Meet of the Week Recap: No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Virginia Men; UT’s Wolfe, Alesi Shine

By Jason Marsteller

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, November 15. IN the latest Meet of the Week, the No. 6 Tennessee men kept the momentum going from a huge upset victory over then-No. 2 Auburn with a win over No. 14 Virginia, 156-144.

A win seemed potentially in doubt through the first four events as Virginia won three of them. However, Tennessee strung together seven straight titles to start to pull away from the Cavaliers. Overall, Tennessee claimed 11 titles, while Virginia won five.

Michael Wolfe paced the Volunteers with a trio of titles as he won the 200 back with a B-cut time of 1:46.21 and the 200 fly with a B-cut time of 1:46.22. He also helped the 200 medley relay team of Wolfe (22.70), Brad Craig (25.68), Octavio Alesi (21.13) and Jonas Persson (19.74) win in 1:29.25.

Alesi also connected for a title trifecta as he added a B-cut time of 47.44 in the 100 fly and a 20.40 in the 50 free to the medley relay crown. Meanwhile, Michael Muscari swept the diving titles with zone cuts in the 1m (303.90) and 3m (353.40). Persson also captured more than one title with a B-cut time of 44.14 in the 100 free on top of the medley win.

Other individual winners included Barry Murphy (100 breast – 55.85), Brad Craig (200 breast – 2:01.87) and Geoff Sanders (400 IM – 3:57.34).

Taylor Smith and John Azar led the Cavaliers with a pair of wins each. Smith owned the distance events with wins in the 500 (4:28.98) and 1000 (9:11.09) frees, while Azar took home the 200 free (1:38.32) title as well as helped the 400 freestyle relay of Azar (45.81), Matt McLean (45.61), Scot Robison (45.21) and Lee Robertson (46.03) to victory in 3:02.66. Bryan Stahl rounded out the titles for the Cavaliers with a 50.24 in the 100 back.

Thoughts from Tennessee head coach John Trembley:
"It was a great meet. Virginia has so much pride in its home pool. They're well-coached. Our team knew they'd be in for a great competition against Virginia. We had a great meet at home against Auburn. I was concerned that our guys might be a little mentally flat. And we were, but we raced hard. Virginia raced hard, and it was a great competition. And everyone, I think, is pretty pleased with how everyone performed. It was a great day for Virginia and Tennessee."

Thoughts from Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino:
"I was very pleased with the attitude, determination, and excellence with which we swam. It was very strong Tennessee team. We fought and battled from the time the first whistle blew until the last touch, but it was a great meet. It was a day of outstanding college swimming. You don't see them much better than this."

Final Score:
No. 6 Tennessee 156, No. 14 Virginia 144

Event Winners:
200 medley relay: Michael Wolfe (22.70), Brad Craig (25.68), Octavio Alesi (21.13), Jonas Persson (19.74); 1:29.25
100 breaststroke: Barry Murphy (55.85)
200 butterfly: Michael Wolfe (1:46.22)
50 freestyle: Octavio Alesi (20.40)
1m: Michael Muscari (303.90)
100 freestyle: Jonas Persson (44.14)
200 backstroke: Michael Wolfe (1:46.21)
200 breaststroke: Brad Craig (2:01.87)
100 butterfly: Octavio Alesi (47.44)
3m: Michael Muscari (353.40)
400 IM: Geoff Sanders (3:57.34)

1000 freestyle: Taylor Smith (9:11.09)
200 freestyle: John Azar (1:38.32)
100 backstroke: Bryan Stahl (50.24)
500 freestyle: Taylor Smith (4:28.98)
400 freestyle relay: John Azar (45.81), Matt McLean (45.61), Scot Robison (45.21), Lee Robertson (46.03); 3:02.66

200 butterfly: Michael Wolfe (1:46.22*)
100 freestyle: Jonas Persson (44.14*)
200 backstroke: Michael Wolfe (1:46.21*)
100 butterfly: Octavio Alesi (47.44*)

1m: Michael Muscari (303.90*)
3m: Michael Muscari (353.40*)

* denotes winning effort.

MOTW, Tennessee at Virginia Map