LEXINGTON, Ky., October 26. UNIVERSITY of Tennessee Women’s Head Swimming Coach Dan Colella and Diving Coach Dave Parrington’s swimming and diving squad opened up its regular season in dominating fashion against Southeastern Conference rival Kentucky as the Lady Vols tamed the Wildcats to the tune of a 139-85 margin. Tennessee claimed 10 of 13 event titles and would have notched another win if not for exhibitioning the 400y freestyle relay team.
“I am really excited about our performance tonight,” Colella said. “One of the things we have been excited about are the student-athletes’ attitudes at the event. They came up here to race. We had some hard racing from everybody and some exceptional swims from a number of swimmers. Overall, I am just proud of the intensity and racing attitude everyone brought.”
Individually, the Lady Vols were led by sophomore Abbi Terveer (Lima, Ohio) and freshman Megan Tomes (Cincinnati, Ohio) as each captured a pair of event titles en route to 36 total points earned for the squad. On the heels of an incredible performance at the Orange & White Alumni Meet, Tomes posted a provisional qualifying time in the 200y freestyle with a 1:50.24 to seize the event title before narrowly missing another provisional in the 500y freestyle with a 4:54.66. Terveer began her stellar outing with a 24.05 clocking in the 50y freestyle before claiming the 100y freestyle crown with a 52.67.
Also getting into the event win column were freshmen Misty Cain (Marietta, Ga.) and Tiffany Clay (Mason, Ohio) as well as sophomores Jacque Fessel (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Betsy Brockman (Batavia, Ohio). Cain blew away the field in the 1000y freestyle by more than 10 seconds en route to a 10:16.91 in the event, while Clay turned in a 2:08.30 in the 200y IM to win the event. Clay also posted a second-place 2:20.29 in the 200y breaststroke, which also marked a lifetime best. Coming off an All-American effort from last season, Fessel dominated in the 200y backstroke with a 2:04.20 clocking that was more than two seconds better than the closest finisher. Brockman rounded out UT’s individual swimming event titles with a 2:09.57 win in the 200y butterfly.
“Tiffany Clay stood out,” Colella said. “Her effort in the 200y breaststroke was a lifetime best and a highlight of her swims tonight. Megan Tomes also posted some outstanding performances and anchored a comeback win in the relay to overcome a four-second deficit to win the event.”
Parrington’s divers also enjoyed a successful evening as the group turned in 19 of Tennessee’s team points. Junior Lauryn McCalley (Moultrie, Ga.) led the way with a provisional qualifying score of 297.23 to capture the one-meter springboard title as well as posted a second-place 257.78 on the three-meter springboard. Senior Kylee Wells (Russiaville, Ind.) recorded a fifth-place 229.20 on the 1m, while also finishing in fourth on the 3m with a 249.75. Rookie Brittany Fulmer (Maryville, Tenn.) also added a point for the Big Orange with a sixth-place 207.15 in the 3m.
“I commend Lauryn McCalley for her performance on the one-meter tonight,” Parrington said. “She had an outstanding effort and it was an exceptional performance for this time of the year. I was not as happy overall with the three-meter. In general, the three-meter was sloppy. We were also able to see Brittany Fulmer compete in her first-ever collegiate event tonight.”
Tennessee equaled its overwhelming effort in the relay events. Fessel, Clay, Tatiana Athayde (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Terveer opened up the evening with nearly a three second conquest of the 400y medley relay after racing to a 3:53.01 in the event. The Big Orange closed out the meet with a 3:35.73 exhibition effort in the 400y freestyle relay by the team of Taryn Ternent (Edenvale, South Africa), Jessica Blevins (Bluefield, W.Va.), Sarah Ridgway (St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands) and Tomes.
“We also saw some things we can still work on,” Colella said. “We go from swimming against Kentucky to the two-time defending national champions against Auburn in two weeks. We have some time to work on some things and sharpen ourselves up to get ready for the Tigers.”
Next up for the Lady Vols will be a trip to Auburn, Ala., to face off with another SEC foe when they battle the Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 15.