Feb. 18, 2010
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
ATHENS, Ga. - Senior Michele King is one step closer to becoming the sixth repeat conference champion in Tennessee women's swimming and diving team history after clocking the fastest 50y free time in the country (22.22) this morning to qualify first for tonight's `A' finals in the event at the 2010 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.
King, a York, Pa., native, already won an SEC title last night as the anchor of the victorious 200y medley relay. She will look to stand alone at the top of podium for the first time of her career this evening at the Gabrielsen Natatorium. She will also compete on the 200y free relay in the finals, which begin at 6 p.m.
King tied with Georgia senior Ann-Marie Botek for first in the "splash-and-dash" at the 2009 conference meet, and has two SEC relay golds for her career. King will likely receive another battle from Botek in the event final, as she is seeded third (23.33). Florida sophomore Shara Stafford qualified second (23.32).
"That was a really strong morning swim for Michele," Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. "We had a really good morning overall. I thought our IMs were phenomenal and we had some great times in the 500y free. We're set up for a good night, tonight."
Sophomore Caitlin Perks placed 18th in the prelims of the 50y free, clocking a career-best time of 23.17. She is the second alternate for the `B' final in the event tonight.
Junior Aleksa Akerfelds captured a spot in the `B' finals with her 10th-place performance in the 500y free. Her time of 4:45.13 was a season-best and an NCAA B-cut. She was less than a half-second from the eighth and final `A' finals position.
Georgia's Chelsea Nauta had the top prelim time in the 500y free, touching the wall in 4:40.94, while defending conference champion Allison Schmitt, also of the Bulldogs, was right behind (4:41.85).
Freshman Breanna Folk led three Lady Vol `B' finals qualifiers in the 200y IM with a ninth-place prelims readout of 1:59.96. Sophomore Samara Gelb (2:00.56) and junior Martina Moravcikova (2:00.75) were right behind in 10th and 11th, respectively. All three times are season-bests and NCAA B-cuts, while Folk's clocking makes her the third-fastest Lady Vol ever in the event. The Mohrsville, Pa., native missed making the `A' finals in the first race of her first conference meet by less than a second.
Georgia freshman Jan Mangimelli turned in the fastest 200y IM prelim time (1:56.19), while defending champion Ava Ohlgren, or Auburn, wasn't too far behind with the fourth-best qualifying mark (1:57.92).
Live results and live video of the 2010 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships can be found at georgiadogs.com.