to a solid start, but the competition came back in the final leg to beat out Rairden, who ended up with the bronze medal in 46.05, just ahead of fourth place Sean Lehane (46.35). In the B final, Tennessee's pair of Jimmy Dagley and Carl Svagerko earned seventh and eighth place respectively,
Women's 100 Breast
Molly Hannis may have lost to new SEC record holder Breeja Larson of Texas A&M, but the three-time SEC finalist in the event earned the first medal of the night for the Lady Vols. Hannis tied her career high and UT record with a 58.22. Colleen Callahan finished in eighth in the C Final with a time of 1:03.59.
Men's 100 Breast
After winning the consolation heat last season, senior Renato Prono settled for third place after posting a B-cut time of 53.49, a new season high. Meanwhile, in the C final, Ross Dibblin finished fourth in his first career SEC final. His 54.56 time is good enough to qualify for an NCAA B-cut time.
Men's Platform Diving
After posting the second-best score in qualifiers, the two-time silver medalist this week could not make it three for three. A couple of low-scoring dives midway through put Robles behind, giving him a score of 359.10, good for seventh place overall.
Women's 400 Medley Relay
The Lady Vols finished Friday night with a medal, securing bronze, thanks to a 3:30.19 time. Lindsay Gendron kept UT in contention with a blistering 51.62 time on the butterfly leg, while Faith Johnson swam a 47.51 anchor leg to place the Lady Vols on the podium.
Men's 400 Medley Relay
On the final event of the night , the quartet of Lehane, Renato Prono, Rairden and Luke Percy earned crucial points to keep UT in the top five. The 3:08.20 time was good for a fifth place finish, just three seconds behind the first place Auburn relay team.