KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Lady Vol swimming & diving team carried the momentum from the opening day of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championships into day two, as the squad broke three UT records Thursday at the league meet being held at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
“It was a great night for the team and was really memorable,” Tennessee Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. “We got off to another great start with having people in finals that haven’t been there before.”
Currently the Orange and White are sitting in second place with 249 points, only behind Georgia’s tally of 274.
Lindsay Gendron set the tone early by setting a new standard in the 500y free, Tori Lamp took to the 3-meter boards and broke the event record which stood for over five years and the Big Orange 200y free relay closed out the day by shattering another Lady Vol record.
A native of Bloomington, Ill., Gendron bested her own Lady Vol record in the 500y free after touching in with a second-place time of 4:38.74. Her previous UT record was 4:38.97, which came at last season’s SEC Championships in a ninth-place effort. The readout is also NCAA B-cut time and ranks seventh in the nation.
“Lindsay had a great swim this morning, a great finish this morning, and got even better tonight,” Kredich said. “So that was great.”
She qualified for the ‘A’ final with a time of 4:41.86 in prelims.
Competing in her home pool in her hometown, Lamp claimed runner-up in the 3-meter diving competition after accumulating a six-round score of 381.85. The tally was 14 points better than the previous best held by Lauren LeRoy.
“Tori really got up for the second night in a row and completed extremely well,” Tennessee head diving coach Dave Parrington said. “Tori finished only behind an SEC record performance and broke the school record. That was a phenomenal showing.”
Jodie McGroarty entered the evening finals with the day’s best prelims score (350.0) and finished the competition in sixth after a finals score of 344.80. Gabrielle Trudeau claimed 10th in the prelims after a mark of 301.45.
“Jodie was a little off her game this evening but normally we would be happy with that performance, but it was a fantastic competition,” Parrington said. “Earlier today Gaby finished in 10th place, so we had nobody finish outside the top 10, which is a great thing.”
The 200y free relay foursome of senior Jenny Connolly, junior Caroline Simmons, sophomore Kate McNeilis and Gendron grabbed third in record fashion time. Their clocking of 1:28.86 was a ‘B’ cut and bumped the previous-best time of 1:29.07 that was set at the 2008 league meet at Alabama. The mark also ranks fifth in the country this season.
A pair of Big Orange swimmers advanced to the finals in the 200y IM, as junior Kelsey Floyd swam in the championship final, while senior Samara Gelb competed in the consolation final.
Floyd became the second fastest Lady Vol ever to swim the event after recording a time of 1:58.58 to notch fourth. The Lexington, Ky., product was in eighth with just 50 yards remaining, but surpassed four competitors during the free leg.
Her readout ranks second on the UT performers list and was a career-best and NCAA B-cut time. Her prelim clocking of 1:59.30 was good for seventh this morning.
Gelb claimed 14th overall after placing sixth in the ‘B’ final following a time of 2:01.57. Her prelim clocking of 2:01.02 was a ‘B’ cut and a season best.
The Orange and White sent two to the 50y free finals in Simmons and Connolly. The duo recorded the exact same time, touching in at 22.32 seconds to tie for fifth. The marks are both ‘B’ cuts and rank fourth on the Tennessee performers list.
“Kelsey had never swum the 200y IM before this season and she’s not only qualifying seventh but running people down and finishing fourth,” Kredich explained. “Caroline Simmons and Jenny Connolly are just a great 1-2 punch in the 50y free.”
Simmons touched in at 22.16 seconds in the "splash-and-dash event" to notch third during the prelims, while Connolly grabbed sixth after a time of 22.36 seconds.
Lady Vols in action during the 200y IM prelims were Kennedy Higdon (2:01.81), Molly Hannis (2:01.89), Brooke Watson (2:03.67), Sloane Pitman (2:04.26) and Courtney Ciesielski (2:03.70).
Abbie Alton (23.12), Alexandria Frasier (23.19), Maddie Garrett (23.74), Lauren Solernou (23.93), Erin Gaeckle (24.15) and Kirstyn Colonias (28.71) all competed in the 50y free prelims.
Tomorrow’s prelims are slated to get underway at 10 a.m. ET. Events on tap for Friday are the 400y IM, 100y fly, 200y free, 100y breast, 100y back and 400y medley relay. The finals portion of the day will begin at 6 p.m.
Event Team Winner Time/Score
500y free Auburn Amber McDermott 4:37.15
200y IM Florida Elizabeth Beisel 1:54.89
50y free Auburn Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 21.35
3-meter diving South Carolina Courtney Forcucci 392.40
200y free relay Auburn 1:28.32
- Vanderpool-Wallace, Riordan, Bos, Krakoski
1. Georgia - 274 2. Tennessee - 249
3. Auburn - 228.5
4. Florida - 198.5
5. Louisiana State - 176
6. South Carolina - 116
7. Arkansas - 113
8. Alabama - 110
9. Kentucky - 54
10. Vanderbilt – 46
HELMS WINS AGAIN, TAKES SEC TITLE ON 1 METER
Vols Tied for Third in Team Standings after Two Days of Competition
Tennessee senior Ryan Helms did not rest on his laurels after winning the 3-meter springboard Wednesday evening. Far from it.
Helms summoned up another career-best performance Thursday to capture his second title of the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships, winning the 1-meter event with a score of 415.10 at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
“It was pretty cool to win both 1 meter and 3 meter,” Helms said. “It is always easy to get comfortable after a win. After yesterday’s competition, I made a point to come back and not be happy with that.”
The individual win helped the Vols hold a tie for third place in the team standings with Georgia with 208 points through Thursday’s competition. Auburn leads with 301 points, and Florida is second with 276.
Helms became the first diver in the SEC Championships to win both the 1 meter and 3 meter titles in the same year since Steven Segerlin did so for Auburn in 2007. Evan Stewart, who won a trio of SEC titles in the 1-meter and 3-meter events, was the most recent Vol to perform the feat in 1996.
Last year, Helms finished runner-up on the 1-meter springboard to teammate Michael Wright. In that meet, Wright set a school record of 416.85, a number Helms came almost within a point of matching with 415.10 on Thursday.
“I had a great meet last year on the 1 meter and it so happened that I got beat out by teammate by a few points,” Helms said. “It is a great score to have on 1 meter. I have gone that high all year so it was definitely a great performance for me.”
As a senior, Helms has won the 1-meter competition in six meets this year, but he had not scored 400 in a meet until the SEC finals.
The Vols picked up more than just Helms’ 20 points on the springboard as three UT divers reached the 8-man final. Freshman Mauricio Robles, coming off a bronze performance in the 3 meter, finished sixth with a score of 351.05. Junior Brent Sterling was eighth in 274.75.
In the races, freshman Tristan Slater enjoyed a career day in the 200-yard individual medley. He cut nearly three seconds off his career best in the preliminaries, scoring an NCAA B-Cut of 1 minute, 46.84 seconds, to qualify for the final. He finished eighth in the evening in 1:47.40.
In the 500 freestyle, senior Carl Jones finished 12th in 4:26.32 and sophomore Sam Petersen was 15th in 4:29.94.
Junior captain Ed Walsh was the lone Vol to qualify for the finals in the 50 freestyle, getting 16th place in 20.16.
SEC Swimming and Diving Championships
1-Meter Diving: 1. Ryan Helms (UT) 415.10; 2. Daniel Helm (LSU) 376.55; 3. Greg Ferrucci (UK) 356.20; 4. John Santeiu (AU) 356.05; 5. Matt Vieke (LSU) 352.60; 6. Mauricio Robles (UT) 351.05; 7. Adam Godzinski (AU) 325.70; 8. Brent Sterling (UT) 274.75.
500 Freestyle: 1. Martin Grodzki (UGA) 4:16.94; 2. Jason Taylor (UF) 4:18.99; 3. Nicholas Caldwell (UF) 4:20.11; 4. Connor Signorin (UF) 4:20.59; 5. Andrew Gemmell (UGA) 4:20.61; 6. Craig Hamilton (LSU) 4:22.01; 7. William Freeman (UGA) 4:22.36; 8. Carlos Omana (UF) 4:24.45 ... 12. Carl Jones (UT) 4:26.32 ... 15. Sam Petersen (UT) 4:29.94.
200 IM: 1. Marcin Cieslak (UF) 1:43.01; 2. Kyle Owens (AU) 1:43.30; 3. Nicolas Fink (UGA) 1:44.86; 4. Solaeche Gomez (UF) 1:45.10; 5. Dan Wallace (UF) 1:45.77; 6. Matthew Curby (UF) 1:45.77; 7. Jared Markham (UGA) 1:47.22; 8. Tristan Slater (UT) 1:47.40.
50 Freestyle: 1. Bradley deBorde (UF) 19.29; 2. Drew Modrov (AU) 19.32; 3. Karl Krug (AU) 19.38; 4. Chris Manning (AU) 19.47; 5. Chierighini (AU) 19.57; 6. Michael Arnold (UGA) 19.58; 7. Disney-May (AU) 19.62; 8. Matthew Norton (UF) 19.78 ... 16. Ed Walsh (UT) 20.16.
200 Freestyle Relay: 1. Auburn (Modrov, Krug, Manning, Leon) 1:16.38; 2. Florida (deBorde, Norton, Turner, Curby) 1:17.86; 3. Tennessee (Walsh, Rairden, Thulin, Henahan) 1:19.05; 4. Georgia (Arnold, Reynolds, Hill, Simmons) 1:19.16; 5. LSU (Tuomola, Saco, Wepasnick, Greef) 1:19.33; 6. Alabama (Caciuc, Hornikel, Coci, Reynolds) 1:19.43.
Team Standings (through Thursday)
1. Auburn 301
2. Florida 276
t3. Tennessee 208
t3. Georgia 208
5. LSU 168
6. Kentucky 116
7. South Carolina 95
8. Alabama 67