Fight With Florida

Commodores take on Gators in opening meet of the season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Florida defeated Vanderbilt swimming 180-75 at the Centennial Sportsplex Friday in the season-opening meet for both programs.

Highlights from the Commodores’ first competition of the season included seeing Ellie Taliaferro and Kailia Utley meeting national standards as well as newcomer Sophia Kosturos entering the top 10 on Vandy’s all-time performer list.

“Just looking at our swims from today, we’re really happy and excited for this group keeping in mind that this was the first meet of the year. We were able to knock off some rust, so it was a really good start the season,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “The overall competitiveness of the group showed, we really did a good job of racing today. That was one of the things that impressed us the most, that our compete level is maybe a little further ahead of where you expect it to be at the start of the season.”

Vandy is off for the next month before returning to action with an Oct. 28 home meet against Iowa, which will get underway at 11 a.m.

Meet Highlights
-Taliaferro placed second in the 200 IM in the final individual event of the afternoon.
-Utley was Vanderbilt’s top performer in both the 100 and 200 fly, missing a second-place finish in the former race by less than half a second.
-Megan Ciezczak (24.19) finished third in the 50 free, touching the wall .19 seconds ahead of teammate Olivia Solimine (24.38).
-Faith Knelson (1:03.48) led the Dores in the 100 breast, missing a second-place result by just four-tenths of a second.
-Abby Francis (51.96) was third in the 100 free—finishing the event less than half a second behind the runner-up—with Ciezczak (53.19) also in the top five in the race.
-The Commodores’ 200 free relay team of Ciezczak, Solimine, Francis and Kosturos ended up just .19 seconds behind the Gators in the final race of the meet.

-The was the fifth time the Commodores have faced the Gators in a dual meet.
-It was the first meeting in the series since Jan. 3, 2020, as well as Florida’s first visit to Nashville dating back to the 2015-16 campaign.
-Taliaferro’s mark of 2:04.38 in the 200 IM and Utley’s 2:03.97 time in the 200 fly both met the NIC B Standard.
-Kosturos touched the wall in 55.90 in the 100 back to move into 10th place on Vandy’s all-time performer list in the event.
-Kendall Hall recorded a career-best time of 10:45.38 in the 1,000 free.
-In addition to Solimine, Grace Ciaramitaro, Liv Gooding, Kate Heintz, Madelyn Porter and Bailey Ratzburg made their collegiate debuts for the Commodores.