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    SEC Swimming & Diving Friday Roundup

    Vols Complete Day Two of Home Invite

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Senior Kelsey Floyd and sophomore Tristan Slater both won two individual races as the UT men's and women's swimming and diving teams extended their leads on the second day of the Tennessee Invitational.
    The men lead the team standings heading into the final day with 801 points, followed by Kentucky (684) and Duke (486). On the women's side, the Lady Vols lead with 868 points. Kentucky is second with 565, Colorado State is third with 519.5, and Duke is fourth 407.5.
    After placing second in the 200-yard individual medley the night before, sophomore Tristan Slater grabbed first in the 400 IM. He improved his time by more than two seconds from the prelims to win in 3:55.81. Freshman Sean Lehane came in second.
    Slater won his second race of the evening, the 200 freestyle, in a career-best 1:40.13. The Vols took the top three spots in the race with Lahane in second (1:40.48) and senior Ed Walsh in third (1:40.53).
    Brad Craig, a former Vol and two-time SEC champion, won his signature race back in his home pool, taking the 100 breaststroke in 53.54.
    Another former Vol, Ricky Henahan, won the 100 backstroke in 48.41, with Lehane just behind in 48.82. Henahan and Craig, who both swim as part of Tennessee Aquatics, named themselves "Team Bricky" for the meet, a combination of their first names.
    Senior Kelsey Floyd remained unbeaten this season in both her butterfly events. She threw down a season-best time of 53.26 on her way to winning the 100 butterfly. Freshman Mary Griffith, the only other UT A-finalist for the Lady Vols, came in fourth (55.68).
    Floyd picked up her second victory of the night in the very next race, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:48.18. The Lady Vols had grabbed six of the eight spots in the A final, and Griffith again placed second in 1:48.98.
    Like Floyd in the butterfly, sophomore Molly Hannis stayed unbeaten in the breaststroke. Thanks to a strong finish in the second half of the 100 breaststroke, Hannis beat out Duke's Christine Wixted at the wall in 1:00.73
    In the women's 400 IM, freshmen Amanda Carner and Anna DeMonte both improved in the evening races. Carner took third in 4:21.59 and DeMonte finished right after her in 4:27.38.
    Senior Brent Sterling put together a career performance on the 3-meter springboard, demolishing his previous personal best by more than 25 points en route to scoring 407.45. He became just the eighth UT diver to break the 400-point marker in program history.
    Despite the career performance by Sterling, Greg Ferrucci won the competition with a strong last dive to finish with 410.90 points. Sophomore Mauricio Robles was third in 382.60.
    The Lady Vols were dominant Friday on the 1-meter springboard, sweeping the top three places. Tori Lamp won the event with a six-dive list of 305.25, Jodie McGroarty was second in 284.10 and Samantha Lera was not far behind in 282.90

    Arkansas Continues to Impress in Houston

    HOUSTON, Texas – The 23rd-ranked University of Arkansas swimming and diving team maintained its second place spot at the Houston Cougar Swimming and Diving Invitational with 422 points.  The second day of competition was highlighted by the two more school record-breaking performances in the evening finals bringing their total to four school records broken in Houston. The Razorbacks tallied 228 total points on day two, 34 more than their day one total.
    "The team's doing a really good job and I am excited about doing things that we've never done before," head coach Sean Schimmel said. "We've only scratched the surface on what we can do."
    The Razorbacks started off strong in the first event of the evening finals, swimming a blistering 1:39.08 in the 200-yard medley relay to claim the school record. Shana Lim, Nikki Daniels, Susanna White and Nina Drolc combined for the NCAA ‘B’ cut time; the quartet was also fresh off their school-record breaking swim in the 400 medley relay yesterday. With the swim, Arkansas improved their previous relay time by 3.21 seconds to pick up the top spot in the record books. The race was a tight one for the Razorbacks as Lim gave Arkansas the lead after the first leg with a 24.52 split. Daniels continued the momentous run as she clocked the second fastest split of the race in the breaststroke, handing it off to White and Drolc to close as the Razorbacks finished third overall in the race.
    The Razorbacks had a big pick up in the second event on the evening, the 400 individual medley. The Razorbacks had Julia Kucherich and Tera Bradham in the championship final, where the duo placed third (4:17.18) and sixth (4:19.27) respectively. Both swimmers shaved time off their prelim times and Bradham recorded a personal best. After the initial 50 yards Kucherich was in eighth place, but the junior kept her calm and slowly moved up in the race and was in fourth going into the final 50 yards. Kucherich swam a blistering 27.94 in the final 50 to pass Air Force swimmer Kim Davis for third place, as she out-touched Davis at the wall by six hundredths of a second. Nicole Menzel and Rachel Kessler also scored for the Razorbacks placing 14th (4:25.49) and 16th (4:27.12) respectively.
    Susanna White’s personal best in the 100 butterfly (55.10) in the preliminaries earned her a spot in the championship final. White recorded a 55.27 in the final, her second-best time of the season.
    Freshman Anna Mayfield clocked a personal-best time and the second-best time in school history (1:46.74) in the 200 freestyle to make the championship final on Friday evening. Mayfield didn’t disappoint in the evening final as she placed fourth overall with a time of 1:47.40, the third-best time in school history.
    The next event of the Arkansas slate was one of the most anticipated of the evening. In the morning preliminaries Nikki Daniels clocked the third-best time in school history (1:01.08) in the 100 breaststroke. Her prelim time was second only to Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson. Larsen shocked the crowd when she recorded a time of 57.80, just .09 off her own American record. Larson and Daniels entered the finals with all eyes on lane five. However, Daniels kept close to Larson throughout much of the race and clocked a record of her own with an Arkansas school record of 1:00.12. Daniels beat Leah Pierce’s record of 1:00.77, which has reigned supreme since 2009.
    After the school-record breaking swim by Daniels it was Lim and Mayfield in the pool in the 100 backstroke. Lim and Mayfield already own the top-five 100 backstroke records in Razorback history. The duo went into the finals and placed fifth (53.77) and sixth (54.44) respectively. Lim was the fastest out of the gate with a 25.79 split, but was caught on the second 50 yards and was out-touched at the wall by just tenths.
    The Razorbacks closed out the evening strong with a third-place finish in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:17.52. Lauren Jordan, Menzel, Rachel Stoehr and Mayfield combined for the time, which ranks fourth-best in school history. Jordan clocked the fastest leg for the Razorbacks on the leadoff with a time of 1:48.27.
    Diver Kesha Naylor made the championship finals on the one-meter board with a score of 276.00, which was a season-best for the junior. Naylor bested her preliminary total of 262.15 by13.85 points.  Freshman Shelby Bartlett placed 15th overall with a score of 246.25.
    The Razorbacks will return to the pool tomorrow for the final day of competition. Day three will include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 1,650 freestyle and platform diving.
    Be sure to follow along on the live blog tomorrow morning begining at 9:45 a.m. We will have full coverage throughout the day.

    Kentucky in Second Place After Day Two at Tennessee Invite

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Kentucky’s men’s and women’s swimming teams held steady in Day 2 of the Volunteer Invitational on the campus of the University of Tennessee with both teams sitting at second place heading into the final day of competition.
    The men (684) still trail the Volunteers (801) but lead Duke (486) after two days of competition. After sitting in third place after the first day of action, the Kentucky women (565) have jumped ahead of Duke (465) and continue to lead Colorado State (519.5) while trailing Tennessee (868).
    “It has been a surprising meet,” said Kentucky head swimming coach Gary Conelly. “We have struggled a little in the prelims but our finals have really been special with lots of big drops and life time best swims.”
    Kentucky continued to struggle for the second day in a row in the first session of the day during the preliminary events, but they more than made up for it in the evening.
    For the men, as he’s done all season long, sophomore Lucas Gerotto had a big day to lead the Wildcats. He helped guide UK to a second place finish in the 200-medley relay (1:30.67) along with Ramon Walton, George Greenhalgh, and Chris Lott. He then bested his season-low time in the 100-butterfly for the fourth meet in a row in which he has won the event, finishing with a 48.29. He then swam the final leg of the men’s 800-freestyle event to help take down the Vols alongside Matt Roman, Scott Crosthwaite, and Travis Green with a winning time of 6:42.59.
    Gerotto also grabbed third place in the 100-backstroke (48.86) ahead of teammates Tripp Crosthwaite (50.60) and David Lee Duggins (50.84).
    Sophomore Julia Gerotto continues to impress for the women with another win on Friday, taking the women’s 400-individual medley (4:19.23).
    Freshman Katilin Jones had a big swim taking third place in the 100-backstroke. Her time of 55.76 was the fastest time for a Wildcat this season in the 100-backstroke event and the tops of her career.
    The Cats fared well in the 100-butterfly as well with senior Mandy Myers grabbing second place (54.23) followed by sophomore Christina Bechtel (54.27) in third.
    Kentucky’s women helped cap off a strong day in the pool with second and third place finishes in the 800-freestyle relay with times of 7:32.33 and 7:32.35 respectively.
    Both teams have done a great job of setting themselves up for a strong third day in Knoxville.
    “There were a lot of other great swims,” said Conelly. “I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's swims because we seem to just be getting faster as the meet goes on.”
    On the diving side, the beat goes on for junior Greg Ferrucci. Ferrucci pulled out a victory in the 3-meter springboard on Friday with a final score of 410.90. Thursday, Ferrucci won the men’s 1-meter diving event. He will go for the sweep with platform diving scheduled for the third day of competition on Saturday.
    The Cats will look to have a strong finish and try to catch the Volunteers as they head into Day 3 of action in the Volunteer Invitational. Action gets back underway Saturday at the Jones Aquatic Center at 10 a.m. ET. The swimming finals will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET, while the men’s and women’s platform diving events will start at 2 p.m. ET.

    South Carolina Rounds  Out Day Two of Invitational

    CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- The South Carolina swimming and diving teams put forth another solid performance on Friday night in the finals of the Virginia Tech Invitational as they won five events and posted three NCAA B cuts at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
    For the night, the Gamecocks had 21 swimmers in the championship finals and five divers in their respective finals. Through two days of competition, host Virginia Tech leads the women's competition with 1016.5 points, followed by the Gamecocks (569.5), Connecticut (359.5), William and Mary (355.5) and Liberty (264). In the men's competition, the 15th-ranked Hokies lead with a score of 1,038, followed by the No. 21 Gamecocks (710.5), Connecticut (362.5) and William and Mary (325).
    "Tonight was another strong night," South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said. "We had some really, really strong performances. Graham Kauffman dropped more time in the 100 breaststroke and he's really starting to step up and come into his own as a part of our breaststroke group. He's worked really hard to get there. Michael Flach, Amanda Rutqvist and Rachael Schaffer and our relay groups also had really strong swims. We had some really good swims in between as well. We now need to focus on tomorrow morning and locking down spots in the finals and try to finish what is shaping up to be an outstanding weekend."
    For the second time in as many days, Flach shot up the national time charts as he won the men's 200-yard freestyle with a NCAA B cut of 1:35.86, which is the second fastest time in the country. Freshman Marwan El Kamash and sophomore Michael Covert tied for fifth in the championship final with a time of 1:40.80, which is a personal record for Covert. Junior Gerard Rodriguez placed seventh in 1:41.40. Freshman Alex Eiden won the consolation final with a personal best of 1:40.50 to finish ninth overall, while senior Matt Columbus won the C final with a time of 1:41.76. In the women's finals, freshman Caroline Bixler led the way with a second-place finish in the consolation final with a personal best of 1:52.45. 
    Schaffer got the Gamecocks off to a solid start in the individual events as she swam more than eight seconds faster than her preliminary time in the 400-yard IM to win the championship final with a NCAA B cut of 4:16.25. Junior Abby Galbreath claimed third with a season-best time of 4:21.99, and freshman Ellen Johnson placed seventh with a personal record of 4:30.73. In the men's event, juniors Matt Navata (3:58.31) and Narayan Naik (4:01.29) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
    In the women's 100-yard breaststroke, Rutqvist swam to a victory in the championship final with a NCAA B cut of 1:00.91. Her time currently ranks seventh in the country. Freshman Elise Weisert posted a personal record of 1:05.53 to win the consolation final and finish ninth overall.
    Kauffman picked up his first win as a Gamecock as he claimed first in the championship final of the 100 breaststroke with a personal record of 55.58. Sophomore Alex Vance (56.37, PR) and senior Bobby Cave (57.45) claimed seventh and eighth, respectively.
    In the women's 100-yard butterfly championship final, freshman Casey Papp turned in a third-place finish with a personal record of 55.62, which is the 10th fastest time in program history. Junior Meghan Brockington took sixth with a mark of 55.97, and sophomore Sara Drake won the C final to finish 17th overall with a time of 56.84. In the men's event, senior Collin Kaden led the way with a third-place finish in 48.75, while juniors Alex Fitton (49.39, PR) and Jay Warner (50.99) touched the wall in fifth and eighth, respectively. Freshman Eric Lethander won the consolation final to take ninth with a personal best of 50.47.
    South Carolina had two swimmers in the women's 100-yard backstroke championship final, as freshmen Ashleigh Ferguson (57.33) and Alicia Cheripka (57.53) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Junior Lindsay Pierce swam a personal best of 56.12 to win the consolation final just ahead of freshman Nicole Mertel, who took 10th overall with a personal best of 56.41. Covert led the Carolina men with a seventh-place finish in the championship final in 50.45, while Warner won the consolation final in 50.49.
    The Gamecock relay teams put together another stellar performance on Friday. The men's 800-yard freestyle relay team of El Kamash, Flach, Fitton and Rodriguez won the event with a time of 6:34.01. The women's 200-yard medley relay team of Cheripka, Rutqvist, Papp and Rachel Elliott finished second with a time of 1:42.57, which is the sixth fastest time in school history. The Gamecock men's team of Warner, Kauffman, Kaden and Fitton also claimed second with a time of 1:29.54, which ranks fourth all-time at South Carolina.
    In the diving events, senior Rylan Ridenour gave the Gamecocks a second-place finish on the three-meter springboard with 371.45 points, while sophomore Cole Miller took fifth with a total of 330.95. In the women's one-meter springboard finals, senior Chay Malvasio finished fifth in with a score of 258.95, while sophomore Patricia Kranz (250.45) and freshman Lauren Lamendola (221.95) placed sixth and eighth, respectively.
    The final day of the invitational will be held on Saturday with preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m. and the finals at 6 p.m. Live results will be available by clicking here. Live video of the finals only will also be available here.

    Vandy in Second After Day Two

    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After two days of competition at the Western Kentucky Invitational, the Vanderbilt women’s swimming team sits in second place with 526.5 total points.
    With one day left of racing, the Commodores will look to close out the weekend on a strong note. Western Kentucky currently leads all schools with 646.5 points.
    In the 200 freestyle, Vanderbilt came away with an impressive top-six finish. Hannah Martin won the race with a time of 1:52.28, while Amy Salce came in second (1:54.00). Caroline Thomas, Lauren Torres, Erika Deardorf and Melissa Roberts rounded out the top six.
    Jenn Mann recorded another victory in the 100 breaststroke, as she set a new Bill Powell Natatorium record with her time of 1:02.56. This marks the second-straight day of competition in which Vanderbilt has set a new pool record in a race. On Thursday, the 400 medley relay team set a new pool record in a time of 3:44.67.
    Vanderbilt’s 200 medley relay team (Mann, Torres, Thomas and Chrissy Oberg) claimed second place with a time of 1:45.72. In the 400 IM, Elly Faulkner finished second with a time of 4:30.17, while Deardorf came in third (4:35.33).
    Torres also claimed a second place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.73, as she just barely missed out on a first place finish (Charlotte Parent, 56.37).
    The final day of competition resumes Saturday morning at the Bill Powell Natatorium.
    Team Standings
    Western Kentucky – 646.5
    Vanderbilt – 526.5
    University of the Cumberlands - 228
    Sewanee: University of the Sou - 81

    UGA Sweeps Emory at Home

    ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia swimming and diving teams swept a dual meet against Division III power Emory on Friday at Gabrielsen Natatorium.
    The No. 10 Bulldogs recorded a 114-83 victory to improve to 3-1, while the No. 2 Lady Bulldogs won 111-86 to move to 5-0. The Lady Bulldogs also extended their all-sports school record with their 81st straight home victory. Dating back to 1995, Georgia is 82-1 all-time in Gabrielsen Natatorium.
    "I was really, really proud of our kids today," Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. "We moved some people around to get some different looks, and they really responded the way we hoped. They've done a super job with the training and we're right on track for where we want to be."
    Matias Koski and Nic Fink were double winners for the Bulldogs. Koski went 4:27.26 to win the 500 freestyle and he posted a time of 8:59.81, the sixth-lowest in school history, in winning the 1,000 freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, Fink registered a time of 20.52 to take the top spot. He went 45.28 to claim the 100 freestyle.
    Doug Reynolds stopped the clock in 1:41.38 to win the 200 freestyle. Anival Rodriguez took the 200 backstroke in 1:52.75. Derek Onken won the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:01.69. Ty Stewart went 2:02.98 for the meet's top time in the 200 breaststroke.
    The Bulldogs kicked off the meet with a victory in the 400 medley relay. Stewart, Spencer Rowe, Alec Cohen and Jared Markham recorded a time of 3:23.41. Rodriguez, Koski, Rowe and Yousef Alaskari claimed the 200 freestyle relay in 1:24.12.
    Megan Romano won twice for the Lady Bulldogs. Romano claimed the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.51 and the 200 backstroke in 2:01.90. 
    Chantal Van Landeghem went 23.18 to win the 50 freestyle. In the 100 freestyle, Olivia Boggs snared the top spot with a time of 51.43. Brittany MacLean posted a time of 4:53.35 to claim the 500 freestyle. Allison Schmitt paced the field in the 1,000 freestyle, stopping the clock in 9:52.92. Annie Zhu had the meet's fastest time in the 200 breaststroke as she went 2:12.57. Anna Neumeister posted the top time in the 200 butterfly, touching in 2:05.04. Melanie Margalis claimed the 400 individual medley, posting a time of 4:13.73.
    The Lady Bulldogs opened the meet by winning the 400 medley relay. The team of Van Landeghem, Margalis, Maddie Locus and Shannon O'Malley went 3:48.01. Georgia closed with Shannon Vreeland, Locus, Courtney Peters and Van Landeghem taking the 200 freestyle relay in 1:33.58.
    The diving points were not counted in the meet, but Ansley Long (316.57) and Bobby Chambless (246.00) had the highest scores on 3-meter springboard.
    The Bulldogs and the Lady Bulldogs will return to action Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in the Georgia Invitational. Georgia's next (and final) home dual meet will be Jan. 12 against Texas.