Fast Finish

Vandy sets another relay record, has multiple swimmers enter top 10 on final day of fall season

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Vanderbilt swimming set a relay record for the second time in three days, while  multiple individuals moved onto the program’s all-time performer list as action at the Gamecock Invitational concluded Friday at the USC Natatorium.

Both Abby Francis and Ellie Taliaferro were part of the 400 freestyle relay squad that broke the previous mark set over seven years ago, and both also made the Commodores’ top 10 list in a second event at the meet as well. Mercedes Traba and Kailia Utley posted performances that moved them into the program’s records as well.

Grace Ciaramitaro and Megan Ciezczak joined that group competing in A Finals on the final night of the three-day meet also.

As a team, Vandy scored 961½ points to place second out of the eight schools competing.

“I am thrilled with how the team performed this week,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “From breaking school records to accomplishing personal best times, everyone proved how hard they’ve been working these last few months. Our energy was electric, now everyone is looking forward to an exciting second half of the season.”

The Dores won’t return to competition officially until Jan. 2, when they face both Miami (Fla.) and Iowa in Coral Gables, Florida.

Meet Highlights
-Traba touched the wall fifth in the 1,650 free to close out prelims.
-Taliaferro, Ciezczak and Francis recorded a four-five-six finish for the Dores in the 100 free A Final.
-Utley earned a sixth-place finish in the 200 fly A Final, and Kate Heintz was runner-up in the B Final of the event as well.
-Ciaramitaro was eighth in the A Final of the 200 back, with the duo of Utley and Emily Carpenter placing third and fourth, respectively, in the event’s B Final.
-Taylor Carey led Vandy in the 200 breast after finishing fourth in the B Final.
-Bailey Ratzburg claimed the 200 back C Final, while Hannah Weissman was first in the D Final of the event and Clare Vetkoetter touched the wall first in the 200 fly D Final.
-Vandy closed the three-day event by finishing third in the 400 free relay.

-Francis, Taliaferro, Sophia Kosturos and Ciezczak combined to post a record-setting time of 3:21.65 in the 400 free relay.
-A pair of Commodores climbed into the top five on the program’s all-time record list in the 100 free, with Taliaferro (50.45) and Francis (50.80) standing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event.
-Traba now ranks fifth on Vandy’s all-time performer list in the 1,650 free after recording a career-best time of 17:03.27 that also met the CSCAA NIC B Standard.
-Utley posted a time of 2:01.15 in the finals to move into ninth on the Dores’ 200 back all-time performer list, as she and Carpenter (2:01.37) achieved the NIC B Standard in the event.
-Both Taliaferro and Ciezczak (50.46 in prelims) met the NIC B Standard in the 100 free.
-Faith Knelson was the top qualifier in the 200 breast, and although she did not compete in the final the senior still met the NIC B Standard with her time of 2:16.11 in the morning.
-Carey’s 2:19.81 mark in the 200 breast final was the fastest of her career.
-The victory was Cook’s first since Vandy competed at Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 19, 2021.
-Weissman and Ratzburg earned the first individual wins of their careers.