March 19, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Junior Michele King lowered her own Lady Vol record and placed third in the 50y free on Thursday night at the 2009 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
The York, Pa., native's time of 21.82 bettered her runner-up performance (21.86) at the 2008 NCAA meet. King finished just behind Georgia's Anne-Marie Botek (21.80) and Arizona's Lara Jackson (21.40).
She was second to Jackson at last season's national meet, and tied Botek for the "splash and dash" title at the 2009 SEC Championships.
Her performance makes her the 11th fastest of all-time in the event.
"Michele put a lot of heart into her race," Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. "Her last quarter was phenomenal, she's just ran out of room. She's had some trouble with her starts, but she finishes so well. It's great to get her best time, though. And we're certainly not disappointed in third-place."
King also earned All-America honors on both the 400y medley and 200y free relays.
King joined classmate Jamie Saffer, freshman Jenny Connolly and sophomore Morgan Farrell on the 400y medley relay that finished eighth in the finals with a time of 3:34.71. In the prelims, the team of King, Saffer, Connolly and sophomore Tricia Weaner broke the UT record with a time of 3:32.61.
"The 200 free relay was better tonight," Kredich said. "It was good to move up a couple of spots. We had to make some changes in the 400 free relay, and we had a couple of good legs from Morgan Farrell and Jamie Saffer. All in all, today was good start to the meet. We had some solid efforts."
For Gehring, it was the first All-America award of her career, and for Nauta her fifth.
King collected three All-America awards to give her 13 for her career, while Connolly snagged the first two All-America certificates of her career. Saffer and Farrell each earned their second All-America honors.
The top-16 finishers in each event earn All-America honors, with the consolation final heat participants (places nine through 16) being designated as Honorable Mention All-Americans.
Arizona smashed two NCAA and American records en route to winning the 200y free relay (1:26.20) and the 400y medley relay (3:28.31).
The Wildcats lead the meet after one day of competition with 141.5 points. Georgia is second (133), while California third (126). Tennessee is currently 10th with 46 points, one spot ahead of SEC Champion Florida (43).
The meet picks back up Friday at 11 a.m. CT for the prelims with finals at 7 p.m. CT. The event order will be 200y medley relay, 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back and 3-meter board. The prelims will be streamed live by swimmingworldmagazine.com and the finals by ESPN360.com.
Lady Vol Finals Performances
|200y free relay|
|13.||King, Alton, Connolly, Nauta||1:29.51|
|3.||Michele King||21.82 (UT record)|
|400y medley relay|
|8.||Connolly, Saffer, Farrell, King||3:34.71|
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Tennessee women's swimming and diving team kicked off the 2009 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships by swimming the fastest 400y medley relay in UT history on Thursday at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium.
The Lady Vol quartet of freshman Jenny Connolly, sophomore Tricia Weaner and juniors Michele King and Jamie Saffer clocked a time of 3:32.61 to set a new UT mark and place sixth in the prelims to qualify for tonight's finals. The old record of 3:34.90 was set at SECs last month. Sophomore Morgan Farrell qualified for NCAAs on the relay and will replace Weaner on the butterfly leg tonight.
"Our 400y medley relay was our lowest seed (No. 14) and we had four outstanding legs highlighted by Tricia Weaner on the butterfly," Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. "That relay was key for our team."
King also will be competing in the 'A' finals in the 50y free. She earned the third seed in the event after clocking a time of 22.02 during the prelims.
Defending champion Lara Jackson of Arizona (21.75) and Georgia's Anne-Marie Botek (21.82) finished just ahead of King during the morning session.
King was runner-up to Jackson at the 2008 NCAA Championships and tied Botek for the SEC title in the event last month.
"Michele really hasn't quite got going yet," Kredich said. "She does have a middle lane tonight, though, and it will be anybody's race."
King joined Connolly, senior Brittany Nauta and freshman Abbie Alton on the 200y free relay that finished 15th in the prelims to earn a spot in the evening session's consolation finals. The relay's time of 1:29.67 is the second-fastest clocking of the season, while King had the fastest lead-off split in UT history (21.92).
Additionally, sophomore Aleksa Akerfelds swam a time of 4:52.50 in the 500y free, and did not advance.
Freshman Gabrielle Trudeau scored 239.00 during the prelims of the 1-meter diving competition and did not advance to the finals.
"One of our goals for today's first session was to get both relays in the top-eight," Kredich said. "We had a few hiccups and weren't quite able to do that in the 200y free relay. However, overall, I feel like we'll be in a good position to score some point tonight."
King and both relays will compete in tonight's finals, beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Friday's events are being streamed live by swimmingworldmagazine.com.
|Lady Vol Prelim Performances|
|3.||Michele King||50y free||22.01|
|60.||Aleksa Akerfelds||500y free||4:52.50|
|6.||Tennessee||400y medley relay||3:32.61|
|15.||Tennessee||200y free relay||1:29.67|