Sam McHugh Among Top Performers at Tennessee’s Orange-White Intrasquad

KNOXVILLE,TN - OCTOBER 09, 2015 - /tn during Fall practice on Haslam Field in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Hayley Pennesi/Tennessee Athletics
Photo Courtesy: Hayley Pennesi/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee swimming and diving past and present teamed up Friday for the annual Orange and White Intrasquad Meet on Friday at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

For the first time, alumni competed alongside current swimmers and divers to score points for the Orange or White teams. The Orange Team officially took the title in a close contest, 668-667.

Points were added from the meet and competition during practices leading up to the meet. Freshmen are drafted to the Orange or White and remain with that team the rest of their careers and beyond. Every participating alum earned one point for his or her respective team.

Alumni points ended up being the key in the meet. One of the memorable alumni performances came from Frank Bryant, the oldest competing member and a part of Tennessee’s first SEC championship team in 1969. He picked up an eighth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.

Former swimmers and divers — including many SEC champions, All-Americans and international competitors — participated in every event except the 1,000 freestyle.

“I think we’re all overwhelmed by the number of alumni who came back and their absolute love for the program that brought them back into the pool,” Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. “They still love to swim and they love the program. I think it’s great for the current team to see the people who care so much about what they do and how they do it.”

Many former divers returned this weekend to honor diving coach Dave Parrington, who has now been coaching at Tennessee for 25 years. He has coached six NCAA champions and 38 SEC champions, including two last season. Mauricio Robles won the conference title on the 1-meter springboard and Liam Stone followed with a title on the 3-meter.

He was presented with a book commemorating his 25 years after the meet.

“It’s been emotional and overwhelming,” Parrington said. “It’s so very special that so many divers from my former teams could find the time to come on out to spend time on this awesome day. There were some former divers — all of whom are retired — who did some amazing stuff. They were throwing up some big dives and having a lot of fun.”

Among the former divers, Kathy Pesek and Tracy Bonner reprised their role as Tennessee’s most famous synchro team, diving together from the 3-meter springboards. Bonner was UT’s first NCAA women’s swimming and diving champion, winning the 3-meter title in 1996. Pesek was an NCAA platform champion in 1998.

The Vols swam several events not ordinarily part of a college competition, including a mixed medley relay and the 50-yard breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.

Sophomore Sam McHugh was a three-race winner for the White Team, taking first in the 200 freestyle (1:41.00), 100 butterfly (49.23) and 200 IM (1:52.36).

Seven current swimmers won two events each: Faith Johnson the 50 freestyle (22.91) and 100 freestyle (51.12), Madeline Tegner in the 500 freestyle (4:54.62) and 1000 freestyle (9:57.65), Evan Pinion in the 500 freestyle (4:31.12) and 1000 freestyle (9:19.62), Kira Toussaint in the 50 backstroke (25.84) and 100 backstroke (54.87), Sean Lehane in the 50 backstroke (22.88) and 100 backstroke (48.32), Peter John Stevens in the 50 breaststroke (24.59) and the 100 breaststroke (55.56), Madeline Banic in the 50 butterfly (24.11) and 100 butterfly (55.52).

One alumni representative was a two-event winner. Molly Hannis, who graduated in May and trains in Knoxville as part of Tennessee Aquatics, won the 50 breaststroke (28.46) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.11)

Tennessee returns to intercollegiate competition with a busy road slate next weekend, taking on Missouri on Oct. 15 and Virginia on Oct. 16.

“Within the meet, there were some good swims,” Kredich said. “There were some nice surprises. I think one of our strengths this year is going to be depth on the women’s side and for the men, we’ve got some really good youth. Both those things were on display today. It was good for us to get another competition in our home pool before we head off to a couple of really tough road dual meets next week.”

Tennessee Athletics contributed this report.

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