Feb. 19, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Sophomores Erika Deardorf and Jessica Eccher teamed up to break three school records on the final day of the 2011 SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla. The Commodores leave the Stephen C. O'Connell Center with five individual records and two relay records after earning another one this evening. Vanderbilt wrapped up the event with 78 points and finished in 10th place.
Make sure to check the Vanderbilt SEC Blog for more complete coverage of the day.
"I think it was a successful event," said head coach Jeremy Organ. "We learned a lot this week and I think all of the girls will be able to take away a lot from this meet. We grew together as a team as the meet went on."
Erika Deardorf opened up the second half of the day with a record-setting performance in the 1650-yard freestyle, finishing in a time of 16:39.99. The Texas native shattered the previous record of 16:59.60 that she set last season at the SEC Championships in Georgia. Deardorf's time was also a vast improvement of her previous season-best time of 17:11.71 that she set against Tulane.
"I was really excited about the race," Deardorf said. "I thought I was capable of getting the record so it felt really good to get out there. Going into it, I felt that I was stuck in mediocrity so breaking through that barrier was great."
Deardorf also broke another record during her 1650 freestyle heat when she reached the 1000-yard mark in a time of 10:03.68. Against Marshall, Deardorf broker her own school record when she finished the 1000 free in a time of 10:09.71.
"She worked so hard all season and you like to see a girl like that do so well," coach Organ said.
The day began with Jess Eccher breaking the school record in the 200-yard backstroke, swimming her heat in a time of 2:02.02. Eccher moved past Wendy Deacon who finished the event in a time of 2:02.79 in 1988. Heading into the day, Eccher had a season-best time of 2:02.96 that she set at the WKU Invite.
Eccher closed out her SEC Championships with three individual school records, including the top mark in the 200-yard IM (2:04.64) and the 100-yard backstroke (57.04). The Jacksonville native was also a member of the record breaking 400-yard medley relay team with Rose Cornelson, Laura Dillon and Melissa Roberts that finished in 3:50.69.
"This was my last individual race of the meet for me so I wanted to end on a good note," said Eccher.
The team ended the SEC Championships on a positive note, breaking the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:29.98. The relay team of Jennifer Molchan, Melissa Roberts, Amy Salce and Jess Eccher broke the record of 3:30.66 set at the 2009 SEC Championships. The four women also topped the season-best mark of 3:34.12 set at the WKU invite.
"That was a good way to close the meet," said Organ. "It has been a long week so it was good to finish on a high note."
Amy Salce opened up with a lifetime-best time of 2:03.53 in the 200 backstroke while fellow sophomore Rose Cornelson finished the event in a lifetime-best 2:03.96. Salce improved her season-best time by 2.69 seconds and Cornelson improved by 3.22 seconds.
Seniors Jennifer Molchan and Anna Fargo had strong races in the 100-yard freestyle with Molchan setting a season-best time while Fargo set a lifetime-best. Molchan finished the heat in a time of 52.87, topping her previous season-best of 54.14 set at the WKU Invite. Fargo finished in 53.31, the fastest of her life and quickest since the 2009 SEC Championships in Auburn, Ala., where she finished in 53.35.
Melissa Roberts (52.94), Betsy Gaenti (54.14) and Margaux Georgiadis (54.28) all finished with season-best marks in the 100 freestyle. Amy Salce time-trialed the event in the afternoon and finished in a season-best time of 53.04.
Laura Dillon had the team-best mark in the 200-yard breaststroke by swimming her heat in 2:20.62, an improvement of 3.37 seconds from her previous season-best. Sophomore Sarah Lynch came up with a season-best time of 2:21.09 which was four and a half seconds better than her previous best of 2:24.64.
Junior Elizabeth Brunk had a great day swimming the 200-yard butterfly in a time of 2:07.79, topping her previous season-best mark of 2:13.44. Michelle Williamson time-trialed the event and finished in 2:08.33 while Alyx Vernon swam the time-trial in a season-best 2:09.29.
This marked the final meet for seniors Jennifer Molchan and Anna Fargo and they both had lifetime-best marks during the week.
"It's great to see Jen swim well and see Anna have a great week," Organ said of the seniors. "Finishing a career with lifetime-bests is a perfect way to go out."
Georgia won the event with 720 points with Florida coming in second with 678 and Auburn rounding out the top three with 563 points.
Make sure to take a look at the Vandy SEC Blog for final notes on the day a full look into the Championship week.