Nov. 21, 2009
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXIVLLE, Tenn. - With a convincing victory in the 200y back on Saturday, freshman Kelsey Floyd led the 13th-ranked Tennessee women's swimming and diving team to a third-place finish at the Tennessee Invitational.
The Lady Vols finished with 790.5 points, while Kentucky snagged the meet title by scoring 837.5 points at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. No. 17 Virginia Tech placed second (709) and Alabama was fourth (752).
Floyd, of Lexington, Ky., had the swim of the day for the Lady Vols, winning the 200y back by over a second in an NCAA `B' cut and season-best time of 1:58.12.
She also finished fourth in the 200y fly (2:02.08) and was on the second-place 400y free relay that earned a `B' cut and finished in 3:23.43. Senior Michele King and sophomores Jenny Connolly and Caitlin Perks joined Floyd on the relay.
"One of the challenges of the meet was to race multiple times and keep a high level of focus," Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. "Kelsey did that better than anybody. There was no let up on her part. She does a great job preparing for every event."
Floyd competed in a team-best 19 races over the three-day meet.
King placed second in the 100y free in an NCAA `B' cut time of 50.08, just barely getting out-touched by Kentucky's Megan Pulskamp (49.98).
Senior Alex Barsanti snagged a `B' cut in the 200y breast prelims (2:16.60) and finished second in the finals of the event with sophomore Samara Gelb just behind, placing third in 2:17.16. Alabama's Agustina de Giovanni breezed to victory in the event with a clocking of 2:11.62.
Junior Tricia Weaner was sixth in the 200y back in 2:01.72, while Connolly finished eighth in the 200y fly (2:04.31) and the 200y back (2:03.58).
"I'm happy where we are," Kredich said. "We're seeing progress every week. Our training has been outstanding the last three weeks."
In the separate UT Diving Invitational, Gabbi Trudeau finished third (263.05) on the platform behind Alabama's Carrie Dragland (307.60) and Elizabeth Hughes (291.75). Trudeau's performance qualified her for the NCAA Zone B Championships and gave her a trio of third-place performances at the meet.
"I was really pleased today," UT diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Gabbi did a nice job competing in her first platform event of the year. For where we are at, at this point in the season, we did really well at this meet. I feel really good about the progress we are making."
Erika Hajnal of Virginia Tech won the 1650y free in a pool-record 16:09.92. She also captured the 200y fly in 1:59.18.
Kentucky won the 400y free relay in 3:21.43.
The Lady Vol divers will be back in action on Jan. 3 at the Bulldog Diving Invitational in Athens, Ga., while the UT swimmers will join the divers in Charlottesville, Va., to face Virginia on Jan. 9.