NASHVILLE, Tennessee, February 5. THE Vanderbilt women's swim team was edged out on the last relay of the dual meet, falling to Tulane 133-129 on Senior Day at the Nashville Centennial SportsPlex, Saturday. The Commodores earned six first-place victories and set two season-best times to close out the regular season.
The day began with a ceremony honoring seniors Anna Fargo and Jennifer Molchan for their contributions to Vanderbilt University and the swimming program.
"The event was really exciting and we topped it off with a strong meet," Molchan said. "Everyone swam well and now we are going to focus on the SEC Championships."
Heading into the final relay – the 400-yard freestyle – of the meet, Vanderbilt held a 127-118 lead and needed to capture either a first-place finish or a second and third-place finish to take the dual-meet victory. Tulane made a late push and took first and second place, finishing two seconds faster than the Commodores and earning 15 points.
"That was a tough finish," head coach Jeremy Organ said. "I'm really proud of the girls though. On paper, the meet should not have been that close and we really stepped up to make it an exciting meet. We just didn't have enough gas in the tank at the end."
The team began the day with a first-place finish and season-best time (3:55.69) in the 400-yard medley relay behind the foursome of Rose Cornelson, Chloe Ott, Jessica Eccher and Melissa Roberts. Sophomore Erika Deardorf followed up by winning the 1650-yard freestyle in a time of 17:11.71, a season-best time.
The Vandy swimmers continued to dominate the distance events with Margaux Georgiadis capturing a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:07.94 while Deardorf finished one second behind to earn a second-place finish.
The `Dores took first, second and third in the 200-yard breaststroke behind Chloe Ott (2:24.12), Laura Dillon (2:24.73) and Rebecca Young (2:29.14). Ott continued her successful day by winning the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:06.74. Sarah Lynch finished behind her by two seconds and Young rounded off the event by taking third in a time of 1:09.26.
"It's nice to get a few first-place finishes before SEC's," said Ott. "It will help build up some confidence heading into the meet. I'm really happy with how the meet went for the team and it was great for us to be so competitive against a strong team like Tulane."
Jess Eccher earned 18 points for the team by winning the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 2:06.35 and taking first in the 100-yard butterfly in 57.77, only 0.04 seconds off her season-best time.
Vanderbilt now drops to 0-2 against Tulane, falling 183-89 to the Green Wave last season.
The Commodores will begin training for the SEC Championships that will take place in Gainesville, Fla., from February 16-19.
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