Sept. 27, 2013
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Tennessee men's and women's swimming and diving teams rolled to season-opening victories against UNC Wilmington on Friday at the Seahawk Natatorium.
The Tennessee men (1-0) won their competition 167-133, while the women (1-0) were victorious 178-116 to start Matt Kredich's second year as the head coach of the combined program.
The men won 13 of 16 of the swimming and diving events, while the women won 12 of 16. Freshmen accounted for five of the individual victories and Lauren Driscoll, sophomore transfer from California, racked up two wins in her Tennessee debut.
"It's always exciting to swim our first dual meet, and we have a big freshman class and they brought a lot of energy today," said Kredich, who has once again taken the squad the North Carolina beaches for training in addition to the meets. "I thought the group did a good job making the transition from swimming in the ocean to swimming in the pool."
Tennessee set three pool records during the evening. The women's team of Lauren Solernou, Molly Hannis, Harper Bruens and Faith Johnson opened the evening by breaking the meet record in the 200-yard medley relay (1 minute, 43.42 seconds).
Senior Lindsay Gendron, who already owned the natatorium record in the 100 freestyle, made her mark this year in the 200 freestyle. The SEC champion in the 200 freestyle last spring, Gendron broke the previous pool mark by nearly two seconds in 1:50.78.
The diving team enjoyed the return of redshirt sophomore Mauricio Robles, who missed a majority of last season after suffering an injury. He set the third pool record of the night, scoring a 387.37 on the 3-meter springboard. The 2012 SEC platform champion also won the 1 meter competition.
"It's fantastic having Mauricio back since his last competition in November last year," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "He was a little rough on 1 meter in some areas but a 387 on 3 meter is this time of year is a pretty darn good score, especially with the conditions as they were. He's excited to be back out there."
The returning divers for the women -- national diver of the year Tori Lamp and sophomore Samantha Lera -- earned a pair of Tennessee victories. Lamp won the 1-meter springboard and Lera took first on 3 meter, good for her first career individual win.
Driscoll was the only multi-race winner on the women's side, taking first in the 200 backstroke in 2:03.38 and the 500 freestyle (4:59.63).
Addition winners for the Tennessee women included: sophomore Amanda Carner in the 1000 freestyle (10:24.87); freshman Heather Lundstrom (2:04.38); sophomore Cherelle Thompson in the 50 freestyle (23.96); sophomore Caroline Finkbeiner in the 100 freestyle (53.71); freshman Colleen Callahan in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.73) and freshman Morgan Dickson in the 100 butterfly (58.64).
"Cherelle Thompson is a long way ahead of where she was at this time last year," Kredich said. "It looks like she will be a contributor through the end of the year. It was nice to see people emerge from the pack this weekend."
Sophomore Sean Lehane, an All-American last season, won two races on the men's side. The backstroke standout won the 100 backstroke in 49.66 and then picked up the victory in the 200 IM near the end of the meet in 1:54.51.
The rest of the UT men's winners included: freshman David Heron in the 1000 freestyle (9:30.09); junior Tristan Slater in the 200 freestyle (1:44.12); freshman Ross Dibblin in the 100 breaststroke (59.87); sophomore Miles Garner in the 200 butterfly (1:57.40); sophomore Jimmy Dagley in the 100 freestyle (47.48); senior Sam Petersen in the 500 freestyle (4:46.45); and junior Jacob Thulin in the 100 butterfly (50.56).
Tennessee and UNCW haven't seen the last of each other. Just like last year, the two schools will compete in an open water race Saturday morning. There will be a course for long-distance swimmers and another for sprinters.