No. 15 Tennessee came out strong in its first regular-season meet, defeating Louisville, 185-111.
“We had some really good performances,” Lady Vol coach Matt Kredich said. “There were some things that I really liked about the races. We finished, for the most part, very aggressively. Louisville was tough and gave us some great races. They showed us some places where we need work.”
Highlighting the evening was the performance of sophomore diver Lauren LeRoy, who won both diving events and scored a personal-best and zone qualifying score of 313.58 from the three-meter boards. Senior Megan Tomes won the 100 yard freestyle in an NCAA qualifying time of (50.94) and recorded wins in the 100y backstroke and as part of the 200y freestyle relay team.
“I stayed calm today,” LeRoy said. “I tend to rush things, but I think I was very relaxed and things all fell together today. It’s a good feeling to be able to put that together in the meet and not just in practice. There is still room to do better, though.”
“Overall I think we did very well for the day,” Lady Vol diving coach Dave Parrington said. “We showed some first meet jitters, but I’m happy in general with what we did. This is a good meet to build on.”
The 200y freestyle was a tight race, in that a mere .79 seconds separated first and third place. Freshman standout King was once again victorious in her signature stroke as she defeated Louisville’s Leslie VanWinkle by .18 seconds to claim top-honors with a time of (1:50.42). The time was King’s personal best. Returning All-American Christine Magnuson scored for the Lady Vols by placing third in (1:51.21) and All-American Sam Maccherola came in fifth at (1:53.33).
Senior Tomes achieved her NCAA “B” qualifying time in the 100y free with a time of (50.94)
“Megan (Tomes) has some really high goals,” Kredich said. “Because of the way she has always raced, every time she gets up, we expect her to do something impressive. She did that in every event she swam today.”
It was the freshmen who shone in the 21st event; the 200y breaststroke. King, who will be represent the U.S. at the Pan-American games in July next year as a freestyler, took first with a time of (2:20.79).
Tennessee topped off the night with a victory in the 200y freestyle relay. King, Magnuson, Gehring and Meghan Tomes made up the UT “A” squad, which swam past the competition easily to claim first in (1:33.97), just .23 seconds from a NCAA “B” qualifying time.
“It’s a good start for us,” Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. “We have to get sharper and a lot smarter in our races before we head to South Carolina.”
After the successful start to the season, Tennessee will be back in the water next week to prepare for its first SEC match-up on Oct. 27 in Columbia, S.C. The Lady Vols will take on South Carolina and No. 23 Kentucky in South Carolina’s Carolina Natatorium.