Feb. 16, 2012
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming & diving team carried the momentum from the opening day of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championships into day two, as the squad broke three UT records Thursday at the league meet being held at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
"It was a great night for the team and was really memorable," Tennessee Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. "We got off to another great start with having people in finals that haven't been there before."
Currently the Orange and White are sitting in second place with 249 points, only behind Georgia's tally of 274.
Lindsay Gendron set the tone early by setting a new standard in the 500y free, Tori Lamp took to the 3-meter boards and broke the event record which stood for over five years and the Big Orange 200y free relay closed out the day by shattering another Lady Vol record.
A native of Bloomington, Ill., Gendron bested her own Lady Vol record in the 500y free after touching in with a second-place time of 4:38.74. Her previous UT record was 4:38.97, which came at last season's SEC Championships in a ninth-place effort. The readout is also NCAA B-cut time and ranks seventh in the nation.
"Lindsay had a great swim this morning, a great finish this morning, and got even better tonight," Kredich said. "So that was great."
She qualified for the `A' final with a time of 4:41.86 in prelims.
Competing in her home pool in her hometown, Lamp claimed runner-up in the 3-meter diving competition after accumulating a six-round score of 381.85. The tally was 14 points better than the previous best held by Lauren LeRoy.
"Tori really got up for the second night in a row and completed extremely well," Tennessee head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Tori finished only behind an SEC record performance and broke the school record. That was a phenomenal showing."
Jodie McGroarty entered the evening finals with the day's best prelims score (350.0) and finished the competition in sixth after a finals score of 344.80. Gabrielle Trudeau claimed 10th in the prelims after a mark of 301.45.
"Jodie was a little off her game this evening but normally we would be happy with that performance, but it was a fantastic competition," Parrington said. "Earlier today Gaby finished in 10th place, so we had nobody finish outside the top 10, which is a great thing."
The 200y free relay foursome of senior Jenny Connolly, junior Caroline Simmons, sophomore Kate McNeilis and Gendron grabbed third in record fashion time. Their clocking of 1:28.86 was a `B' cut and bumped the previous-best time of 1:29.07 that was set at the 2008 league meet at Alabama. The mark also ranks fifth in the country this season.
Floyd became the second fastest Lady Vol ever to swim the event after recording a time of 1:58.58 to notch fourth. The Lexington, Ky., product was in eighth with just 50 yards remaining, but surpassed four competitors during the free leg.
Her readout ranks second on the UT performers list and was a career-best and NCAA B-cut time. Her prelim clocking of 1:59.30 was good for seventh this morning. Gelb claimed 14th overall after placing sixth in the `B' final following a time of 2:01.57. Her prelim clocking of 2:01.02 was a `B' cut and a season best.
The Orange and White sent two to the 50y free finals in Simmons and Connolly. The duo recorded the exact same time, touching in at 22.32 seconds to tie for fifth. The marks are both `B' cuts and rank fourth on the Tennessee performers list.
"Kelsey had never swum the 200y IM before this season and she's not only qualifying seventh but running people down and finishing fourth," Kredich explained. "Caroline Simmons and Jenny Connolly are just a great 1-2 punch in the 50y free."
Simmons touched in at 22.16 seconds in the "splash-and-dash event" to notch third during the prelims, while Connolly grabbed sixth after a time of 22.36 seconds.
Tomorrow's prelims are slated to get underway at 10 a.m. ET. Events on tap for Friday are the 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back and 400y medley relay. The finals portion of the day will begin at 6 p.m.