Several members of the UT Lady Vols swimming team recently competed at the 2010 Speedo Champions Series Eastern Section meet in Athens, Ga., from July 15 to July 18.
Jenny Connolly and Breanna Folk swam times that are currently ranked in the top 50 in the world in respective events.
Connolly won the 100-meter backstroke (1:01.76 seconds) with a season-best time and won the “B” final in the 200m butterfly (2:16.63) to place ninth. Folk placed second in the 100m breaststroke (1:09.59) and competed in the 100m butterfly (1.03.44), touching the wall with career-best times in both. She also swam in the 200m breaststroke and backstroke events.
Connolly, a rising junior, was pleased with her performance at the meet, especially in the 100m backstroke, after her coach challenged her to swim a low time in the event.
  “I swam the 200m fly, and that was my best time and I was really happy with that,” Connolly said. “100m back, I was really happy with. I really wanted to win and get a best season time. In the 200m fly, I wasn’t really thinking about getting a best time, but in the 100m back, my coach challenged me to break under 1:02, and so I tried to take that challenge.”
The rising sophomore Folk was also satisfied with her success at the meet.
“It was just another chance to see where I was in the season,” Folk said. “It looks like I’ve improved from the last meet we had, so I’m pulling all my strokes together and going fast. My coach just told me I’m sixth in the nation with that time as of right now and 43rd in the world (in the 100m breaststroke).”
Other Lady Vol swimmers also had notable performances at the meet.
Rising senior Martina Moravcikova took third in the 100m breaststroke (1:10.60). Rising senior Tricia Weaner finished eighth in the 100m backstroke (1:04.56), 10th in the 400m individual medley (5:01.30) and 11th in the 200m backstroke (2:20.45). Rising sophomore Kelsey Ford placed sixth in the 100m butterfly (1:03.15). Floyd also joined rising senior Morgan Farrell and rising juniors Abbie Alton and Maddie Garrett to place fourth in the 400m free relay (4:00.61).
The success of members of the Lady Vol swim team out of the college season comes as no surprise to Folk. She believes the team is doing an excellent job working out together this offseason.
“We’re a great group that trains very well together,” Folk said. “Training in the out-of-season is really good with the group we have here (in Knoxville) this summer. We all have just been able to connect very well and help each other in the pool and make our strokes better.”
Connolly wishes more people could see the hard work the team is putting in this year. She is eager for the Lady Vol swim program to dive in the pool and show off its hard work on a national and international stage.
“We work really hard, and we definitely prove something at practice,” Connolly said. “It shows in the meets. That’s the road we are taking to get to (the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships), and I think a lot of people are going to be amazed with how well we will swim. I am really excited for nationals, because they are picking national teams at this meet, and I’m really hoping to make one of those teams and travel and represent the country.”