March 17, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. - The University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming & diving team notched is best finish at the NCAA Championships since 1989, tying for seventh with Auburn after a three-day tally of 249 points at the national meet held at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center on the campus of Auburn University.
The Lady Vols cracked the top 10 for the first time since 2008, as the 2012 placing only trails the 1989 fourth-place performance after the squad accumulated 260.5 points. It was also the highest finish under head coach Matt Kredich, who has been at the helm for seven seasons.
In all, nine of the 11 Lady Vol competitor achieved All-America status, combining for 31 A-A certificates in 16 events. All five relays finished in the 10, including both medley relays, the 200y free relay and the 400y free relay all notching first team honors.
"We kind of had several layers of goals and thought if we would put together a great meet, we could be inside the top five," Kredich explained. "We know where we kind of missed some things, but having the second-highest point total we ever had and second-highest finish is terrific. We had so many great performances."
California had the lead after day one and never looked back to win its second consecutive national championship after a score of 412.5 points. Southeastern Conference member Georgia finished runner-up after a tally of 366, while Southern Cal rounded out the top three after a total of 325.5.
Redshirt sophomore diver Tori Lamp had Tennessee's best finish at NCAAs, claiming second in the platform competition. The Knoxville, product accumulated a five-round total of 333.45 in the finals to become the 12th All-American under the guidance of head diving coach Dave Parrington.
Lamp set a Big Orange record in the event prelims, tallying 350.45 to better her previous best mark of 335.50 that she achieved at the 2012 SEC Championships.
"I was really happy with my performance, especially in the prelims," Lamp said. "Finishing second is just great and I'm really happy, especially since I have at least two, maybe three years left to represent the University of Tennessee."
"Tori was phenomenal today," Parrington said. "She had a stellar performance certainly in the preliminaries. I'm extremely proud of her in her first NCAAs and I can tell you Tori will learn from this experience and build on it."
Junior Kelsey Floyd tied her best individual finish at NCAAs after a third-place effort in the 200y fly. With spots 3-5 in a deadlock during the final 25 yards, Floyd touched in at 1:54.28, .10 seconds faster than fourth and .36 seconds better than fifth. The readout also ranks as the second-best performance in UT history.
She claimed third in the 100y fly yesterday, to go along with third-place finishes in both medley relays. The Lexington, Ky., nativeadded seven All-America certificates to her résumé, six being first team, to bring her overall total up to 18.
The Orange and White 400y free relay quartet of senior Jenny Connolly, junior Caroline Simmons, sophomore Lindsay Gendron and Floyd set a Lady Vol record in event to conclude the meet, touching in at 3:14.51. The clocking was good for seventh, bettering the foursome's prelims time of 3:14.74.
Connolly will leave a lasting legacy in the UT record books, ending her career with Lady Vol best 14 First-Team All-America certificates. Connolly's overall A-A total of 22 ranks only behind U.S. Olympian Christine Magnuson, who tallied 23 in her four years at Tennessee.
Simmons swam a personal-best time of 48.62 seconds in the 100y free to earn 12th. She qualified for the consolation finals after a 16th-place time of 48.68 seconds in the morning session and now ranks as the third fastest Lady Vol ever to swim the event.
After spending her first two season at Buffalo, Simmons made the most of her first NCAA appearance by tallying five A-A certificates over the course of the last three days, four being first team.
Gendron made it back-to-back years in earning All-America accolades in the mile, touching in at 16:14.14 to grab 16th. For the week, she tallied five A-A certificates, three being first team honors.
This morning UT had three representatives in 200y back prelims, with sophomores Lauren Solernou achieving the squad's best finish. Solernou registered a season-best time of 1:55.22 to claim 20th and is the seventh-fastest mark in Lady Vol history.
Classmate Kate McNeilis notched 34th after touching in at 1:56.99, while Connolly's mark of 1:57.28 was good for 40th.
Senior Kirstyn Colonias, who donned the Orange and White swim cap one more time, finished the 200y breast in 2:11.74 to earn 28th. Freshman Molly Hannis also competed in the event and recorded a clocking of 2:13.15 to place 39th.
During her three years at Rocky Top, Colonias qualified for the NCAA Championships twice and leaves her mark in the UT record books by ranking third on the Lady Vol performer's list in the 200y breast and seventh in the 100y breast.
Redshirt junior Jodie McGroarty, who was competing on the towers for just the third time in her UT career, placed 25th after a five-round score of 219.15. In her first trip to NCAAs, she earned All-America status on both springboards this week.
Though the collegiate season is over, a number of Lady Vols will compete in the Olympic Trials later this summer. Swimming trials will take place in Omaha, Neb., over June 25-July 2, while the diving trials run June17-24 in Seattle, Wash.
|Lady Vol 2012 All-America Performances|
|3rd||Connolly, Hannis, Floyd, Gendron||400y medley relay||3:29.92|
|3rd||Connolly, Hannis, Floyd, Simmons||200y medley relay||1:35.91|
|3rd||Kelsey Floyd||100y fly||51.67|
|3rd||Jenny Connolly||100y back||51.58|
|3rd||Kelsey Floyd||200y fly||1:54.28|
|4th||Jenny Connolly||100y fly||51.73|
|6th||Connolly, Floyd, McNeilis, Simmons||200y free relay||1:28.55|
|6th||Lindsay Gendron||200y free||1:43.89|
|7th||Connolly, Floyd Simmons, Gendron||400y free relay||3:14.51|
|8th||Caroline Simmons||50y free||22.18|
|10th||Jodie McGroarty||3-meter diving||334.55|
|10th||Frasier, Floyd, McNeilis, Gendron||800y free relay||7:04.60|
|12th||Caroline Simmons||100y free||48.62|
|13th||Jodie McGroarty||1-meter diving||304.00|
|16th||Lindsay Gendron||1650y free||16:14.14|