Feb. 17, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt's swimming and diving team will compete in its third Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships since bringing the program back in December 2006. This year's SEC Swimming Championships will be hosted Feb. 18-21 at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.
The team has seen its ups and downs this season, both expected out of a young and inexperienced team. The future looks extremely bright as every one of Vanderbilt's top times this season has come from an underclassman.
"I am excited to see what our young team can do this week at one of the nation's premier college swimming events," head coach Jeremy Organ said. "Our team has been working really hard in practice and I think we are peaking at the right time of year heading into the conference meet."
Leading the way for the Commodores this season has been the sophomore pair of Jennifer Molchan and Alexandra Jennings and the freshman pair of Laura Dillon and Kelly Obranowicz.
Molchan enters the conference meet holding the team's top times in the 50-meter (24.63) and 100-meter freestyles (52.78) The Pensacola, Fla., native's 52.78 100 freestyle time at the Hilltopper Invitational nearly missed Leslie Holt's 19-year-old school record of 52.38.
Jennings has solidified herself as the one of the team's top backstrokers. The sophomore has swam three of the team's best four 200-yard backstroke times this season while she holds four of the team's top-five 100-yard backstroke times. A native of Dallas, Jennings looks to set new career bests in both events this week after having a career performance at last year's conference meet.
Dillon approaches her first SEC championship meet after molding together a very solid all-around freshman campaign. A native of Reston, Va., Dillon has seen instant success in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. The former high school All-American broke the school's 100 and 200 breaststroke marks during the fall season. Dillon posted a sensational performance at the Hilltopper Invitational in November, swimming a school record of 2:22.00 in the 200 breaststroke and a 1:05.78 in the 100 breast.
Like Dillon, fellow freshman Obranowicz has adjusted well to collegiate swimming. Obranowicz enters the final meet of the year with four of Vanderbilt's top-five times in the 100-yard butterfly. A former prep All-American adds a lot of talent and depth to the Commodore team in the butterfly and short freestyle events. The former George Walton High standout posted a career day at the Hilltopper Invitational in November, setting personal highs and team season-highs in both the 100 (56.92) and 200-yard fly (2:07.71).
It marked the second consecutive season that a freshman under Organ has notched at least two school records in the same season.
The freshmen diving pair of Nicole Woodworth and Liz Asche have both showed signs of success in the one and 3-meter dives this season. Woodworth enters the final meet of the season as the teams No. 1 diver. The Seattle native dove into the school's record books with a 288.53 mark in the one-meter dive, topping former All-American Patti Woodcock's 22-year old record of 269.60. Woodworth has qualified for the zone championships in both one and 3-meter dive.
Diving coach Andrea Meyers likes what she has seen out of Woodworth this season and thinks the future is extremely bright for the freshman.
"I would like to see her competing in the SEC finals in the next couple of seasons because I know she has the talent," Meyers said.
The SEC championships marks the final collegiate meet for VU's lone seniors, Suzanne Wetz and Rebecca Rogers.
Live stats of the entire SEC Swimming & Diving Championships will be available via www.auburntigers.com.
Stay tuned to VUcommodores.com for constant updates on the 2009 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships.
SEC Swimming & Diving Championships - Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
Noon - 12:30 p.m.
Swimming Preliminaries (M/W)
200 Medley Relay
800 Free Relay
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Swimming Final (M/W)
200 Medley Relay
7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Swimming Final (M/W)
800 Freestyle Relay