March 17, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. - The University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming & diving team wrapped up the swimming prelim portion of the NCAA Championships Saturday morning, advancing competitors into two championship finals and one consolation final on the third and final day of the meet at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
Though she may have been the last UT swimmer to compete individually during the morning session, junior Kelsey Floyd registered the squad's best finish. Floyd qualified for the championship final in the 200y fly after her readout of 1:54.75, the fourth-fastest mark in Lady Vol history, was good for fifth.
The Orange and White 400y free relay quartet of senior Jenny Connolly, junior Caroline Simmons, sophomore Lindsay Gendron and Floyd set a Lady Vol record in the event prelims after a time of 3:14.74. The mark earned the quartet sixth and a spot in the championship finals.
Simmons was the first member of the Big Orange to advance to the evening finals, grabbing 16th in the 100y free with a time of 48.68 seconds. She now ranks as the third fastest Lady Vol to ever swim the event.
Tennessee sent three to compete in the 200y back prelims in sophomores Lauren Solernou and Kate McNeilis and Connolly. Solernou had the best finish of the trio, swimming a season-best time of 1:55.22 to claim 20th. Her readout ties former Lady Vol Tricia Weaner for the seventh-fastest mark in Big Orange history.
McNeilis notched 34th after a clocking of 1:56.99, while Connolly's mark of 1:57.28 placed her 40th.
Gendron is slated to take part in heat four of the 1,650y free, which will be the first event during tonight's finals that begin at 8 p.m. ET. Heats one through three of the mile will begin at 5:45 p.m.
Redshirt junior Jodie McGroarty and redshirt sophomore Tori Lamp close out diving prelims this afternoon on the towers. Lamp is the reigning Southeastern Conference champion in the event, while McGroarty earned All-America status on both springboards this week. The top eight qualifying for the `A' finals, while spots 9-16 participating in the consolation finals.