Lady Vols Finish Second at Memorable 2012 SEC Championships
By Todd Mounce
Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Lad Vol swimming & diving team
won’t soon forget the 2012 Southeastern Conference Swimming &
Diving Championships, as the squad put on its best showing in over 20
years to claim second in its home pool at the Allan Jones
Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
Big Orange finished the four-day league meet with a tally of 629.5
points, only behind the Lady Bulldogs of Georgia, who accumulated a
score of 721. The last time Tennessee placed as high as second and
scored as many points came in 1990, when the team registered a score
of722.0 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
night was such a high for our team and we came back this morning and
weren’t very tough,” Lady Vol head coach Matt Kredich said. “At the end
of the morning session I challenged our team to come back to who they
really are and tonight they were phenomenal. It was a great series of
the course of the four-day meet, the Lady Vols won seven events, placed
runner-up on five occasions and tallied six third-place finishes.
Senior Jenny Connolly scored the third most points of any women’s
swimmer at the meet, accounting for 53.5 points.
the second time while at the helm of the Lady Vol program, Kredich was
named the SEC Women’s Coach of the Year, as he shared the honor with
Florida’s Gregg Troy in 2008.
Kelsey Floyd avenged her second-place finish a year ago in the 200y
fly, claiming the event crown in 1:54.65. Last season,Florida’s Teressa
Crippen edged Floyd by 0.22 seconds for the win at the conference
championships in Gainesville. Saturday, Floyd bettered Crippen by over
a half of a second.
last year when I came into the event in first (prelims), but ended
getting second, I wanted to be more relaxed and swim my own race,”
Floyd said. “Honestly, what was going through my head was, I will not
lose this race again. I just wanted to get my hand on the wall and
finish harder than everyone else. That is what I did and it was great.”
learns from her mistakes,” Kredich said. “Shemade a few mistakes in
that race last year. She takes losing hard and is a great competitor.
Instead of beating herself up, she really analyzed that race and the
mistakes that she made, one of which was swimming to not lose. So
instead of swimming not lose, tonight she swam to win. She was
competing against one of the best in the world, so that meant a lot to
her to win.”
in her first SEC Championships this week, Tori Lamp ended the meet on a
high note, scoring 335.50 on the towers to set an SEC and Lady Vol
Heading into the final round, Auburn's Vennie Dantin had a
two-point advantage on Lamp and scored 76.80 on her final dive in the
fifthround. Cool and collected, the redshirt sophomore accumulated a
score of 86.40 to claim the platform title in thrilling fashion.
went into the final round two points down and a lot of credit should go
to Vennie, who did some great stuff to put the pressure on Tori,”
Tennessee head diving coach Dave Parrington said. “Tori was in a
position where she had to do a phenomenal dive on her last dive. She
was very comfortable and calm with a lot of drama building up in that
final moment. That was a great way to end what has been an incredible
week for us diving. It has been really exciting.”
“To be able to get
up on the platform and do that dive was awesome,” Lamp said. “I was
just really thinking I had to trust myself and finish the dive.”
native of Knoxville, Lamp was chosen as the SEC Female Diver of the
Year for her efforts. Along with winning the platform, she placed
second on both the 1- and 3-meter boards at the conference
Parrington was tabbed the Diving Coach of the Year on
both the men’s and women’s side, as Tennessee won four of the six
diving events over the course of the league meet between the men and
Teammate Gabrielle Trudeau joined Lamp on the podium after
the platform event, claiming third with a career-best score of 289.10.
This week no Lady Vol diver finished below 11th in any three of the
“Our divers were just amazing,” Kredich said. “I can’t say
enough about the work Dave Parrington has done to get them prepared.
The way Tori hit that last dive; that now is officially a Lady Vol
legend. That dive was just incredible.”
Lindsay Gendron became the
fourth-fastest Lady Vol ever to swim the 1,650 free, as the sophomore
finished with a readout of 16:01.38 to grab second. In the process, she
also broke the 1,000y free record with a split time of 9:37.36.
the 200y back, sophomore Kate McNeilis finished 10 spots better than
she did a year ago in the event after a clocking of 1:54.26. The mark
also ranks as the second fastest time in UT history.
has had a phenomenal meet,” Kredich explained. “She is a great example
for our team because she was pretty frustrated at this meet a year ago
in her performances. She was one of our best this season.”
transfer from Buffalo and a two-time Mid-American Conference champion
in the 100y free, Caroline Simmons was UT’s top finisher in the event
after placing sixth. She touched in at 49.10 seconds, which is good for
fourth on the performers list, as she has only competed in the event
twice this season prior to Saturday.
Senior Kirstyn Colonias
advanced to her first championship final as a Lady Vol, notching
seventh in the 200y breast after a time of 2:12.16.
The day and
league meet ended with the 400y free relay, an event in which the Big
Orange notched third in for the second consecutive season. Consisting
of Connolly, Floyd, Simmons and Gendron, thefoursome was a mere .02
seconds from tying a school record, registering a readout of 3:15.09.
Lady Vols won consolation finals to place ninth overall in their
respective events. Lauren Solernou had a time of 1:55.25 in the 200y
back, Molly Hannis touched in at 2:12.01 in the 200y breast and Brooke
Watson recorded a 200y fly mark of 1:59.67.
Also competing in
consolation finals were Abbie Alton (100y free), Erin Gaeckle (200y
back), Samara Gelb (200y breast) and Kennedy Higdon (200y fly).
feels good to have our program finishing in the top three in the SEC,”
Kredich said. “That’s what we recruit people to come to Tennessee to
do. We want to compete for championships. We’re in a place now where we
can compete for championships and we will keep doing that.”
swimmers will have one more chance to improve their times prior to the
NCAA Championships, when the squad hosts the Last Chance Meet beginning
- Vanderpool-Wallace, Riordan, Fonteno, Krakoski
1. Georgia, 781
2. Tennessee, 629.5
3. Florida, 566
4. Auburn, 509.5
5. Louisiana State, 347
6. Arkansas, 267
7. Alabama, 249
8. South Carolina, 237
9. Kentucky, 128
10. Vanderbilt, 78
Men's Coach of the Year – Brett Hawke (AU)
Women's Coach of the Year – Matt Kredich (UT)
Men's Swimmer of the Year – Marcin Cieslak (UF)
Women's Swimmer of the Year – Elizabeth Beisel (UF)
Male Freshman of the Year – Nicholas Fink (UGA)
Female Swimming Freshman of the Year – Amber McDermott (UGA)
Men's Diver of the Year – Ryan Helms (UT)
Female Diver of the Year – Tori Lamp (UT)
Men's Freshman Diver of the Year – Mauricio Roble (UT)
Women's Freshman Diver of the Year – Alex Bettridge (LSU)
Men's & Women's Diving Coach of the Year – Dave Parrington (UT)
Commissioner's Trophy - Marcin Cieslak (UF), Elizabeth Beisel (UF)