800 Relay earns Bronze at NCAAs

The seventh-ranked Tennessee swimming and diving team ended day two of the NCAA championships in Federal Way, Wash., on Friday but not before the 800 freestyle relay swam to a third-place finish at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center. The Vols ended the night in 10th with 119 points.

Jonas Persson, Nolan Morrell, Andrew Thirlwell and Michael Wolfe teamed up for the bronze finish in the relay and tapped the wall at 6:20.61. Their only faster time came at this year???s SEC Championships when they finished in 6:19.18.

???We finished day two in fantastic fashion,??? UT head coach John Trembley said. ???Among the highlights on the night was the 800 freestyle relay. Persson broke his own school record for the 200 freestyle for the third time tonight. That just rarely happens. It was unbelievable. Morrell, Thirlwell and Wolfe also really came to play in that relay.???

Wolfe, Barry Murphy, Octavio Alesi and Michael DeRocco made up the 10th-place 200 medley relay, clocking in at 1:26.50.

???We pulled Persson from the 200 medley relay to rest him for his other events,??? Trembley said. ???Alesi and DeRocco really did a good job for us.???

Murphy matched the relay by taking the 10-spot in the 100 breaststroke with a personal-best time of 53.47. Wolfe received an All-America award in the 100 backstroke as he finished 15th at 47.83.

It marked the first time either Wolfe or Murphy scored in their respective events at the NCAA Championships.

Persson and Morrell finished 10th and 14th in the 200 freestyle, respectively. Persson splashed to a 1:33.63 finish and Morrell timed in at 1:36.17. This is Persson first time scoring in an individual event at the NCAAs.

Earlier in the day, freshman Brad Craig???s time of 54.20 was a personal best in the 100 breaststroke.

Arizona leads the competition with 376 points. Texas is second (285 points) and Stanford is third (231 points). Florida and Georgia sit ahead of UT in 8th (140 points) and 9th (137 points), respectively. Minnesota trails UT in 11th with 104.5 points.

For Saturday???s competition, Coach Trembley plans to pull Wolfe from the 200 backstroke to rest for the 200 butterfly.

The last and final day of the championships start Saturday at noon with preliminaries and end at 7 p.m. with the finals (Pacific Time).





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