Nov. 18, 2010
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The first day of the Tennessee Invitational proved to be an exciting one as three pool records were broken and the Lady Vols got somewhat of an unexpected victory in the diving wells on Thursday night at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich
The Big Orange finds itself in second after a win by junior Gabrielle Trudeau on the 3-meter board to go along with four runner-up finishes in swimming events. Virginia Tech leads the meet with 307 points, followed by UT (296), Kentucky (246) and Alabama (221).
"It was a really solid team performance," said Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich. "We got up and raced well in the morning, we had a lot of swimmers back tonight, and the majority was better. The team is kind of establishing an identity, and we are doing things well."
On the boards, Trudeau was the only Lady Vol to make it to 3-meter diving finals after winning the prelims with a score of 278.30. The Montreal, Canada, native finished first in the event with an NCAA zone qualifying score of 280.60. With the total, she has now qualified for zones on both boards.
"I'm very pleased to see Gabbi pull out the victory tonight on the 3-meter," said Tennessee Head Diving Coach Dave Parrington. "She has been struggling with some stuff on 3-meter this year, so for her to step up and win the event is a huge boost for her confidence. To win the event on the final dive after she dropped the lead, she knew exactly what the score was and got it done."
Lindsay Gendron continued her strong freshman campaign as she clocked a second-place time of 4:45.13 in the 500y free. The time ranks her as the third-fastest performer in UT history and was an NCAA B-cut time. Virginia Tech's Erika Hajnal broke the AJIAC pool record in the event after touching in at 4:44.02.
Sophomore Kelsey Floyd was Tennessee's top finisher in the 200y IM, grabbing fourth with a time of 2:04.18. The Lexington, Ky., native also posted a fifth-place clocking of 4:53.21 in the 500y free. Both event times were career-best marks for Floyd. Erika Hajnal of Virginia Tech won the 200y IM with an AJIAC pool record time of 1:59.27.
UT's 200y free relay quartet of Connolly, McNeilis, Floyd and Gendron swam a season-best and NCAA B-cut time of 1:32.04 to finish runner-up behind Kentucky (1:31.45).
In the final event of the evening, McNeilis, Lady Vol senior Martina Moravcikova, Floyd and Gendron teamed up to grab second place in the 400y medley relay with a time of 3:43.56. Heading into the final 100 yards of the event, the Lady Vols were in fourth, but a strong push by Gendron propelled the Orange and White to pass Alabama and Kentucky's `B' grouping. The `A' relay squad of the Wildcats set a pool record with a time 3:39.72.
All three days of the meet will follow the same format. Preliminary rounds will begin 10 a.m. with the finals taking place at 6 p.m. Live stats are available at http://www.jonesaquaticcenter.com/livestats/