Nov. 17, 2011
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 9 University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming and diving team picked up its first individual win at Tennessee Invitational on Thursday, as Lindsay Gendron grabbed the top spot in the 200y free on day two of the Invite held at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
Gendron was one of three Lady Vols to qualify for the 200y free `A' final, as she was victorious in the event with a clocking of 1:47.04. The mark was a season best for the sophomore and also an NCAA B-cut time.
Texas A&M still leads the Invitational after the second day, as the Aggies have a score of 783 points. The Lady Vols are in second with 471 points, while the Louisville Cardinals round out the top three with a tally of 449.5. Arkansas (383), LSU (371.5), Kentucky (226) and Southern Illinois (35) are in spots four through seven.
For the second straight day, Tennessee finished third in a relay, as senior Jenny Connolly, freshman Molly Hannis, Floyd and junior Caroline Simmons recorded a B-cut mark of 1:40.96 in the 200y medley relay.
Connolly also made two more `A' finals on the day, as the West Lafayette, Ind., native was the top finisher for the Big Orange in the 100y back with a fourth-place and B-cut time of 54.82 seconds. In the 100y fly, she recorded a season-best readout of 54.77 seconds to notch fifth.
Floyd had Tennessee's best finish in the 100y fly event, as she swam a B-cut and season-best time of 54.58 seconds. Along with Connolly, sophomore Lauren Solernou also was in action in the 100y back. Solernou placed sixth in 55.57 seconds, which was .24 seconds faster than her previous season best.
Competing on the 3-meter diving boards, sophomore Tori Lamp and senior Gabrielle Trudeau each qualified for the evening finals and recorded zone-qualifying scores. Lamp grabbed third after tallying 324.55 points, while Trudeau notched a season-best score of 302.25 to earn fifth.
"Tori was pretty consistent most of the day and didn't have many misses, so that was very pleasing to see," Tennessee head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Every time she gets up and competes, she is getting better. I'm very happy with the progress she is making. Gaby really had a rough prelim. She got stronger as the event went on and fought her way back into the contest. She really turned it around and I couldn't be more pleased with what she did this evening."
Hannis led the way for the Orange and White in the 100y breast, as she placed sixth with a clocking of 1:03.65. Behind her in seventh and eighth were seniors Kirstyn Colonias and Samara Gelb, each of whom swam season-best times. Colonias had a time of 1:04.76, while Gelb finished in 1:05.28.
A pair of sophomore competed in the 400y IM `B' final, as Kennedy Higdon and Courtney Ciesielski finished 15th and 16th overall, respectively. Higdon finished with a time of 4:25.74, while Ciesielski, who competed in the event for the first time this season, touched in at 4:30.45.
To end the day, Floyd, junior Brooke Watson, sophomore Alexandria Frasier and Gendron combined for a fifth-place finish in the 800y free relay with a readout of 7:22.74. Thursday marked the first time this season UT has competed in the event, as the quartet achieved a B-cut.
The Tennessee Invitational will conclude tomorrow and follow a slightly different format. Morning prelims will still begin at 10 a.m., but the platform diving finals will start at 2:30 p.m. The swimming finals get underway at 6 p.m. and events slated for Friday are the 1650y free, 200y back, 100y free, 200y breast, 200y fly and the 400y free relay.