The Razorbacks will return to the pool tomorrow for the second day of competition. Day two will include the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and one-meter diving.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams finished up the first day of the Volunteer Invite Thursday evening with both the men sitting in second place and the women sitting in third place through the first round of competition in the championship-style meet. Kentucky’s men (279) trail Tennessee (404) but leads Duke (211), while the women (193) sit behind Tennessee (427) and Duke (228) but ahead of Colorado State (176).
Both the men and women struggled through the preliminary rounds earlier in the day during Session 1, but each had strong individual efforts in the evening during the second session.
No diving events were scheduled for the first session of the day, but Kentucky sophomore diver Christa Cabot shined in the night cap. Cabot took first place in the 3-meter springboard event, scoring a season and team-high 338.25, besting her previous high of 308.05. Fellow sophomore Sarah Chewning claimed fourth place in the event with a season-high 305.30.
The women’s team earned a third place finish in the 200-freestyle relay in the first event of Session 2. Mandy Myers, Christina Bechtel, Laura Dawson and Megan Eppler combined for the third-place time of 1:34.92. The men’s team followed with a third place of their own as Lucas Gerotto, Cameron Hyde, Will Heidler and Chris Lott earned a final time of 1:22.24.
Sophomore Julia Gerotto picked up a third-place finish and a season-low time of 4:57.89 in the 500-freestyle in the first individual event of the night.
Freshman Matt Roman followed up on the men’s side of the 500-freestyle with a second place time of 4:33.09. Roman’s time was good for his personal best of the season and is good for a team-low time in the event this season.
Roman continued his strong evening with a third-place finish in the 200-individual medley earning a final time of 1:52.90, another season individual and team-low.
The night wrapped up with the 400-medley relays. Once again, the women picked up another third-place finish as Laura Dawson, Sam Shaheen, Christina Bechtel and Megan Eppler earned a final time of 3:48.43.
Kentucky will be back in the pool Friday morning at the Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee with Session 3 getting started at 10 a.m. ET with the men’s and women’s 400-individual medley preliminaries.
South Carolina Competes in Virginia Tech Invite Day One
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- South Carolina junior Michael Flach set the mark for the rest of the nation to chase after in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday to lead the Gamecock swimming and diving teams on day one of the Virginia Tech Invitational at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
After recording a time of 4:20.33 in the preliminary heats Thursday morning to move to the top of the national rankings in the event, Flach lowered his time by nearly two seconds to win the championship final with a time of 4:18.38, which is a Christiansburg Aquatic Center pool record and a NCAA B cut. Flach's performance highlighted a day in which 32 Gamecock swimmers and five divers made the finals at the invitational. Overall, the Gamecocks posted three NCAA B cuts and 13 personal records on the night.
Host Virginia Tech leads the men's competition with a score of 449.5, followed by the Gamecocks (324.5), Connecticut (162) and William and Mary (119). In the women's competition, the Hokies lead with 430 points, followed by South Carolina (244), William and Mary (159), Connecticut (156) and Liberty (139).
"Collectively, today was by far the best day we have ever had at a midseason invitational," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "It's definitely one of the best sessions the team has had since I've been here. We had some huge swims with Michael posting the fastest 500 freestyle time in the country. Both teams are in second place right now, which is a little deceiving because Virginia Tech has twice as many people swimming as us, but I am very happy with where we are. We are racing extremely hard. All in all we had a really great night."
As a team, the Gamecocks dominated the men's 500 freestyle as freshman Marwan El Kamash turned in a NCAA B cut of 4:24.50 to take second and junior Gerard Rodriguez swam a 4:27.15 to finish third. Senior Matt Columbus (4:32.50) and junior Matt Navata (4:37.47) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, for South Carolina. Freshman Alex Eiden won the B final to finish ninth overall with a PR of 4:30.02, which would have been in the top five of the championship final. Senior Brooks Ross swam a 4:33.38 to take 10th overall.
In the women's 500 freestyle, sophomore Annika Jonsson shaved more than three seconds off her preliminary time to win the championship final with a personal record of 4:51.64. Junior Whitney Avers placed sixth (13th overall) in the B final with a time of 5:02.66, while sophomore Charlotte Ward (5:03.46) and senior Jordan Gibbs (5:10.95) also swam in the B final and finished 15th and 16th overall, respectively. Freshmen Caroline Bixler (5:01.17) and Elise Costa (5:05.61) both swam personal records in the C final to finish 18th and 21st overall.
Junior Amanda Rutqvist gave the Gamecock women's team its second win of the night by claiming the championship final of the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:02.00, which was 1.45 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Junior Rachael Schaffer won the B final with a mark of 2:02.10 to take ninth overall, while freshman Ellen Johnson (2:06.44, PR) and junior Abby Galbreath (2:06.88) placed 12th and 13th, respectively.
In the men's event, sophomore Alex Vance swam a PR of 1:51.27 to claim sixth in the championship final, while senior Collin Kaden touched eighth with a time of 1:52.72. Junior Narayan Naik had a strong showing in the B final as he won with a PR of 1:52.03, lowering his preliminary time by more than two seconds.
South Carolina saw several swimmers post personal records in the women's 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Rachel Elliott turned in a PR of 23.47 to finish sixth overall, while freshmen Casey Papp (24.05, 12th) and Lauryl Williams (24.37, 20th) also swam personal records. In the men's event, junior Jay Warner scored 16 points for the Gamecocks with a third-place showing in the championship final in a time of 20.74. Sophomore Michael Covert captured fourth with a PR of 20.81, and junior Alex Fitton tied for fifth with a mark of 20.83. Freshman Eric Lethander won the B final with a PR of 21.03 to claim ninth overall, while senior Graham Kauffman was 10th overall with a mark of 21.08.
The Gamecocks also had a stellar showing in the relay events. In the men's 200-yard freestyle relay, South Carolina's team of Covert, Flach, Warner and Fitton finished second with a NCAA B cut of 1:02.30, which is the fifth fastest time in school history. The men's 400-yard medley relay team of Covert, Navata, Flach and Fitton narrowly missed a NCAA B (3:17.79) cut as it took second place with a time of 3:17.88. In the women's event, the team of Lindsay Pierce, Rutqvist, Papp and Schaffer finished second with a time of 3:43.88, which ranks fifth all-time at South Carolina.
The diving corps delivered another solid performance for the Gamecocks. In the men's one-meter springboard competition, sophomore Cole Miller captured second place with a score of 337.60, while senior Rylan Ridenour was third with a mark of 329.80. On the women's three-meter board, sophomore Patricia Kranz took second in the finals with a score of 323.30.
Vandy Does Well at Day One of WKU Invite
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Vanderbilt women’s swimming ended day one with a bang at the Western Kentucky Invitational, as the Commodores set a new pool record in the 400 yard medley relay.
The 400 medley relay team set a new Bill Powell Natatorium record with a first place finish in a time of 3:44.67. After one day of competition, Vanderbilt sits in second place with 231.5 points, while Western Kentucky leads with 312.5.
“It was a good start for us, the girls are having fun and racing hard,” said Vanderbilt Head Coach Jeremy Organ. “Everyone really swam well today, breaking the pool record in the 400 medley relay at the end was a big step for the program. We will look to continue the momentum from tonight into the rest of the weekend.”
Vanderbilt came away with another first place finish in the first event of the day, the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Hannah Martin, Lauren Torres, Sarah Lynch and Caroline Thomas barely edged out Western Kentucky with a time of 1:36.32.
In the 50 freestyle, Thomas tied for first place with Western Kentucky’s Paige Drazga with a time of 23.87.
Senior Erika Deardorf finished second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:59.54. In the 200 IM, Elly Faulkner came in third with a time of 2:07.07.
Competition resumes Friday morning at the Bill Powell Natatorium.
Tennessee Opens Home Invite With 8 Wins
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee men's and women's swimming and diving team combined to win eight of 14 events Thursday to open the Tennessee Invitational at Allan Jones Aquatic Center.
In a four-team competition, the eighth-ranked Lady Vols finished the first day with 427 points, followed by Duke (228), Kentucky (193), and Colorado State (176). On the men's side, Tennessee leads with 400 points with Kentucky in second with 279 and Duke in third with 211.
Senior Kelsey Floyd put together a characteristically winning performance, this time in the 500-yard freestyle. She cut about five seconds off her preliminary time to win in 4 minutes, 48.26 seconds, followed by freshman Mary Griffith in 4:52.99.
Freshman Faith Johnson remained perfect in the 50 freestyle to start her career. After setting a personal best of 23.01 in the preliminaries, she won the race in the evening finals in 20.17.
The Lady Vols and Vols both won both 200 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay, the first time the squad had competed in either race.
On the three-team men's side, freshman Sean Lehane helped lead the Vols in the pool. In his first time competing collegiately in the 500 freestyle, Lehane came up a winner in 4:31.92, the fastest time by a Vol this season.
Lehane also excelled in the 200 individual medley, grabbing fourth in 1:53.31. Sophomore Tristan Slater, who has starred for the Vols the last two seasons in the individual medley, was second in 1:51.47.
Redshirt freshman Troy Tillman spurred on a strong performance across the board in the 50 freestyle. He won in 20.68, followed by senior Ed Walsh and freshman Chris Sadsad both touched the wall in second in 20.70.
Tennessee took second and third in both the men's 1-meter springboard and women's 3-meter springboard.
For the Vols, Brent Sterling led the way with a score of 341.65 on the 1 meter, just six points shy of his career best. Mauricio Robles was third in 336.75. Kentucky diver Greg Ferrucci won with 369.95.
Jodie McGroarty paced the Lady Vols on the 3 meter, getting second in 334.80. Tori Lamp was third in 325.30.