400y Free Relay
Oct. 27, 2011
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A quick return to action proved to be no problem for the University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming and diving squad, as the team won 15 of 16 events versus Louisville to defeat the Cardinals by a final score of 183-117 on Thursday afternoon at the Ralph Wright Natatorium in Louisville, Ky.
After recording a pair of wins this past Saturday against Kentucky and Indiana in the home opener,, Tennessee (4-0, 1-0) took to the road just five days later to knock off the Cardinals in a total team effort. The last time the Orange and White were at the Ralph Wright Natatorium, U of L edged the Lady Vols by a mere four points, setting a pool record time in the final event, the 400y free relay, to win the meet.
"As a team we were a little bit sluggish and I thought Louisville swam really well," Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. "This time of the year, a Thursday meet, it brings sort of a certain level of fatigue into the meet. The difference between this year and two years ago is we were really tough. We handled the sluggishness a lot better this time and that is a real skill and shows we have some really good leadership. The people who are juniors and seniors now were freshmen and sophomores two years ago. I look at the way they handled that challenge and it was just a whole lot better this time."
Tennessee swam five NCAA B-cut times on the day, including in both relays. The quartet of senior Jenny Connolly, juniors Kelsey Floyd and Caroline Simmons and freshman Molly Hannis began the meet with a victorious time of 1:41.12 in the 200y medley relay. The end of the meet was much like the beginning, except this time, Alexandria Frasier, Kate McNeilis, Sloane Pitman and Lindsay Gendron, all of whom are sophomores, touched in at 3:23.63 to notch the win.
"We pushed the team hard three days in a row in practice and they responded," Kredich said. "We had our best week of the year so far in the first three days of the week. We put some great practices in and we pushed them, they pushed themselves and I think we saw the a little bit of the residue today, which is very valuable."
Gendron picked up wins in the second and third events of the meet, as the Bloomington, Ill., native grabbed first place in the 200y and 1000y free events. Her time of 9:49.09 in the 1,000 was almost 12 seconds faster than second place and also registered a clocking of 1:48.55 in the 200y event.
Like Gendron, Connolly and Floyd both won multiple individual events, as the duo also recorded B-cut times. Connolly notched first in the 100y back with a B-cut standard of 54.53, while also winning the 200y back in 2:00.09. Floyd swept the butterfly events, registering a B-cut time of 1:59.92 in the 200y event and winning the 100y fly in 54.82 seconds, which was her best time in the event this season.
In addition to her wins in the fly events, Floyd earned the top spot in the 200y IM, an event she only competed in once last season. The Lexington, Ky., native recorded a career-best mark of 2:03.16.
Frasier earned her first individual win while donning the Orange and White swim cap, placing first in the 100y free with a time of 50.85. Her clocking was the fastest time by a Lady Vol in the event this season.
"Lindsay Gendron did the 1,000y and 200y frees back-to-back and she keeps getting better at doing that double and swimming better tired," Kredich explained. "Alex Frasier is really starting to understand how to swim well under a lot of different circumstances and that showed in the 100y freestyle. That was one of the best races I ever seen her have. Kelsey Floyd and Jenny Connolly both had really good 200's today and they handled some fatigue they probably hadn't had to deal with in a while."
In the diving wells, junior Jodie McGroarty led the charge for the Lady Vols. After missing all of last season, McGroarty swept both boards with NCAA Zone qualifying scores. On the 1-meter, she tallied a score of 295.20, which was her highest score ever in the event in a dual meet. Her score of 326.93 topped the leader board in the 3-meter competition as well.
"I was very pleased with the team's performance and certainly Jodie," Lady Vol head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "She didn't compete all of last year, and last week was her first collegiate competition in a long time. She was a little rusty a week ago, and we talked about the issues and she made all of the adjustments I asked of her."
McGroarty wasn't the only Lady Vol to register zone scores, as senior Gabrielle Trudeau and sophomore Tori Lamp also tallied qualifying scores on both boards. Lamp finished runner-up on the 3-meter with a score of 301.50 and claimed fourth on the 1-meter with a score of 278.92. Trudeau grabbed third on the 1-meter with a six round total of 284.10 and placed fifth on the 3-meter after a tally of 269.56.
Also earning wins for Tennessee in the pool were freshman Molly Hannis and Simmons. Hannis, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, won the 100y breast for the second consecutive week, registering another B-cut time of 1:02.67 in the event. She also was UT's top finisher in the 200y breast. Simmons won the "splash-and-dash" event for the second time on the year, touching in at 23.53 seconds to notch first in the 50y free.
"It was a great test for us today and I am really proud of the way everybody stayed focused and fought even for fifth and sixth places today," Kredich said. "I thought we were really a lot more completive through the entire lineup."
For Louisville, Fanny Lilliestrom won the 200y breast with a B-cut time of 2:16.08.
The Lady Vols will be on the road for their next dual meet, as the team travels to Columbia, S.C. to take on the Gamecocks next Friday at 2 p.m. ET.