Feb. 20, 2009
Tennessee head swimming coach John Trembley was pleased Friday as his Volunteer squad had another strong day at the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.
"It was a great night for us," Trembley said. "We started off strong with Michael Christy's 400 I.M."
To begin the third day of competition, UT sophomore Michael Christy swam the third-fastest 400 I.M. in Tennessee history. Christy set the school record for the event (3:45.51) in November. Florida's Bradley Alley won the event (3:41.35) with Georgia's Peter Benner in second (3:45.76) and Billy Cregar in third (3:45.86).
"That was a great swim by Michael," Trembley said. "This will be great for him heading into NCAA championships."
In the 100 butterfly, sophomore All-America Michael DeRocco finished ninth (46.69), winning the consolation heat. Junior Jordan Walters finished 23rd (49.54) in the preliminary rounds and freshman Ricky Henehan had his career-best performance (49.84) in the event finishing 26th.
After leading the first seven pool lengths, UT senior Olympian Jonas Persson was beat out at the wall by two-time defending SEC 200 freestyle champion Shaune Fraser of Florida. Persson swam the second-best time in UT history (1:34.02) and beat Auburn's standing pool record. Sophomore Geoff Sanders continued to excel at the championships finishing 11th (1:35.82) and moving to fifth all-time in Vol history. Senior Stephen Fortney also had a strong showing finishing 14th and boasting Tennessee's tenth-best all-time 200 freestyle performance. Freshman Anders Storvik placed 15th (1:37.28). Storvik's preliminary time (1:36.73) places him 12th all-time in Vol history. Sophomore Chris Winchell placed 17th in the preliminary round (1:36.96) and moves to 15th best all-time at UT. All-America senior Jimmy Dabney finished 25th (1:38.64) in the preliminary round and senior Scott Wherry was 41st (1:40.16).
Swimming his career-best 100 breaststroke, Barry Murphy led the Volunteers finishing third (52.86). Georgia's Neil Versfeld won the event and Adam Klein of Auburn finished second. After swimming his career best in the preliminaries, UT sophomore Mattias Kahlin swam an even faster event in the finals finishing sixth (53.72) and becoming UT's fifth-best all-time 100 breaststroker. Mr. Clutch Brad Craig finished ninth (54.36), winning the consolation heat. Freshman Jake Epperson just missed the championship heats finishing 17th in the preliminary round (55.30).
In the 100 backstroke, Pascal Wollach of Auburn set a new pool record winning the event (46.04). Florida's Omar Pinzon placed second, Auburn's Kohlton Norys finished third and Rexford Tullius of Florida finished fourth. Tennessee's Nolan Morrell tied for fifth (47.13) with LSU's James Meyers. UT freshman Ricky Henehan placed 13th (47.99). Henehan's preliminary time (47.63) ranks eighth all-time in Vol history. The versatile freshman Storvik placed 20th (49.05) in the preliminary round.
The final event of day three was the 400 medley relay. Tennessee's relay team of Morrell, Murphy, DeRocco and Dabney swam the ninth-fastest time in UT history finishing in fourth (3:10.68). Auburn, Georgia and LSU were the top three. Florida's relay team was disqualified for an early start and earned no points in the event.
On the eve of the SEC championship final day, Auburn has maintained the top spot with 588.5 points, Florida has taken over second with 405 points and Tennessee has moved to third with 397.5 points.
Official results can be found on auburntigers.cstv.com.