Nov. 7, 2004
Lafayette, Ind.-- The number 18-ranked University of Tennessee swimming and diving team got off to a strong start at the Purdue Invitational on Friday night. UT posted three NCAA "B" cuts en route to accumulating 128 points to sit in seventh place at the prestigious event.
"I'm real proud of the way they performed tonight," Head Coach Dan Colella said. "We're way ahead of where we've ever been at this point in the season. Overall, I'm pleased with the performances. You can't ask for a more talented deeper field than there is here. We're looking forward to tomorrow's sessions.
The Invitational got underway with the 200y freestyle relay. The Big Orange came out strong, as the quartet of Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio), Kaitlyn Orstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.), and Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio) blazed to a time of 1:34.24 to finish in fifth place and earn 28 points for the Lady Vols. The time narrowly missed the NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 1:33.74. Danyelle Vincent (Rohnert Park, Calif.), Jacque Fessel (Cincinnati, Ohio), Laura Fehrman (St. Charles, Ill.) and Jessica Blevins (Bluefield, W. Va.) made up the second UT relay squad in the event, netting 6 points with a 14th-place finish.
The individuals then hit the water for the 500y freestyle. Former Olympic Gold Medalist Julia Stowers (Knoxville, Tenn.) turned in an outstanding performance, finishing with the 11th-fastest time in school history with a 4:46.65, to take second place. The time eclipsed the NCAA "B" cut standard and earned the Big Orange 17 points.
"I'm real thrilled for Julia Stowers going 4:46 tonight," Colella said. "She
was extremely pleased and is looking forward to tomorrow's events.
The Orange and White swimmers then turned their attention to the 200y IM, where they continued the stellar night. Tomes and Orstein finished in third and fifth place, respectively, notching NCAA provisional qualifying times for the second time this season. Tomes' time of 2:02.82 narrowly missed out on her career-best of 2:02.49, while Orstein's marker of 2:04.15 improved upon her fastest-career time and ranked her as the 13th-fastest Lady Vol swimmer. The duo earned 30 points for the Big Orange with the top-five finishes. Freshman Elizabeth Christy (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished in 26th place with a time of 2:08.46 while sophomore Tiffany Clay clocked a time of 2:10.31 to finish in 29th place.
"The imers had some great performers out there," Colella said. "I'm particularly pleased with Megan Tomes and Kaitlyn Orstein, making provisional cuts once again.
The sprinters then took over the pool for the 50y freestyle. Junior Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio) continued the scoring for UT with a 16th-place finish. The Ohio native turned in a time of 24.09, which was just .07 seconds in back of 11th place. Magnuson, Blevins and Vincent also competed in the event, notching finishes of 19th, 25th, and 32nd place respectively.
Everyone at the meet then turned their attention to the divers for the one-meter competition, where the Big Orange again finished in the scoring column. Competing without All-American Lauryn McCalley (Moultrie, Ga.), UT earned 14 points on the strength of freshman Lauren LeRoy (Oshkosh, Wis.) and sophomore Brittany Fulmer (Maryville, Tenn.). LeRoy earned 11 points with an 8th place finish as she totaled 234.85, while Fulmer earned 14th place with 207.90 points.
The 400y medley relay would conclude the first session of the Invitational. The Lady Vols ended the night in style, earning yet another top-five finish as the group of Tomes, Orstein, Fessel and Magnuson finished in 3:46.73 earning 28 points with a fifth-place showing.
"We saw some great splits," Colella said. "3:46 was probably the fastest in-season 400y medley relay we've ever had."
The final day of the event is set to begin on Saturday at 11 a.m. with session two. Meanwhile, session three will commence at 6 pm.
The Lady Vols will then enjoy a two week break, before returning to action at Georgia Tech Invitational, Nov. 19-21.