Fit to Be Tied

Vandy, Iowa both score 131 points in matchup in Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Faith Knelson and Mercedes Traba each won two races as Vanderbilt swimming recorded a 131-131 tie against Iowa in a dual meet Saturday at the CRWC Natatorium.

Kailia Utley added an individual victory as well for the Commodores, who are now 4-3-1 on the season. The Hawkeyes’ record stands at 1-4-1 with the result.

“This is the first time that I’ve ever been a part of a tie dual meet,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “We had some great performances today, specifically Faith in both breaststrokes and Mercedes. It had been a while for her, to have two solid swims should build her confidence as she continues her comeback this season. And I thought Kailia’s 200 butterfly was a good swim.

“There was rust for some individuals because it had been a while since we had a meet, so it was good to get through that. Now we can look forward to next week and the opportunity to honor our seniors and graduating student-athletes and get ready for that final push into the SEC Championships.”

In addition to claiming wins in five of the meet’s 12 individual races, the duo of Gabriela Pierobon Mays and Karsyn Cook were runners-up in their events. Taylor Carey, Maddie Smith and Ellie Taliaferro both recorded a pair of top-three results for Vandy also.

Meet Highlights
-Knelson claimed both the 100 and 200 breast with marks of 1:03.44 and 2:20.52, respectively.
-Traba’s wins came in the 500 free (4:59.72) and 400 IM.
-In addition to touching the wall first in the 200 fly, Utley finished second in the 100 fly (56.38) and recorded a third-place result in the 200 back (2:08.06).
-Pierobon Mays touched the wall second in the 100 back (57.13) while Cook paced the Dores after finishing second in the 50 free (24.42).
-Taliaferro placed second in the 200 free (1:52.47) while also finishing third in the 100 free (51.99).
-Smith was second in the 200 back (2:06.81), also posting a third-place finish in the 400 IM (4:41.55).
-Taylor Carey ended up second in the 200 breast (2:23.56), adding a third-place result in the 100 breast (1:06.75) as well.

-This is the first tie in the Commodores’ 31-plus season history.
-Vandy faced Iowa for the first time since the inception of the program in 1977-78.
-It was just the second time the Dores have ever competed in the state of Iowa.
-This marked the second occasion this season Knelson has swept both the 100 and 200 breast at a meet, as she now has five individual victories on the season.
-It was the third time in four competitions that Traba has claimed the 500 free; the sophomore has earned 11 individual victories since the start of the 2021-22 season.
-Traba—making her first appearance since Vandy faced North Florida and Georgia Southern on Oct. 15—touched the wall in 4:30.52 in the 400 IM, placing her second in the Commodores’ season performance list.
-Utley’s mark of 2:01.95 in the 200 fly was the fastest by a Vandy swimmer in 2022-23.
-Her victory in the race was the 10th of her career.

Vanderbilt will play host to Arkansas and Little Rock in a tri-meet at the Centennial Sportsplex on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. to conclude the regular season.