Nov. 21, 2004
ATLANTA, Ga.--The No. 23 Lady Vol swimming and diving team had a strong final session on Sunday as it concluded competition at the Georgia Tech Invite. UT finished the invitational in third place. It was a dominating final session for the Big Orange, as they took home first place in four of the six swimming events.
UT was able to accomplish the third-place showing despite not having the services of All-American Lauryn McCalley (Moultrie, Ga.), a NCAA Zone meet qualifier and Julia Stowers (Knoxville, Tenn.) who has already qualified in three events for the NCAA Championships. Additionally, Kaitlyn Orstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who swam in the first day of the event, was unable to compete the final two days.
"I'm real proud of the team in what they accomplished this weekend," Head Coach Dan Colella said. "This was probably on the of the best in-season invitationals we've swum in three years. We had struggled when it's come down to the last relay and for us to do what we did was really nice (won the 400y freestyle relay). The team has gotten really tough the last couple of years. We are getting ready for SECS and the NCAA and this was another big step forward for us. I'm just really proud of the swimmers."
The final session got underway with the 1,650y freestyle. Misty Cain (Marietta, Ga.) swam well, notching a fifth-place finish with a time of 17:14.92. Stowers, who did not compete in the event, holds the fastest time thus far this season in the nation.
All-American Jacque Fessel (Cincinnati, Ohio) was in solid form for the 200y
backstroke. The Ohio native, already a NCAA "B" qualifier, lowered her time to
2:00.45 en route to staking first place. Right on her heals was teammate Megan
Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio), who notched second place on the strength of a
2:02.83 final time. In the consolation finals, Elizabeth Christy
(Indianapolis, Ind.) brought home three points, touching the wall with a time
of 2:08.76. Meanwhile, Ashley Yeager (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) won the bonus heat
with a final marker of 2:08.28.
Next up in the pool were the freestylers. Freshman Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.) continued to have and outstanding meet, as she won the race with a career-low and NCAA "B" cut time of 51.18. The time placed Magnuson as the 17th-fastest swimmer in Big Orange annals.
"That was a huge step for her (Magnuson winning the event)," Colella said. "She was disappointed with her performances in Purdue. We made some adjustments and her performance showed that. She was exciting to watch and is really excited for the rest of the season."
Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio) took home fifth place, finishing in 52.60. Meanwhile, in the consolation finals, Jessica Blevins (Bluefied, W. Va.) and Laura Fehrman (St. Charles, Ill.) combined for an additional 10 points, as they finished in 53.38 and 54.09, respectively.
Tiffany Clay (Mason, Ohio) then continued the winning ways for the Lady Vols. The sophomore won the 200y breaststroke in a time of 2:19.28. In the consolation finals, freshman Sallye Hartman (Gates, Tenn.) established a career-low time, touching the wall in 2:27.13 to pick up an additional five points.
In the 200y butterfly, Betsy Brockman (Batavia, Ohio) claimed seventh, touching the wall in 2:07.47. In the consolation finals Julia Lutz (Lilburn, Ga.) picked up two points for the Orange and White, finishing in 2:11.65. In the bonus heat Elizabeth Wueste (Norcross, Ga.) had a final marker of 2:13.36.
The meet then concluded with the 400y freestyle relay, where the Lady Vols ended things with a bang. The quartet of Magnuson, Terveer, Fessel and Tomes blew away the competition, winning by nearly four seconds, finishing in 3:25.83. The second entrant in the event for UT, comprising of Christy, Tatiana Athayde (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Brockman and Blevins claimed fifth place, touching the wall in a time of 3:33.22. The final relay squad representing Rocky Top took tenth place, with Danyelle Vincent (Rohnert Park, Calif.), Sarah Ridgway (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), Hartman and Fehrman finishing in 3:37.63.
The Georgia Tech Invitational marked the final event of the fall season for the Orange and White. The divers will return to action at the Georgia Diving Invitational from January 3-5 and then join the rest of the squad in Evanston, Ill. on January 8th for a dual-meet against Northwestern.