Feb. 27, 2004



Head Coach Dan Colella's swim squad had an incredible day at the 2004 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga., by setting a new program record in the 200y medley relay and narrowly missing another standard in the 200y freestyle relay. Additionally, the team added provisional times in each event and earned All-SEC status for the 200y medley relay group. Tennessee is now in fifth place with 219 points and is in striking distance of South Carolina's fourth-place 234 points.

"At our team meeting yesterday, we talked about taking advantage of the opportunities presented to the team," Colella said. "I am proud of the team doing just that. Graciela [Breece-Rodriguez] is amazing. After coming off of surgery in December to score in both events, I am really proud of her.

[Jacque] Fessel and [Megan] Tomes had some great performances overall and I am really pleased. Also, Ashley Yeager came back from a tough season to score as a freshman at the SEC Championship. That is a real testament to her heart and desire."

Tennessee relay opened the championship session in fabulous fashion as the quartet of sophomore Jacque Fessel (Cincinnati, Ohio), freshman Tiffany Clay (Mason, Ohio), freshman Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio) and senior Taryn Ternent (Edenvale, South Africa) set a school record in the 200y medley relay with an NCAA Provisional qualifying time of 1:41.08 to take third and claim All-SEC accolades and 32 points for the UT coffer. The performance also marks the initial time the Big Orange has medaled in a relay since the 2001 SEC Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala.



In the individual event opener, sophomore Graciela Breece-Rodriguez (Boulder, Colo.) took 10th place in the 200y butterfly to claim seven points with a 2:03.51 clocking, while freshman Julia Lutz (Lilburn, Ga.) ended up in 15th place with a career-best 2:07.71 to pick up two points for the Big Orange. In the 200y freestyle, Tomes followed up the relay performance with a career-low 1:49.02 effort to improve her NCAA Provisional time and finish in 12th place to add five points for Tennessee.

In the 200y breaststroke consolation final, Clay finished in 11th place with a 2:16.83 clocking for six points, while sophomore Betsy Brockman (Batavia, Ohio) ended up in 15th place with a 2:21.83 to bring in two points. Fessel piled up another 14 points for the Lady Vols in the 200y backstroke with a fifth-place 1:56.23, while Breece-Rodriguez tallied three points for a 14th-place 2:02.97 effort and freshman Ashley Yeager (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) took 15th place with a career-low 2:03.17 for two points.

The Lady Vols closed out the night with a fifth-place effort in the 200y freestyle relay as the group of sophomore Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio), Ternent, Fessel and Tomes posted a provisional qualifying time of 1:32.58, which was just .11 off the Tennessee record set at the 1992 SEC Championships. The placement gathered 28 points for the Big Orange cause.

"I feel great," Ternent said. "All the hard work really paid off, but I could not have done it without my team and my coaches. They got me back on track. As for being All-SEC, that is awesome. It is a dream come true and I never imagined that I would be able to receive that honor."

Next up, the Lady Vols return to action at the Gabrielsen Natatorium tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., for the final day of competition at the 2004 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

Tennessee at SEC Swimming and Diving
At Gabrielsen Natatorium (Athens, Ga.)

Team Scores:
4.South Carolina234
9.Louisiana State172
UT All-SEC Performers:
3rd1m springboard - Lauryn McCalley 290.00
3rd100y backstroke - Jacque Fessel54.03
3rd200y medley relay - Jacque Fessel, Tiffany Clay, Megan Tomes, Taryn Ternent1:41.08
UT Individual Point Scorers:
45Jacque Fessel
30Lauryn McCalley
15Tiffany Clay
10Graciela Breece-Rodriguez
5Megan Tomes
2Betsy Brockman
2Misty Cain
2Julia Lutz
2Ashley Yeager
UT Relay Point Scorers:
32200y medley relay - Jacque Fessel, Tiffany Clay, Megan Tomes, Taryn Ternent
28200y freestyle relay - Abbi Terveer, Taryn Ternent, Jacque Fessel, Megan Tomes
24800y freestyle relay - Elizabeth Christy, Abbi Terveer, Jacque Fessel, Megan Tomes
22400y freestyle relay - Abbi Terveer, Taryn Ternent, Meghan Keefer, Megan Tomes


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