Feb. 7, 2007


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 13 Lady Vol swimming team got off to a strong start at the SEC Swimming Championships in Lexington, Ky., this evening by taking sixth in the 200y medley relay and a third-place record-setting time of 7:07.22 in the 800y freestyle relay. Tennessee came into the Lancaster Aquatic Center with 51 points, thanks to their diving teammates who competed in the conference championship last week. Tennessee is currently in fourth with 109 points.

In the 200y medley relay, seniors Megan Tomes and Tiffany Clay, and sophomores Carly Mathes and Katie Gehring touched the wall with a sixth-place 1:41.48 readout. The mark is the team's best of the season by 2.51 seconds, its first NCAA provisional cut in the event and ranks sixth on the all-time Lady Vol list. Tomes and Clay competed on the 200y medley relay squad at the championship meet all four years of their collegiate careers, including the school record-setting 2006 team. Jacque Fessel, Clay, Christine Magnuson and Tomes placed fourth at last year's SEC Championships in Knoxville with a time of 1:39.22, before earning a 14th-place 1:40.95 at the NCAA Championship meet.

"The 200y Medley Relay was kind of a big question mark for the meet," Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich said. "We had a couple of people swimming new legs on that. Carly was swimming the fly and Katie is usually not on that relay. Megan and Tiffany were super. That got us off to a great start."



The 800y freestyle relay was the second event on the 2007 SEC Championship schedule and saw the squad of Magnuson, Mathes, Michele King and Tomes take third behind Auburn (7:04.12) and Georgia (7:05.13). Their time of 7:07.22 demolished the UT record of 7:07.66 set by Magnuson, Sam Maccherola, Mathes and Tomes at last year's SEC championships. It is the third fastest time in the country thus far this year and Tennessee's first NCAA automatic qualifying time in a relay. In addition to setting the relay record, Magnuson garnered her first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season and broke her own school record when she touched the wall at 1:44.79 in the first 200 yards of the race.

The Orange and White was first after the first and second legs of the relay, before dropping to fourth after the third leg. Senior Tomes, swimming in the anchor position, brought the team back up to third place.

"The 800y free relay was fantastic," Kredich said. "Christine swam the first leg in 1:44.79, very few people have ever been that fast. The other three were brilliant as well. Today was a great start to the meet."

Tomorrow's events will begin at 10 a.m. with the 500y freestyle preliminaries. The 200y individual medley, 50y freestyle and 200y freestyle relays will also be contested. The finals session will begin at 6:00 p.m. E.T.

Women's SEC Championships - Swimming Events
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007
10:00 a.m.500y Freestyle Preliminaries
200y IM Preliminaries
50y Freestyle Preliminaries
200y Freestyle Relay Time Trial
6:00 p.m. 500y Freestyle Finals
200y IM Finals
50y Freestyle Finals
200y Freestyle Relay Finals
Friday, Feb. 9, 2007
10:00 a.m.400y IM Preliminaries
100y Butterfly Preliminaries
200y Freestyle Preliminaries
100y Breaststroke Preliminaries
100y Backstroke Preliminaries
400y Medley Relay Time Trial
6:00 p.m. 400y IM Finals
100y Butterfly Finals
200y Freestyle Finals
100y Breaststroke Finals
100y Backstroke Finals
400y Medley Relay Finals
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007
10:00 a.m.200y Backstroke Preliminaries
100y Freestyle Preliminaries
200y Breaststroke Preliminaries
200y Butterfly Preliminaries
400y Freestyle Relay Time Trial
3:15 p.m.1650y Freestyle (fastest seeded heat contested in Finals)
6:00 p.m. 1650y Freestyle Final
200y Backstroke Final
100y Freestyle Final
200y Breaststroke Final
400y Butterfly Final
400y Freestyle Relay Final


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