NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt swimming team got off to a hot start after the first event as they swam to first and third-place finishes in the 400-yard medley relay but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Southern Illinois as the Salukis edged the Commodores 145-114 at the Centennial Sportsplex Saturday. Vanderbilt dropped to 1-2 in duals this fall as SIU improves to 2-0.
“Overall, I thought today’s meet was a good a team effort,” Head Coach Jeremy Organ said. “I thought everyone made a nice contribution and we showed some improvement from our last meet. We have a little break now before we compete again so it will be a nice to have time in practice to improve on the little things before we swim against Arkansas.”
“The medley relay really set the tone for the rest of the meet,” Organ said. “I thought our team built off that first relay event and you can see that it’s important to set the tone for the rest of the meet.”
Two events later, the freshman tandem of Eccher and Erika Deardorf notched second and third place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle, clocking times of 1:56.70 and 1:58.21. Eccher’s time Saturday was three seconds faster than what she swam last weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Following the 200-free, Vanderbilt tacked on 13 more points to its team total when Cornelson and Morey finished first and second in the 100-yard backstroke. Cornelson captured top honors with a 1:00.71 while Morey clocked a 1:01.02. Cornelson’s time was the fastest 100-backstroke time recorded by a Commodore since Alexandra Jennings notched a 1:00.46 at the 2008 SEC Championships.
Lynch, Brunk, and Voss clocked times of 1:09.09, 1:10.89 and 1:10.91 in the 100-yard breaststroke, good for third, fourth and fifth place.
In the sixth event, Dillon posted a runner-up finish in the 200-yard butterfly, racing to a 2:10.60. Dillon’s time Saturday was two seconds faster than what she swam in last weekend’s meet against Alabama and Centre. Later in the day, Dillon swam to another runner-up finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. The Reston, Va., native is the school record holder in that event.
Fellow Sophomore Zoe Cooper-Surma led the ‘Dores in the 50-yard freestyle with a 25:44, while Fargo and Betsy Galenti followed with 25.85 and 26.55, respectively.
Vanderbilt dominated the 100-yard freestyle against the Salukis, as four of the top five swimmers in the event were Commodores. Molchan led the way once again, clocking a second-place time of 55.37, while Fargo, Cooper-Surma and Galenti followed in respective order.
Freshman Amy Salce placed first overall in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:11.31 while Morey and Cornelson finished in second and third place. Morey’s 2:12.13 was .74 seconds faster than her previous season high while Cornelson’s trimmed over a full second off her time against Alabama and Centre last weekend.
After the 200-breast, Deardorf closed the gap in the team race as she swam a 5:06.87, giving the Commodores nine points towards its team score. Deardorf’s first-place time Saturday was six seconds faster than she what she recorded last weekend.
The ‘Dores tacked on 13 more points when Eccher (59.80) and Lynch (1:00.09) finished one and two in the 100-yard butterfly.
Vanderbilt closed out the dual meet with a second and third place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The relay of Molchan, Galenti, Lynch and Fargo clocked a 3:43.52 while the team of Cooper-Surma, Eccher, Cornelson and Salce posted a 3:45.33.
The Commodores will return to the pool in two weeks as they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for a dual-meet with Southeastern Conference foe, Arkansas on Nov. 6. The meet with the Razorbacks will start at 4 p.m. CT.