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No. 12 Lady Vols host Tennessee Swimming Invitational
Jamie Saffer

Jamie Saffer

Nov. 18, 2008

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee men's and women's swimming teams will welcome Kentucky and Virginia Tech to the 2008 Tennessee Swimming Invitational Wednesday through Saturday at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

The invitational kicks off on Wednesday at 6 p.m. with the 200 and 800 medley relays. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will each have a 10 a.m. preliminary session and a 6 p.m. finals session. No diving events will be contested.

The Lady Vols enter the season's first invitational with a 5-0 dual meet record and a No. 12 ranking in the latest poll from the College Swim Coaches Association of America.

"Our main goal is to get a feel for the challenges of a three-day championship format meet, like SEC's and NCAA's," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "Our other goal is to get a lot of racing opportunities. Each person will swim a lot more events at this meet than they will at either SEC's or NCAA's. That schedule will really test our mettle. My hope is that the challenges that we'll face at SEC's will be somewhat magnified here, so we'll have a lot of opportunities to learn."

The Big Orange defeated Kentucky, 201-95, in Lexington in its last competition on Nov. 1. Highlighting the win for UT was a career-best 50y free performance (23.33) by senior Katie Gehring as well as a pair of individual event wins from senior Carly Mathes (200y and 500y free) and freshman Jenny Connolly (100y and 200y back).

Connolly ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in the 100y back (54.46) and second in the 100y fly (54.55). The West Lafayette, Ind., native's time in the 100y back meets the NCAA Championships B qualifying standard.

 

 

Sophomore Aleksa Akerfelds and junior Jamie Saffer have each placed first in at least one individual event at every meet so far this season.

Akerfelds has the Lady Vols' top times in the 500y free (4:51.72) and the 1000y free (9:52.84), while Saffer leads UT in the 100y breast (1:03.83).

The Wildcats (1-3) are led by junior Megan Pulskamp. She picked up UK's only individual swimming wins in the dual with Tennessee, taking first in the 100y fly and the 200y fly. Pulskamp earned All-America honors on two relays and competed individually in the 200y fly at the 2008 NCAA Championships. UK defeated IUPUI, 123-73 in its last meet on Nov. 8.

"We swam with a lot of intensity against Kentucky, and in a short meet that kind of attitude can give you a real edge," Kredich said. "We won some close races that could have easily gone the other way. I think over a three-day meet we'll see some good swims out of them and it will be a challenge for us to win those close races again. They are a tough, well coached team and I expect that they'll push us hard."

The Hokies are 3-1 and ranked No. 25 in the CSCAA poll. Senior Megan Newell was named co-ACC Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week on Nov. 11 after leading the Hokies past Clemson, 182-118, with wins in both fly events on Nov. 8.

"Virginia Tech is one of the best teams in the ACC," Kredich said. "They have some great swimmers at the top end and some really good depth as well. Their coach is known as a sprint coach and they are always really quick. So they'll help us see what kind of speed we truly have right now. I think we'll have some great races with them, especially in the shorter events and relays."

Wed., Nov. 19
Start Time- 6:00 p.m.
Events:
+ 200 Medley relay
+ 800 Freestyle relay

Thurs., Nov. 20
Session 1 Start
Time- 10 a.m.
Preliminary Events:
+ 500 Freestyle
+ 200 I.M.
+ 50 Free

Session 2 Start Time: 6 p.m.
Finals:
+ 200 Freestyle relay
+ 500 Freestyle
+ 200 I.M.
+ 50 Free

Fri., Nov. 21
Session 1 Start
Time- 10 a.m.
Preliminary Events:
+ 100 Backstroke
+ 200 Freestyle
+ 100 Breaststroke
+ 100 Butterfly
+ 400 I.M.

Session 2 Start Time: 6 p.m.
Finals:
+ 100 Backstroke
+ 200 Freestyle
+ 100 Breaststroke
+ 100 Butterfly
+ 400 I.M.
+ 400 Medley relay

Sat., Nov. 22
Session 1 Start
Time- 10 a.m.
Preliminary Events:
+ 200 Backstroke
+ 100 Freestyle
+ 200 Breaststroke
+ 200 Butterfly
+ 1650 Freestyle

Session 2 Start Time: 6 p.m.
Finals:
+ 200 Backstroke
+ 100 Freestyle
+ 1650 Freestyle
+ 200 Breaststroke
+ 200 Butterfly
+ 400 Freestyle relay

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