Jan. 9, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Paced by victories in four relays, the No. 13-ranked Tennessee women's swimming and diving team stormed to the lead on Friday at Councilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center during the first day of quad-meet competition with No. 11 Indiana, No. 19 Michigan and Illinois.
The Lady Vols won the 200y free, 200y medley, 400y medley and 800y free relays, and lead the host Hoosiers by almost 100 points, 1023.5 to 925.5, with Saturday's morning session still to follow. The Wolverines are in third with 579 points, while the Fighting Illini sit fourth with 111.
"This was our first meet where we started with the intensity I know we're capable of generating," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "We started out great in the 200y free relay and throughout the whole first session we swam great. We stayed focused and didn't show any signs of rust from our time off. As the meet wore on we continued to have great performances. Our freshmen are learning what it's like to have a lot swims in one day and our upperclassmen are serving as great role models."
Connolly, Saffer and King combined with sophomore Morgan Farrell to claim first in the 400y MR in 1:41.57.
Connolly, Saffer, King and Mathes each grabbed individual event titles, as well.
Connolly captured the 100y fly in 54.71 and also finished second in a season-best and NCAA B qualifying time of 54.40 in the 100y back. Farrell was fourth in the 100y back in 57.99.
Saffer grabbed victory in the 100y breast in 1:02.07 with junior Alex Barsanit (1:04.16) and freshman Samara Gelb (1:04.34) placing right behind their teammate in third and fourth, respectively.
Saffer and Connolly also went 3-5 in the 200y IM, finishing in 2:03.99 and 2:04.07, respectively.
King led a dominant Lady Vols performance in the 50y free, winning in 22.94, while Gehring (23.35), freshman Atlantis Wilkins (23.58) and Connolly (23.61) swept through places 3-4-5.
Akerfelds was runner-up by less than half a second to Indiana's Amanda Smith in the 500y free. Her time was 4:49.81. Mathes was fifth in the 500y free in a season-best 4:55.48.
Akerfelds also placed third in the 400y IM in a season-best 4:19.87.
"Aleksa (Akerfelds) was really tough today," Kredich said. "She swims a challenging slate of events because she's very good at a lot of them. Her best swim of the day probably came in the 800y free relay, where she held off a charge from (Indiana's Nikki White) to secure the win in that event. I was also very impressed with Carly (Mathes) and Jenny (Connolly). They both were successful on relays and in individual events."
Gabbie Trudeau led the way on the diving boards, finishing second in the platform and fourth on the 1-meter board (256.10). Fellow freshman Jodie McGroarty placed sixth in both the 1-meter (252.80) and the 3-meter (270.55). Senior Staley McCartney chipped in with a ninth-place finish on the platform (188.15) and a 10th place result on the 3-meter (233.10).
"This was certainly a very challenging meet as we expected it would be," UT head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Having to dive in three different events made for a tough environment, but I couldn't be more pleased with our divers' attitudes and aggressiveness - even at the end of the meet on the platform. We didn't dive all that well, but we had some good performances here and there."
The two-day quad meet wraps up tomorrow as the third and final session begins at 9 a.m. and will include the 1,650y free, 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly and 400y free relay.