Dore Duo Sets New Standards at SECs

Records continue to fall for Vanderbilt swimming at conference championships

AUBURN, Ala. — Sophia Kosturos and Ellie Taliaferro each set an individual school record while also contributing to a new relay mark to lead Vanderbilt swimming on the second day of the SEC Championships at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center on Wednesday.

Taliaferro posted the fastest time ever by a Commodore in the 200 IM and Kosturos followed with a new record in the 50 free in morning prelims, before the two came back and teamed with Jenna Ravarino and Megan Ciezczak to put together the best 200 free relay in program history.

“I’m real excited for the ladies, they’ve done a lot of great things this year and to be able to continue to do that at this big meet is a testament to how they have competed all season. They’ve worked really hard, seeing these results is a lot of fun to watch and be around,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “Sophia and Ellie are doing a great job of being in the moment and staying cool, this is just like what they do in practice. They’re getting up and putting together great races.

“As a group, we want a little bit more. The team is getting a taste of it now, which is fun to see. This train is moving along pretty fast right now, hopefully we can keep on it.”

Action at the meet will continue on Thursday when preliminary heats in the 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 free begin at 9:30 a.m.

Meet Highlights
-Taliaferro led Vandy after placing among the top 35 in prelims in the 200 IM, missing advancing to finals by only a half second.
-In an event featuring 69 swimmers, Kosturos ended up among the top 40 to pace the Commodores—falling a quarter second shy of advancing to the C Final—with Ciezczak placing in the top 50.
-Mercedes Traba was the Dore’s top finisher in 500 free after posting a top-40 result in prelims.

-The relay record was the third set in two nights of competition at the championship after Vandy accomplished the feat in the 800 free and 200 medley relays on Tuesday.
-With a time of 2:00.75 in the 200 IM, Taliaferro broke the previous school record in the event set at the 2014 SEC Championships while establishing a new program mark for the second time in as many days at the meet.
-Kosturos became the first individual in school history to record a time below 23 seconds in the 50 free after finishing in 22.90 in the morning, then bettered that mark with a 22.79 lead-off leg in the 200 free relay during the finals session at night.
-Ciezczak added career-best 23.12 mark in prelims as both she and Kosturos met the CSCAA National Invitational Championship B Standard in the event.
-With the effort, Ciezczak now ranks third on Vandy’s all-time performer list in the 50 free while Ravarino moved into a tie for sixth in program history after touching the wall in 23.29 in the morning.
-Two other Dores—Faith Knelson (23.40) and Olivia Solimine (23.88)—also posted career-low times in the 50 free during the first  session of the day.
-Traba touched the wall in the 500 free in 4:51.66, the best mark in the event by a Commodore this season.
-The duo of Kate Heintz (4:58.36) and Madelyn Porter (4:58.53) both recorded career-best times in the 500 free as well.
-Maddie Smith finished with her fastest effort of the season in the 200 IM with a 2:04.31 mark while Bailey Ratzburg’s time of 2:06.75 in the same heat was the best of her career.