Feb. 25, 2011
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Sophomore Brooke Watson and junior Kirstyn Colonias highlighted day one of the Tennessee Last Chance Meet as six Lady Vol swimmers registered season-best clockings on Friday at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
"One of the challenges of this meet is to prepare for each event and execute each event better than they did at SECs," said Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich. "That can be difficult to do in an environment without parents screaming in the stands, no points are at stake, and I think our team did a great job today of meeting that challenge."
Watson claimed the top spot in the 200y fly after touching in at 1:58.49. In the prelims she recorded a season-best and NCAA B-cut clocking 1:57.92. Freshman Courtney Ciesielski also competed in the event and claimed sixth after swimming a time of 2:05.19.
Colonias, who already owns a B-cut time in the 100y breast this season, shaved .67 seconds off her career-best time by registering a time of 1:01.25 in the prelims of the event. With the time, the Danville, Calif., native now ranks fourth on the UT performers list.
In time trials, Colonias also bettered her B-cut mark in the 200y breast. She improved on her season-best time of 2:12.37 set last week at the league meet as she touched in at 2:11.27. The mark ranks her fourth on the Lady Vol performers list and 23rd nationally.
"One of the goals of the meet is to get people qualified for NCAAs and Kirstyn put herself in position that she will be awful close in the 200y breaststroke," Kredich said. "Brooke has another shot in the 100y fly and 200y fly tomorrow and I think she is going to need to be a little faster. Tricia Weaner is the third who has a good shot, so she will have one more chance tomorrow and we hope to pick up some more certain NCAA spots tomorrow."
Competing in the 500y free for the first time this season, freshman Kennedy Higdon touched in at 4:54.39 to finish runner-up. The time is also the fourth fastest swam by a Lady Vol this year.
Also notching second-place finishes on day one were Weaner and freshman Alex Frasier. Weaner, who competed in the 200y back, grabbed second after a B-cut clocking of 1:56.92. In the 100y free, Frasier who swam the teams fastest time of the season in the event last week at SECs, finished with a mark of 50.80 seconds.
Behind Frasier in third was sophomore Maddie Garrett, who competed in the 100y free for the first time this season. The Nashville, Tenn., product had a clocking of 51.69 seconds. Junior Atlantis Wilkins recorded a season-best time in the event during the prelims, swimming a time of 52.71 seconds. In the finals, she claimed sixth after touching in at 53.10 seconds.
Abbie Alton, a redshirt sophomore, was the last member of the Big Orange to compete. In the 100y free time trials, Alton swam a season-best time of 50.74 seconds, which ranks18th on the Lady Vol performers list.
The Last Chance Meet wraps up on Saturday and will feature only swimming events. The meet gives competitors a final opportunity to earn season-best performances in an effort to rise up the national lists before the NCAA Championships participants are announced.
The 2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will be hosted by the University of Texas over March 17-19 in Austin, Texas.
Tomorrow's event prelims will begin at 10 a.m. with finals starting an hour earlier than originally scheduled at 5 p.m.
Live results of the Last Chance Meet will be available at JonesAquaticCenter.com.