Oct. 15, 2004
The University of Tennessee Swimming and Diving Team got its season off to a strong start Friday evening, defeating the Richmond Spiders 167-128. A trio of Lady Vols each claimed a pair of titles, helping propel UT to its 13th-straight season opening victory.
"It's always good to win the opener," Lady Vol Head Coach Dan Colella said. "We were real pleased with the performances from mostly everyone across the board. I take my hat off to Richmond, they had some good performances tonight, especially Brooke Boncher. We had some athletes who stood up and swam hard for us. Overall, I am pleased. A number of our freshman performed well, especially Kaitlyn Orstein who opened up her career with three wins tonight (one exhibition.) It was great to see Jacque Fessel win her specialties and obviously Julia Stowers performed great in her debut."
All-American Jacque Fessel helped lead the way (Cincinnati Ohio) for the Big Orange, as the junior won a pair of titles. She took home both the 100 and 200y backstroke crowns. Her time of 2:01.43 in the 200y backstroke provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Championships. The Ohio native also swam the opening leg of the winning 200y medley relay squad
Julia Stowers (Knoxville, Tenn.) was impressive in her debut with the Big Orange. The former Olympic Gold medalist took home both the 500 and 1000y freestyles. Her time of 9:58.14 in the 1000y freestyle ranks as the 13th-fastest time in school history and places her as the seventh-fastest Lady Vol swimmer in event history. Meanwhile, her clocking of 4.54.29 in the 500y freestyle places her as the 15th-fastest swimmer in the history of the program. In the 500y freestyle, Stowers narrowly missed out on the NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:54.02.
Freshman Kaitlyn Orstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.) looked very impressive in her Lady Vol debut, as she also claimed a pair of event titles. She won both the 100 and 200y breaststroke. Her time of 1:04.37 in the 100y breaststroke ranks as the 18th fastest in UT history, placing her as the 11th-fastest swimmer. In the 200y breaststroke she blazed to a time of 2:21.25, placing her as the 16th-fastest swimmer in Big Orange history. She also swam the second leg on the winning 200y medley relay squad. Orstein also touched the wall first in the 200y IM, but she was swimming exhibition in that event, due to UT's large lead.
Returning NCAA qualifier Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio) got her season off to a strong start as well. The Ohio native won the 200y freestyle with a time of 1:51.40. She also finished in second place in the 50y freestyle.
Diving Coach Dave Parrington's trio of divers started the year strong, sweeping both the one and three-meter platform diving events.
"It's always exciting to go one-two-three on both boards," Parrington said. "I was very pleased with the performance of Lauren LeRoy, in particular at the one-meter as she qualified for the NCAA Zone Meet. I haven't had too many freshmen come in and do that the first time out. Brittany Fulmer showed some improvement in both her confidence and performance from a year ago, so I'm very pleased with that. Lauryn McCalley dove like the veteran that she is, getting both of her qualifying scores which is great to get out of the way."
In the one-meter event, senior All-American Lauryn McCalley (Moultrie, Ga.) claimed the title with a score of 271.04. Freshman Lauren LeRoy (Oshkosh, Wis.) took second place with a total of 266.40, while sophomore Brittany Fulmer (Maryville, Tenn.) took third. Both McCalley and LeRoy qualified for the NCAA Zone Meet with their scores. McCalley also claimed the crown in the three-meter diving event, this time with a winning total of 289.42, which also qualified her for the NCAA Zone Meet.
UT's relay squads also started the year strong, winning the 200y medley with a time of 1:45.81, with Tatiana Athayde (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio) joining Fessel and Orstein on the squad. The 400y medley relay team touched the wall first in the final event of the meet, but did not score points as they were swimming exhibition.
The Lady Vols will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 29 as they play host to SEC Foe Kentucky.