Sean Lehane’s Big-Time 200 Back Highlights Tennessee/Louisville Dual Meet Tie

Sean Lehane
Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Tennessee senior Sean Lehane is having a superior first half of the collegiate swim season, posting consistently fast times in the 200 backstroke in his bid to possibly unseat Ryan Murphy as NCAA champion. In today’s dual meet against Louisville, Lehane swam the fastest non-championship time of his career with a 1:42.84, part of a nailbiting dual meet that resulted in a 150-150 tie on the men’s side. The Louisville women had no trouble dispatching the visiting Tennessee team with a score of 163-135.

Lehane’s time puts him back on top of the collegiate rankings and bumps Hennessey Stuart’s 1:43.37 to second in the nation. Before today’s swim, Lehane’s best time outside of an invitational, conference or NCAA championships was 1:42.91, which he did last January in the meet against Florida. Lehane didn’t need a career unshaved best to win the event, as Louisville’s Grigory Tarasevich posted a 1:45.03 for a distant second place.

Lehane beat Tarasevich in a much closer battle in the 100 back, 47.73 to 47.81. Though Lehane did his part to help Tennessee win the meet – including a 22.67 split in the winning 200 medley relay – the men’s team had several other swimmers who had big contributions.

Tennessee swept the top three spots in the 500 and 1000 freestyles. Evan Pinion won both events, posting a 9:24.42 in the 1000 and 4:29.84 in the 500. Finishing second in both races was Ben Miller (9:32.70 in 1000, 4:31.23 in 500), while David Heron captured third with a 9:34.14 in the 1000 and 4:31.68 in the 500. His time in the 500 locked out Trevor Carroll of Louisville, who just missed out on preventing the sweep with a 4:31.78.

Carroll got a couple of wins of his own earlier in the meet, taking the 200 free in 1:37.49 as part of a Louisville 1-2-3 sweep. Right behind him were Mathias Lindenbauer with a 1:38.08 and Jonathan Zoucha in 1:40.35. Carroll returned for the 50 free, and showed enough speed to take the win in 20.42.

Tennessee’s men’s swim team won two other events. Peter Stevens got the 100 breast win by eight hundredths of a second over Louisville’s Carlos Claverie, 55.18 to 55.26. Sam McHugh’s streak of dual meet wins continued with a dominant 1:48.24 in the 200 fly, almost two seconds head of Louisville freshman Zach Harting

McHugh claimed his first loss of the season with a 1:48.70 in the 200 IM, unable to catch Louisville’s Nolan Tesone, who finished with a 1:48.30. Claverie was untouchable in the 200 breast with a 1:59.53, making him the 10th person under two minutes so far this season.

Lindenbauer won the 100 free by seven tenths with a 44.83, and Louisville got big points in the 100 fly, as Pedro Coutinho posted a 48.57 ahead of teammate Josh Quallen and his 48.77.

Going into the final event, the 400 free relay, Tennessee led 146-137. By winning the relay by almost a second with a 2:57.79, and placing third comfortably with a 3:00.54, Louisville was able to end the meet in a tie.

2015-mesa-kelsi-worrell-100-fly

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

On the women’s side, reigning 100 fly NCAA champion and American record holder Kelsi Worrell had a bit of a race on her hands in the 100 fly, as Tennessee’s Madeline Banic stayed close and posted a 53.57 to Worrell’s 53.03. Worrell’s been much faster this season with a 51.51 at the SMU Classic, and the 1-2 finish cemented the team win for Louisville.

Worrell had a much easier time in the 100 free, taking that win with a 48.82 to come within two tenths of her nation-leading time of 48.60 from the SMU Classic. Tennessee’s Harper Bruens was a distant second with a 50.35.

Tennessee didn’t go down without a fight on the women’s side, sweeping the top three spots in two events. With Worrell sitting out the 200 fly – her other NCAA title event — Michelle Cefal was able to lead a Tennessee sweep with a 2:01.59 in a close race. Volunteer teammates Heather Lundstrom (2:01.96) and Mary Griffith (2:02.55) shut out Louisville in the event.

Tennessee actually placed 1-2-3-4 in the 50 free, but rules prevent a team from scoring more than three swimmers per individual event. Faith Johnson took the victory with a 23.24, followed by Banic (23.33), Alex Cleveland (23.55) and non-scorer Amy Lubawy (23.83).

Mallory Comerford had a strong meet, winning three events. She used a come-from-behind tactic to overtake Tennessee’s Maddy Tegner after 600 yards to win in 9:57.97, then led from start to finish about 10 minutes later in the 200 free with a 1:48.57. With a lot more rest, Comerford was equally dominant over Tegner in the 500 free, posting a 4:51.11 to win by two seconds.

Another multiple winner for the Louisville women was Rachael Bradford-Feldman, who kept Andrea Cottrell from sweeping the breaststrokes when she posted a 2:15.28 in the 200 breast to Cottrell’s 2:17.10. Not long after, Bradford-Feldman won the 200 IM with a 2:01.80.

Alina Kendzior, a Louisville freshman from Russia, posted a strong 1:58.76 in the 200 back, almost beating her season best of 1:58.05. Both times are obviously her two fastest of her career, given she has never competed in short course yards.

In addition to Cottrell’s 1:02.07 to win the 100 breast, Kira Toussaint won the 100 back for Louisville with a 54.39.

2015 Louisville vs Tennessee Dual Meet – Results

2 comments

  1. avatar
    Lisa Bilski

    Madeline Banic swims for Tennessee, not Louisville. She is not Kelsi Worrell’s teammate.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Sorry about that! It’s been fixed.