Dores Continue Action in Athens

Experienced trio leads Vandy with top-five performances at Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — Vanderbilt swimming had a senior and two juniors combined for five top-five results as the Commodores faced both Georgia and Florida State Saturday at Gabrielsen Natatorium.

Both Faith Knelson and Mercedes Traba finished in the top five in two races, and Kailia Utley was among the top five once again in the 200 butterfly to lead Vandy. In addition, Ellie Taliaferro broke one school record and posted a season-best time in a second event for the Dores.

The Bulldogs, however, defeated Vanderbilt 219-61 while the Seminoles earned a 230-61 victory over the Commodores.

“Kailia has been very consistent in her effort day in and day out—that consistency shows up in her swims—and she does the little things right every day,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “I’m really happy for her because when you do that kind of work you want to see the results, and she is seeing that. It’s the same for Ellie. She has been having a good season from a training standpoint and doing great things in practice, today was definitely one of those days where she saw the payoff of that hard work. I thought the team did a good job of competing and racing today, which puts us in a good mindset moving forward as we prepare to go to Arkansas.”

The Commodores return to the pool on Jan. 20 when they visit Arkansas, with the meet in Fayetteville starting at 10 a.m.

Meet Highlights
-Knelson earned a third-place finish in the 100 breast while also placing fifth in the 200 breast.
-Traba recorded a third-place result in the 400 IM, and she also touched the wall fifth in the 500 free.
-Utley was fourth overall in the 200 fly.
-The Commodores’ A team placed third in the 200 medley relay while the 400 free relay finished fourth.

-Taliaferro broke the school record—also meeting the CSCAA National Invitational Championship B Standard—in the 100 free after touching the wall in 50.24.
-The sophomore also posted a mark of 1:48.87 in the 200 free that was her best of the season and just over a second off her school-record time in the event.
-Utley’s time of 1:59.82 in the 200 fly was her fastest thus far in 2023-24 and less than 0.6 seconds from meeting the NCAA B Standard.
-With a season-low mark of 23.37, Sophia Kosturos moved up to ninth place on Vanderbilt’s all-time performer list in the 50 free.
-Traba’s 4:23.82 time in the 400 IM was the fastest on the team in the event this season, and it also met the B Standard in qualifying for the NIC meet.
-Abby Francis now ranks second on the team in the 200 breast after touching the wall in 2:19.03.
-Emily Carpenter had her fastest time of the season after recording a 1:53.30 mark in the 200 free.

-Grace Ciaramitaro touched the wall in a career-best 56.50 in the 100 back.