Jacque Fessel recorded an NCAA Automatic Qualifying time in the 100y backstroke today.
Feb. 25, 2004
Sophomore Jacque Fessel (Cincinnati, Ohio) demolished her own school record in the 100y backstroke with a 54.03 mark to take third place and punch her ticket to the NCAA Championships with an NCAA Automatic Qualifying mark at the 2004 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships in Athens, Ga. The All-American paced Head Coach Dan Colella's swim squad with 16 points. The orange-clad swimmers then closed out the night with a provisional in the 800y freestyle relay. The Orange and White concluded the day in eighth place with 56 points, while two-time defending national champion Auburn leads with 229 points.
"I am excited," Fessel said. "I had a good feeling, but I never expected this after feeling sluggish in the preliminary this morning. Doing well in the 100y back just got me comfortable enough to perform well in the 800y freestyle relay."
Earlier in the evening, junior Lauryn McCalley (Moultrie, Ga.) opened up the final session of the day by earning her initial All-SEC certificate with a third-place 290.00 sequence of dives. Alabama's Lane Bassham captured the conference title with a 298.25, while South Carolina's Allison Brennan took second place with a 297.40, which was nearly 50 points above her preliminary total.
"I am proud of Lauryn," Parrington said. "This is the highest she has placed at SECs. Although we had higher expectations with her performance in the preliminaries, she did well against a group of divers that will be vying for the NCAA Championship in a few weeks. She did not come back as sharp as the prelims and that probably cost her the title."
Tennessee then concluded the day of competition with an inspired performance
in the 800y freestyle relay as the squad of freshman Elizabeth Christy
(Indianapolis, Ind.), sophomore Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio), Fessel and freshman
Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted an NCAA provisional qualifier with a
seventh-place clocking of 7:24.35.
"I am obviously thrilled for Jacque to come back and finish in third after having a rough start in the preliminary of the 100y backstroke," Colella said. "Once I saw her start smooth, I knew it was going to be a good swim. To back that up with a B-standard in the 800y relay was a nice feeling. I am also proud of Megan [Tomes]. To come back and swim as well as she did as the anchor after being sick yesterday just set us up to improve the rest of the meet."
Next up, the Lady Vols return to the Gabrielsen Natatorium at 10:30 a.m., for the second day of the 2004 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.
Tennessee at SEC Swimming and Diving
At Gabrielsen Natatorium (Athens, Ga.)
|UT All-SEC Performers:|
|3rd||1m springboard - Lauryn McCalley (290.00)|
|3rd||100y backstroke - Jacque Fessel (54.03)|
|UT Point Scorers:|
|24||800y freestyle relay - Elizabeth Christy, Abbi Terveer, Jacque Fessel, Megan Tomes|