March 8, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Lady Vols made history at the NCAA Championships today starting with the 200y freestyle relay with Michele King, Christine Magnuson, Carly Mathes and Megan Tomes, whose eighth-place finish in 1:30.44 is the highest UT placement in the event at the NCAA Championships since 1989. The competition was the best UT has seen this year considering the top spot went to Arizona in a new NCAA and American record of 1:27.23.
The Lady Vols had registered a Tennessee-best 1:29.47 in the preliminaries session earlier today to earn a spot in the championship finals.
"Today was a great first day," Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich said. "Everyone that swam, swam really well. They all swam a best time either in the relay or individually or both. We are off to a great start."
Tomes, who earlier in the day improved upon her own school record in the 200y individual medley, placed eighth in the championship finals competition this evening. The Cincinnati, Ohio's time of 1:58.53 is now the third-fastest time in UT history. Her 1:58.36 in the prelims was a new UT record by .09 seconds.
In the 400y medley relay, the team of Tomes, Tiffany Clay, Magnuson and King finished third in its heat and 11th overall with a time of 3:38.16. The squad earned passage to the consolation finals by registering a new UT record of 3:38.11 to place ninth in the preliminaries. Tomes led the team with a leadoff 54.47, a new personal best for the senior.
"The nine swims we had tonight were really solid swims," Kredich said. "In that last relay, Megan led off with a best time, Tiffany swam her best split in the breaststroke, while Christine and Michele were right on what they did this morning."
Also representing the Orange and White today was junior diver Lauren LeRoy. LeRoy, who was twice named SEC Diver of the Week, placed 28th in the one-meter competition with a score of 282.70. From Oshkosh, Wis., LeRoy is making her first appearance in the NCAA Championship meet.
"While I am a little frustrated, I understand that this is her first championship meet of any kind," Lady Vol Head Diving Coach Dave Parrington said. "There might have been a few more nerves, and this is a whole new environment she was contending with today. Overall though, I was really pleased with her going into the event. She seemed relaxed and started off good with her first dive...I'm very positive about her chances in the finals."
LeRoy and the rest of the Lady Vols will return to the water tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. CT with the preliminaries session. Six swimming events along with the three-meter diving will be contested tomorrow.
TENNESSEE SENDS ALL SWIMMERS TO FINALS SESSION ON DAY ONE
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Every Lady Vol swimmer who competed in this morning's preliminaries session, earned a spot in the finals at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. Orange-clad swimmers will be present in the championship finals of the 200y free relay and 200y individual medley. Four Lady Vol swimmers will represent Tennessee in the consolation finals of the 400y medley relay. Several UT records fell today in the process.
"It's hard to ask for much better," Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich said. "That first relay was amazing. It beat the school record by almost two seconds. We are just racing really well and competing with a lot of poise."
The Lady Vols started the meet in fine form by registering a new school record in the 200y freestyle relay. Michele King, Christine Magnuson, Megan Tomes and Carly Mathes clocked a 1:29.47 time, 1.87 seconds faster than the previous school record of 1:31.34 set at last year's Southeastern Conference Championships. The foursome earned a spot in the championship finals by placing seventh in the prelims out of a field of 26 teams. King's leadoff time of 22.60 is a new personal best in the 50y free for the freshman. The squad was second in its heat only to Arizona which finished fourth in 1:29.16.
Another Lady Vol record fell in the next preliminary event Tennessee entered, the 200y individual medley. Senior Tomes improved on her own school record by placing seventh with a 1:58.36 readout. Also registering personal records were Tiffany Clay and Mathes. Clay's 2:00.58 time makes her the second-top performer in school history behind Tomes. Mathes' 2:01.31 clocking brought the sophomore up to fourth on the all-time top-performer's list. The duo finished 25th and 32nd, respectively.
King got another chance to improve on her 50y free time from earlier in the day, when she became UT's only entrant in the 50y free event. While the York, Pa., native was third in her heat, she finished 29th overall (22.85).
The final event of the morning session was the 400y medley relay. The foursome of Tomes, Clay, Magnuson and King clocked a ninth-place 3:38.11 to earn the top seed in the consolation finals. Tomes' leadoff 54.80 in the 100y backstroke was a new personal best for the Cincinnati, Ohio, native.
The finals session will begin at 7 p.m. CT with the 200y freestyle relay.