Feb. 17, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming & diving team will be well represented in tonight's finals, as UT finished in the top 16 on 13 occasions during Friday morning prelims at the 2012 Southeastern Conference Swimming & Diving Championships.
Connolly, the defending SEC champion in the 100y fly and 100y back, placed first in both events this morning. In the 100y fly, the West Lafayette, Ind., native recorded a mark of 51.21 seconds, which an NCAA automatic qualifying time and ranks second in the nation. Her 100y back readout of 51.80 seconds is also an `A' cut and good for sixth on the UT performance list.
Hannis was the only competitor to touch in under a minute in the 100y breast prelims, claiming first in 59.95 seconds. The clocking is an NCAA B-cut and a career-best for the Santa Rosa, Calif., product.
Connolly will have teammates to compete against in both `A' finals, as Kelsey Floyd will join her in the 100y fly after notching fourth in 52.42 seconds, while sophomores Lauren Solernou and Kate McNeilis will be in action during the 100y back championship finals.
Solernou registered a time of 53.41 seconds to grab fifth, followed by McNeilis two spots behind in seventh after a readout of 53.57 seconds. Both marks were `B' cuts.
McNeilis also qualified for the evening's consolation final in the 100 fly after recording a 15th-place time of 54.47 seconds in the prelims.
Fellow sophomore Lindsay Gendron advances to the `A' final in the 200y free after swimming a mark of 1:46.38, which was good for fourth.
The lone competitor for the Big Orange in the 400y IM will be sophomore Kennedy Higdon, who advanced to the consolation final. The Knoxville native finished 16th after a B-cut time of 4:18.05. Junior Marina Ribi just missed the cut, claiming 17th.
The top eight competitors in the prelims advance to the championship finals, while spots nine through 16 earn a berth in the consolation finals.
Day three finals will begin at 6 p.m. ET. Also on tap for Friday is the 400y medley relay. The Lady Vols return three of four from the event quartet that set a conference record a year ago in Gainesville.