March 13, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Vols qualified five swimmers for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships later this month.
The official NCAA acceptance lists were released Wednesday, and the Vols' five representatives include: senior Ed Walsh, junior Samuel Rairden, junior Renato Prono, sophomore Tristan Slater and freshman Sean Lehane.
The national meet runs March 28-30 in indianapolis.
The swimmers will be joined by senior diver Brent Sterling, who qualified for the field this week through the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in Knoxville.
Walsh, the Vols' veteran captain, is back at NCAAs in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, but this time around, he is one of the front runners. He has the 12th fastest time entered in the 50 free.
Rairden is the only Vol entered in three events, all of which he finished second in at the SEC Championships last month: the 100 freestyle, the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly. In just his sixth time swimming the race in college, the Richmond, Va., native broke the school record in the 100 fly at SECs in 46.19 seconds.
He has the seventh-best time in the 100 freestyle, the eight-best time in the 100 backstroke and the 10th-best time in the 100 butterfly,
Back in the NCAAs for a consecutive year, Prono will swim again in the 100 breaststroke.
Slater is set to make his first trip to NCAAs after missing the cut barely in the individual relays. He's set to swim the 200 and 400 IM.
Lehane has been the Vols' freshman leader across many races, namely the backstroke. He broke a 21-year-old school record in the 200 backstroke and has the eighth-best time in the country in 1:41.26.
All five of the Vols' relay teams also made the cut for NCAAs. Tennessee's 200 medley relay team broke the school record at SECs en route to earning silver.