KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On the third day of the SEC Championships, a pair of freshmen had their best races of the season to lead the Vanderbilt swimming team Thursday at the Alan Jones Aquatic Center.
To start the morning, Mercedes Traba swam a personal best in the 400 individual medley with a mark of 4:19.81, breaking the program’s freshman record in the event while just missing qualifying for the C finals and setting a new school standard. Kailia Utley followed by falling only a half second shy of advancing to the C finals in the 100 butterfly after touching the wall in 53.94; Gabriela Pierobon Mays swam a personal best (55.50) in the same race.
In the final event of the day’s preliminary heats, Eleanor Beers was the top Vanderbilt swimmer in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:51.14.
“It was a good day for us,” Commodore head coach Jeremy Organ said. “Mercedes is really having a great meet so far, and I think this is an event she is going to excel in over the next couple of years. She has one more event left, this is going to be a great first SEC Championships for her. Kailia is just getting going, she had a great opening swim; with her best event coming tomorrow, we’re excited to see what she can do there.
“Those were two great performances from the freshmen, it shows a promising future for both of them.”
Day four of the championships will take place Friday with preliminary heats beginning at 8:30 a.m. (CT) and finals starting at 4:30 p.m. Races scheduled for the session include the 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke, and the 100 breaststroke.
All sessions of the championships will air live on SEC Network+.
Follow along with the Commodores’ action in Knoxville during the SEC Championships by following @VandySwimming on Twitter and Instagram.
Another day, more personal records broken by the Dores