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TENNESSEE FINISHES FIFTH AT 2007 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Christine Magnuson

Christine Magnuson

Feb. 10, 2007

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 14th-ranked University of Tennessee finished in fifth place at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships today at the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington, Ky. UT scored 349.5 points over the course of seven days and 21 events. Defending national champion Auburn took the title with an 899 total.

Several school records fell this week at the hands of Christine Magnuson. She broke her own 100y and 200y free records, with times of 48.75 and 1:44.79, respectively. In addition, Magnuson set a new mark in the 100y butterfly with a time of 52.83 on Friday. That posting gave the Tinley Park, Ill., native her initial gold medal at SEC competition and was the first SEC Conference champion for Kredich.

In this evening's 100y freestyle finals, Magnuson produced a 48.75 time breaking her own school record of 49.00 set in the prelims. The junior was third only to the two fastest times in the country and earned her sixth medal at SEC championship meets. She was also part of the 800y freestyle relay squad (7:07.22) which set a new school record, earned a bronze medal and automatically qualified for NCAA competition. She was also the anchor for the 400y free relay which recorded a UT-record 3:19.18 and NCAA provisional time.

In addition to Magnuson's honors, diver Lauren LeRoy earned her first medal when she tallied 319.75 points from the one-meter board for runner-up honors. The divers got Tennessee off to a good start in the first three days of competition by earning 51 points.

Senior Megan Tomes earned a bronze in the 200y individual medley in 1:59.34 and filled the role of anchor in the third-place 800y freestyle relay and leadoff in the 400y free relay.

Prior to the start of the evening finals session, several orange-clad swimmers attempted to earn passage to the national championship meet in the 1650y freestyle.

Sam Maccherola earned an NCAA provisional cut in the 1650y freestyle. The sophomore is the only Lady Vol to earn that honor this season. Her time of 16:51.42 put her in 12th place, while Ashley Knapik was 13th in 16:55.28. Seniors Misty Cain (17:42.42) and Ashley Yeager (17:27.62) also competed in the mile. Freshman Laura Tomes took nearly nine seconds off her career best with a 17:11.04 readout.

While Megan Tomes swam an NCAA provisional qualifying 12th-place 2:01.27 in the prelims, she chose not to compete in the finals session of the 200y backstroke due to a nagging shoulder injury. Tomes' withdrawal moved teammate Elizabeth Christy into the 16th position where she earned a 15th-place 2:04.92.

Yeager swam a career-best 2:02.97 to place 15th in the prelims and advance to her second 200y back finals session in as many years. She was 16th in the finals with a 2:05.41 reading.

UT record-holder Tiffany Clay swam a season-best 2:14.26 to take top honors in the 200y breast prelims. She improved on last year's placement of 10th by touching the wall in 2:15.79 for sixth, her highest ranking at the conference meet in an individual event.

Sophomore Sarah McCall clocked her fastest time of the season with a 15th-place 2:20.66 in the prelims. She improved on that mark by .01 in the finals to place 14th.

Both of UT's entrants in the 200y fly, freshman Jamie Saffer and classmate Ashley Knapik, qualified for the finals after posting a ninth-place 2:03.23 and 12th-place 2:04.35, respectively in the prelims.

Knapik won the consolation final in 2:03.42 for a ninth-place showing. Saffer was sixth in the heat, 14th overall, with a 2:05.43 reading. Both freshmen contributed nine points apiece to the Big Orange.

In the final event of the 2007 SEC Championships, the 400y freestyle relay of Megan Tomes, freshman Michele King, sophomore Carly Mathes and Magnuson recorded the second record-setting relay of the meet. Their 3:19.18 clocking put the foursome in fourth place.

"Christine continued to have a fantastic meet and Tiffany's 200y breast was really good," Kredich said. "We had a lot of people bounce back well from yesterday. The relay was a good way to end it. I feel after this meet our team really knows how to handle adversity. I think the team going into NCAAs will be very strong."

The Lady Vols will travel to Athens, Ga., next week for another chance to qualify for the NCAA National Championship to be held in Minneapolis, Minn., March 8-10.

Women's SEC Championships - Final Scores
1. Auburn 899
2. Georgia 671
3. Florida 580
4. Kentucky 384
5. Tennessee 349.5
6. LSU 254.5
7. Alabama 214
8. South Carolina 190
9. Arkansas 143
10. Vanderbilt 82


Preliminary Recap

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Seven Lady Vols qualified for the evening finals session on the last day of the 2007 SEC Championships in Lexington, Ky. Following six days of swimming and diving events, No. 14 Tennessee is in fifth place with 263.5 points.

For the fourth time this meet, junior Christine Magnuson set another top all-time Lady Vol mark when she broke her own 100y free record (49.22) by placing third in the preliminaries with an NCAA automatic time of 49.00.

Freshman Michele King earned another NCAA provisional time in the 100y free (50.93), bringing her total to two on the season, but failed to make the finals in 18th place. Sophomores Carly Mathes recorded a season-best 51.09 time for 19th, Brittany Nauta finished in 24th with a time of 51.40 and Katie Gehring was 34th with a season-best 52.13 readout.

Four Lady Vols swam in the 200y backstroke preliminaries, two of which qualified for the finals. Senior Megan Tomes swam an NCAA provisional qualifying 12th-place 2:01.27 to advance to her second final in an individual event. Senior Ashley Yeager posted a career-best 2:02.97 to place 15th and advance to her second 200y back finals session in as many years.

Senior Elizabeth Christy and junior Danyelle Vincent also represented UT in the 200y back prelims. Christy finished 17th with a time of 2:03.79, while Vincent was 20th in 2:05.05.

The 200y breaststroke saw two of three Lady Vols qualify for the finals. UT record-holder Tiffany Clay swam a season-best 2:14.26 to take top honors in the prelims. She now occupies the top spot in the Southeastern Conference and has an NCAA provisional time in the event.

Sophomore Sarah McCall clocked her fastest time of the season with a 15th-place 2:20.66. Freshman Jamie Saffer earned a 21st-place and season-best time of 2:21.73.

The final event of the morning was the 200y butterfly. Both of UT's entrants, Saffer and classmate Ashley Knapik will wear don orange in the "B" finals of the 200y fly. Saffer recorded a ninth-place 2:03.23 readout, while Knapik was 12th in a season-best 2:04.35 time.

Time Trials of the 1650y freestyle will begin at 3:20 p.m. Laura Tomes, Yeager, Misty Cain, Sam Maccherola and Knapik will compete in the event. The finals session will begin at 6 p.m., at the Lancaster Aquatic Center.

 

 

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