Nov. 21, 2008
After the first two days of the Tennessee Invitational, the UT men's swimming team had broken four school records, eight pool records and met 13 NCAA qualifying standards. This trend continued into third day as six more pool records were broken and six more NCAA standards were met.
"Day three was a magical day for us," men's head swimming coach John Trembley said. "We couldn't have asked for much more."
To get things going for the Vols, senior All-America Nolan Morrell won the 100 backstroke with a pool-record time of 47.46. Freshmen Ricky Henehan and Anders Storvik took second and third places, respectively. All three Vols made an NCAA B-Cut.
Next, senior Olympian Jonas Persson dominated the 200 freestyle event with a mark of 1:32.79. This time gives Persson his fifth automatic spot in the NCAA Championships, breaks Tennessee swimming legend Melvin Stewart's school record and leads the NCAA. UT also landed sophomore Chris Winchell in second place and senior All-America Jimmy Dabney in fourth; both Winchell and Dabney earn a B-Cut NCAA qualifying time. Also placing for the Vols were senior Scott Wherry in fifth, sophomores Geoff Sanders in sixth and Carl Jones in seventh.
Senior co-captain Barry Murphy set a new Allan Jones Aquatic Center record with a 53.49 time in the 100 breaststroke. Second place was taken by Mr. Clutch Brad Craig and sophomore Mattias Kahlin placed third. All three Vols made the B-Cut NCAA standard. Senior Stephen Fortney finished fourth and freshman Derek Paul placed sixth.
In the 100 butterfly, sophomore All-America Michael DeRocco took first place with a B-Cut time of 47.51. Senior Andrew Thirwell also made a B-Cut with a mark of 47.56. Also placing in the event were senior Greg Houchin in sixth, junior Jordan Walters in seventh and Forrest Leary in eleventh.
After setting the school record for the 200 individual medley Thursday with a mark of 1:44.57, sophomore Michael Christy accomplished the same feat Friday in the 400 I.M. with a time of 3:45.51. Following Christy were freshman Jake Epperson in second and sophomore Patrick Beasley in third. Also placing was Fortney with a time of 4:01.04. Both Christy and Epperson earned B-Cut NCAA marks.
The final event of day three was the 400 medley relay. The Big Orange squad of Morrell, Kahlin, DeRocco and Persson won the event with a time of 3:09.41. This mark sets a new pool record and is good enough to meet the B-Cut standard.
In post-meet time trials, Henehan made a B-Cut with a 47.84 time in the 100 backstroke.
Heading into the final day of competition in the Tennessee Swimming Invitational, the Volunteers have taken a commanding lead. Day four will begin with the Vols sitting atop the leader board with 777 points, Virginia Tech in second with a score of 471 and Kentucky in third with 400 points.
Tennessee currently holds the NCAA Division I top times in the 200 medley relay, 800 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. Six Volunteers hold individual top times in seven NCAA championship events. Persson leads the nation in both the 50 and 200 freestyle events, Morrell leads the 100 backstroke, Murphy holds the top spot in the 100 breaststroke, DeRocco is atop the 100 butterfly list and Christy leads the NCAA in the 200 I.M.
"This team is very excited, very vibrant and very healthy now," Trembley said. "I am very proud of this Tennessee team."
Saturday's events include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 1650 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and the 400 freestyle relay. Preliminaries will begin at 10 a.m. and the finals at 6 p.m.
Allan Jones Diving Invitational
Virginia Tech's Michael McDonald continues his success off the boards winning the three-meter competition on day two of the Allan Jones Diving Invitational. With a score of 389.25, McDonald picks up his second win of the invite. He won the one-meter event Thursday.
In second was Vol freshman Ryan Helms with a mark of 373.35 and junior Michael Muscari placed third with 344.15 points. Also placing were freshman Brent Sterling in fifth and redshirt freshman Sean Letsinger in eighth.
Saturday afternoon the platform diving events will kick-off at 1 p.m. and conclude during the evening session.