Nov. 16, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 15th-ranked Lady Volunteer swimming and diving team will head to Minneapolis, Minn., this weekend to compete in its first invitational of the year, the Minnesota Invite. Tennessee heads into the weekend with a 3-2 (2-1 Southeastern Conference) record, after facing its toughest opponents of the year to this point in No. 3 Stanford and No. 4 Auburn, Nov. 10-11, at the Student Aquatic Center in Knoxville.
"We're really looking forward to competing in a championship format meet this weekend," Lady Vol Head Swim Coach Matt Kredich said. "This will give our freshmen some great experience with the format, but mostly give us all a chance for a lot of swims and therefore numerous opportunities to learn more about our best events. We have some lessons from last weekend fresh in our minds, so it's great to have the chance to compete again so soon at such a high level."
Highlighting the losses to Stanford and Auburn, were three Lady Vols picking up NCAA provisional qualifying times in individual events. Senior Megan Tomes earned UT's first automatic NCAA qualifying time of the year when she touched the wall in a lifetime-best 1:57.66 in the 200y backstroke. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native also earned four provisional cuts over the course of the two-day meet, in the 100y back, 200y IM and as the anchor of the 200y and 400y freestyle relays.
Freshman Michele King, a member of the USA National Team that will compete in the 2007 Pan-American games, swam the leadoff leg of the winning 200y freestyle relay squad in 23.38 to earn her third NCAA "B" cut of the season in the 50y free. King joined Tomes on the 200y and 400y freestyle relay squads to earn her second and third provisional qualifying times as part of a relay.
Junior Christine Magnuson picked up NCAA "B" cuts in the 200y free (1:49.67) and 100y fly (55.15) in addition to the two relays. Magnuson has registered provisional cuts in five different events in the 2006-07 campaign.
Diver Lauren LeRoy posted her best performance of the season from the one-meter board in the tri-meet with the Cardinal and Tigers, as the junior took second-place with a zone qualifying score of 279.40. The Oshkosh, Wis., native posted a zone qualifying and lifetime-best 313.58 from the three-meter against Louisville in the first dual meet of the year.
The Minnesota Invite will feature 15 teams from around the country, many from the state of Minnesota. Schools bringing both men's and women's teams are: Carleton College, Florida Atlantic, Gustavus Adolphus, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, South Dakota State, St. Olaf College, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska and Notre Dame have only women's teams competing, while the Air Force Academy and UCLA will only send a diving contingent. In Tennessee's 35-year history, the Lady Vols have only met Florida Atlantic and UCLA in dual-meet action. UT is 2-0 against the Owls and 1-0 versus the Bruins.
"We're looking forward to seeing some different teams this weekend," Kredich said. "Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and host Minnesota are all Top-20 teams with a lot of depth, so we're going to have some great competition."
The last time the Lady Vol swimming and diving team participated in the Minnesota Invite was during the 1999-2000 season, when it earned a sixth-place showing out of a field of 15. The diving squad last made the trip to Minneapolis for the event in 2002.
The weekend kicks off at noon on Friday with preliminaries. Live results will be available on www.utladyvols.com through the Minnesota Golden Gopher website.
Order of Events
Friday Nov. 17, 2006- Preliminaries at 12 p.m., Diving at 1 p.m., Finals at 6 p.m.
200y Free Relay
200y Individual Medley
400y Medley Relay
1 p.m. Diving
Saturday Nov. 18, 2006- Preliminaries at 11 a.m., Diving at 1 p.m., Finals at 6 p.m.
200y Medley Relay
400y Individual Medley
800y Freestyle Relay
1 p.m. Diving
Sunday Nov. 19, 2006- Preliminaries at 10 a.m., Diving at Noon, Finals at 3 p.m.
400y Freestyle Relay
Men's and Women's Platform