Eye on the Hawkeyes

Dores open spring smester with dual meet at Iowa Saturday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s been over two months since the Vanderbilt swimming program has competed in an official event, but that stretch will come to an end this weekend.

The Commodores visit Iowa Saturday at 11 a.m. at CRWC Natatorium in their final dual meet on the road during the regular season.

“We’re excited to get going again,” said head coach Jeremy Organ. “Since we’ve returned we’ve had a nice block of training that began right after Christmas before school started. We’re starting to fine tune a lot of our details in practice in order to get ready for our championship meets at the end of the season.”

Eight Dores enter the spring semester having met the CSCAA National Invitation Championship B Standard in multiple events, led by Kailia Utley who has already achieved qualifying marks in the 500 free, 100 back, and 100 and 200 fly. Both Faith Knelson and Mercedes Traba have recorded times that meet the standard in three events, and Ellie Taliaferro is qualified in two, with Emma Dalton, Gabriela Pierobon Mays, Maddie Smith and Taylor Ward each joining the group with their performances last time out at the Gamecock Invitational.

Taliaferro earned three victories in B Finals at that competition—bringing her total to five her first season at the collegiate level—with Utley claiming two B Finals as well. Knelson was victorious A Final of the 100 breast, with other race winners at USC including Kendall Hall, Chantal Jordan, Ella Platek, Alixandra Roy, Natalie Van Noy and Ward.

Vanderbilt has never faced Iowa in a dual meet, but earned a victory in its only tip to the state with a 76-33 win at Iowa State in February 1988.