Oct. 10, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Led by three individual wins by freshman Jenny Connolly the White team defeated the Orange squad, 145-141, at the annual Tennessee women's swimming and diving inter-squad exhibition meet held for the first time at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
This was the first dual meet for the state-of-the-art AJIAC, which held a grand-opening this past August and hosted the U.S. Olympic Diving Selection Camp in the summer.
Connolly took first in the 100-yard back (55.15), the 200-yard back (2:03.02) and the 100-yard fly (55.43) and was also a member of the winning 200-yard medley relay (1:20.33).
Leading the Orange team was sophomore Aleksa Akerfelds, who also won three individual events and was part of a winning relay. A returning All-American, Akerfelds captured first in the 1000-yard free (10:08.21), the 200-yard butterfly (2:04.03) and the 500-yard free (5:00.54) and was a member of the winning 400-yard free relay (3:29.62).
"It was a fun meet," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "It's always exciting to see the freshmen in their first meet and it was especially exciting to have our first college-style meet in the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. We've got some freshmen that love to race and are going to make a real impact in this conference once they get another few months of training under their belts. I'm impressed with the leadership of our upperclassmen as well.
"Its good to have a starting point and we'll continue to work towards some really big end of the season goals."
In addition to Connolly, fellow freshman Samara Gelb was also impressive in her first collegiate meet. Also swimming for the White team, Gelb won the 200-yard breast (2:18.31) and the 200-yard IM (2:06.19).
Another freshman, Jodie McGroarty, swept both diving events. The Sheffield, England, native took first in the 1-meter with a score of 2:84.35 and grabbed the 3-meter with a score of 327.08 for the Orange squad.
Also grabbing wins for the victorious White team were senior Carly Mathes (200-yard free, 1:52.13) and junior Michele King (50-yard free, 23.26; 100-yard free, 51.49). Mathes and King return this season as the most decorated Lady Vols. Mathes is an 11-time All-American, while King owns 10 All-America certificates. Joining Connolly on the winning 200-yard medley relay were King, sophomore Morgan Farrell and senior Ashley Quinn.
The only other individual winner for the Orange squad was junior Jamie Saffer (100-yard breast, 1:04.60). Freshmen Abbie Alton and Caitlin Perks and senior Brittany Nauta joined Akerfelds on the first-place 400-yard free relay.
Tennessee returns seven All-Americans amongst 16 returning letterwinners and also add 10 talented newcomers in 2008-09.
The Lady Vols open the 2008-09 regular season in a big way next week with three meets in two days at the AJIAC. UT hosts the University of the Cumberlands at 11 a.m. and the Louisville at 4 p.m. on Oct. 16, before welcoming Arkansas and Vanderbilt for a Southeastern Conference Tri-Meet at 2 p.m. on Oct. 17.