LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, October 24. LESS than a week after a stellar meet at the SMU Classic led by junior Tanja Kylliainen, the Louisville women’s team was unable to take down the Tennessee Volunteers, losing today’s dual meet with a score of 170-130. The Cardinals men’s team was successful in continuing an unbeaten season, winning with a score of 167.5-132.5.
Kylliainen, who won the Swimmer of the Meet honors at the SMU Classic for her three wins as well as the Speedo Performance of the Week, won two events to help the Cardinals keep the meet interesting. Her times of 1:57.12 in the 200 fly and 2:01.53 weren’t as fast as she swam last weekend, but they were good enough to earn crucial first-place points and give her a new pool record. Tennessee’s Heather Lundstrom put up a good fight against the nation’s fastest 200 flyer, but fell short with a second-place time of 1:58.63.
Tennessee senior Lindsay Gendron was second in the 200 IM to Kylliainen and posted individual wins in the 200 free with a 1:48.15, six tenths off her season best of 1:47.51, and a 4:53.58 in the 500 free.
Faith Johnson, an NCAA finalist in the 50 free, swam just one event today, but she made it count, breaking 23 seconds in the 50 free with a 22.98. She still has a 22.96 to her credit from a dual meet against South Carolina as her fastest of the season.
Tennessee picked up wins in all five individual freestyle events today. Lauren Driscoll’s 10:01.16 in the 1000 free started the Volunteers’ sweep and also included a 51.05 from Kate McNeilis, but that wasn’t the best 100 free of the day. Worrell posted a 50.14 leadoff leg that helped the Cardinals win the 400 free relay with a 3:24.87. Tennessee’s Lindsay Gendron pulled off a 49.70 anchor leg, but without assistance from Johnson, it was only good enough for second with a 3:25.72.
Molly Hannis, another star swimmer for Tennessee, showed her dominance with an unchallenged sweep in the breaststroke events. A three-second win in the 100 breast with a 1:00.94 (season best) was followed by a 2:13.66 in the 200, winning by six seconds over Louisville’s Gisselle Kohoyda.
Kelsi Worrell of Louisville, an NCAA and USA Swimming nationals finalist in the 100 fly, nearly notched a double win for the Cardinals. She posted a 53.52 to win the 100 fly today, a 1.5-second improvement off her previous top time of 54.91. Her 55.51 was only good for second place in a close race with Tennessee’s Lauren Solernou, who won with a 55.48.
Joao de Lucca was the star of the men’s competition, but that title did not come easily. The reigning NCAA champion in the 200 free, de Lucca won with a 1:37.44, a tick off the 1:37.43 he posted two weeks ago. His other win of the day was more impressive. He took the 100 free with a 44.02, now the fastest collegiate swim of the season that bumps John Wojiechowski’s 44.06 from two weeks ago. De Lucca earned that win by the slimmest of margins, beating Tennessee freshman Luke Percy, who got second with a 44.03. Caryle Blondell, who is becoming another great sprint freestyler at Louisville, was third with a 44.30, also his fastest time of the season.
Percy was able to notch the first win of his collegiate season as he beat de Lucca and Blondell in the 50 free with a season-best 20.38. De Lucca and Blondell were second and third with times of 20.47 and 20.48, respectively.
Sean Lehane made a case for him to have the outstanding swim of the meet, as he posted a 1:45.43 to easily win the 200 back and improve on his season best by .08. Ryan Murphy still holds the fastest official 200 back time with a 1:43.72, though Jack Conger swam a 1:42.50 at a non-sanctioned intrasquad meet.
Despite the losing score, Tennessee’s men’s team was able to win six swimming events and both diving competitions. Besides Lehane’s two wins and Percy’s 50 victory, David Heron earned a double in the distance freestyles for the second-straight meet. He won the 1000 free with a 9:20.17 and the 500 with a 4:32.08. Also winning for Tennessee with Tristan Slater in the 200 IM with a 1:50.69.
Tennessee notched a win in the 400 free relay over what would have been deemed a stronger Louisville team, posting a 2:57.86 to the Cardinals’ 2:58.39.
Louisville’s wins in the men’s division outside of those posted by de Lucca included the 200 medley relay (1:28.96), as well as Kameron Chastain in the 100 breast (54.43) and Thomas Dahlia in the 200 breast (2:01.29). Freshman Josh Quallen put up a double in the 100 fly with a 49.23 and 1:48.94 in the 200 fly.
Erica Belcher’s win in the 200 back with a 1:59.85 was the other individual event victory for the Louisville women.