KNOXVILLE, Tenn, October 19. THE University of Tennessee women’s swimming and diving team showcased its talent on Saturday in the Orange and White Alumni Meet at the Student Aquatic Center.
The team was split into two squads for the competition, an Orange team and a White team, while Lady Vol swimming and diving alumni comprised a third team. In a tightly contested meet, Orange triumphed over White by a score of 159 to 147, and also downed the alumni squad by a count of 167 to 133, while White triumphed over the alumni team with a 171 to 120 win.
“I saw a lot of enthusiasm and a great deal of excitement from our team today,” UT Head Coach Dan Colella said. “For the first meet of the season, we got off to a really nice start and had some very impressive swims from a number of individuals. Overall, we’re really excited about the group as a whole and with the level of intensity that we saw today.”
The competition included a number of impressive performances from both new and returning student-athletes, as a multitude of meet records were broken at the event. Freshman Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio) was a star of the meet for team Orange, winning three events and breaking two meet records. In addition, Tomes’ time of 1:49.64 in the 200y free is faster than the NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 1:50.83 in the event. Tomes’ meet records for the Orange came with a 57.59 in the 100y IM and a 12.63 in the 25y back.
Another freshman making waves for Tennessee on Saturday was Elizabeth Cristy (Indianapolis, Ind.), who broke the Orange meet record in the 200y IM with a showing of 2:10.86. Also in the 200y IM, former All-American Pam Hanson established a new meet record for the alumni squad with a time of 2:08.53.
The Lady Vol sprinters put on an impressive show for their first competitive experience of the season. In the 50y free, members of all three teams broke meet records, as sophomore Abbi Terveer clocked a 24.11 for the White, Courtney Naarlo registered a 24.67 for the alumni and junior Jessica Blevins posted a 24.98 for the Orange. Additionally, Terveer set a meet standard for White with a clocking of 11.62 in the 25y free.
Other event winners included sophomore Betsy Brockman for the White with a meet-record time of 14.00 in the 25y breast. Hanson out-dueled sophomore All-American Jacque Fessel in the 200y back with a time of 2:03.22 compared to Fessel’s 2:03.96. Sophomore Randi Vogel claimed a win for Orange in the 100y freestyle kick without fins in 1:08.49.
Freshman Tiffany Clay took top honors for White with a 2:24.43 in the 200y breast. Sophomore Tatiana Athayde of the Orange team touched the wall first in the 25y butterfly. In the 500y free, freshman Misty Cain posted another win for the Orange with a time of 5:08.98.
“We were coming off a week of very hard training, and the team worked out this morning before the meet, so for them to stand up and do what they did today is very impressive,” Colella added. “We wanted to see how our student-athletes could perform after this morning’s workout, and they still got the job done, which we were really excited to see.”
The UT divers, meanwhile, appear poised for another successful season under the capable tutelage of Diving Coach Dave Parrington. On Saturday, divers from all three teams were able to break meet records in both the one-meter and three-meter springboard events.
On the 1m, junior Lauryn McCalley claimed victory for the White with a score of 170.85, while former All-American Jaime Sanger placed second with 166.05 and the Orange’s Kylee Wells placed third with 145.70.
On the 3m, Sanger, a three time SEC Champion on the 3m, took first with an impressive showing of 178.35 for the alumni. McCalley, meanwhile, placed second with a total of 158.92, while Wells took third with a 158.17.
“I was really just hoping to see the divers have a little bit of fun and have a light-hearted, competitive experience, which there’s no question that we had today,” Parrington said. “The intensity level at a meet like this is no where near what it will be during an actual competition, but for our divers to still be able to get up and compete is always positive.”
The Lady Vols will officially begin their competitive season next week when they face the Kentucky Wildcats on Fri., Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. in Lexington. The Big Orange hold a 19-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Wildcats and will be looking for their fifth consecutive victory over UK.