COLUMBIA, S.C. — Faith Knelson won one A Final and placed third in another to lead the Vanderbilt swimming team on the final days of the Gamecock Invitational at the Carolina Natatorium.
The Commodores ended the three-day meet with 629 points, placing third in the field of seven schools behind host South Carolina and UNC-Wilmington.
“I’m really pleased with how our team supported each other over the three days,” said head coach Jeremy Organ. “We had some really great performances both on the individual side and also on our relays. We will now focus on putting in some really good work over the holidays to set us up for success in the next phase of the season.”
In addition to Knelson’s performance, Ellie Taliaferro and Kailia Utley won races on both Thursday and Friday as the Dores closed out the fall segment of their 2022-23 season. The three were joined by Emma Dalton in recording marks that rank among the top 10 in school history, while multiple relay squads met the CSCAA National Invitation Championship A Standard.
Thursday Meet Highlights
-Knelson finished first the 100 breast A Final.
-Maddie Smith qualified for the A Final in the 400 IM, while Utley advanced to the 100 fly A Final.
-Both Gabriela Pierobon Mays and Dalton advanced to the A Final in the 100 back.
-Taliaferro won the B Final in the 200 free, with Eleanor Beers placing third in that race.
-Utley and Megan Ciezczak placed first and second, respectively, in the 100 back B Final.
-Alixandra Roy and Clare Vetkoetter made the B Final in the 400 IM, with the pair of Karsyn Cook and Meredith DiPasquale qualifying for the 100 fly B Final.
-Taylor Carey advanced to the B Final in the 100 breast, while Trinity Tran and Hannah Weissman also took part in the 100 back B Final.
-The Commodores’ 800 free relay A team of Taliaferro, Beers, Taylor Ward and Ryen Bosuro posted a fourth-place finish in the final event of the night.
Friday Meet Highlights
-Knelson touched the wall third in the A Final of the 200 breast.
-Beers advance to the A Final in the 100 free, with Taliaferro and Ciezczak posting a one-two finish in the B Final of the event.
-Utley claimed her second victory of the meet after finishing first in the 200 fly B Final, with DiPasquale joining her in that race.
-The trio of Smith, Alina Stout and Utley qualified for the B Final in the 200 back, and Carey made the 200 breast B Final as well.
-Bosuro, Beers, Taliaferro and Ciezczak ended the meet by finishing fourth in the 400 free relay final.
-The Dores posted season bests in both the 200 medley (1:41.63) and 800 free (7:31.75) relays, meeting the NIC A Standard in the former event.
-Already ranked fourth at Vandy in the 100 breast, Knelson improved on her career-best time in the race while meeting the NIC B Standard after touching the wall in 1:01.61.
-The win was her second of the season and third since transferring to Vanderbilt in the event.
-Taliaferro’s 1:50.14 time in the 200 free—the best of her career—is now tied for fifth on the school’s all-time performance list.
-Not only was it the freshman’s second individual victory of the meet and fourth of the season, it marked the second time in as many days she met the NIC B Standard in an event.
-Dalton posted an NIC B Standard while also moving into 10th place on Vandy’s all-time performance list with a mark of 56.11 in the prelims of the 100 back.
-Smith improved her season-best mark that was already the fastest by a Dore this fall while meeting the NIC B Standard in the 400 IM with a 4:28.77 clocking.
-Pierobon Mays also met the NIC B Standard in the 100 back with her best time of the season after touching the wall in 55.63 in the prelims of the event.
-It marked the first time Utley has won a 100 back race in nearly a year—her first victory in the event was on Nov. 19 last season at Miami (Fla.)—although it marked her eighth individual win dating back to the start of last season.
-Utley (56.55) and Weissman (57.86) joined Dalton in recording career-best times in the 100 back.
-Roy (4:31.30) and Vetkoetter (4:33.87) recorded their fastest times of the season in the 400 IM finals as well.
-Seven Commodores—Utley (54.89), Cook (56.00), DiPasquale (56.41), Stout (56.97), Jenna Ravarino (56.99), Kristen Nutter (57.44) and Allison Bauer (58.06)—posted season-best times in either the prelims or finals of the 100 fly.
-The trio of Beers (1:52.19), Kendall Hall (1:54.18) and Ward (1:54.40) joined Taliaferro in finishing with their lowest marks of the season in the finals of the 200 free.
-Carey’s 1:05.53 mark in the prelims of the 100 breast was the best of her career, while Ella Platek (1:06.46) and Leigh Farah (1:08.11) posted season-best marks in the finals of the event.
-Other Commodores finishing with their best times of the season in the 100 back included Ciezczak (56.68), Tran (57.38), Chantal Jordan (58.37), DiPasquale (58.73), Stout (58.78) and Nutter (59.16).
-The Dores season-low mark of 3:24.35 in the 400 free relay met the NIC A Standard.
-Knelson moved into third place on the Commodores’ all-time performance list in the 200 breast after finishing the race in a career-best 2:14.06, meeting the NIC B Standard in the process.
-Taliaferro’s 51.17 time in the 100 free finals was the best of her career—as well as the fastest by a Dore this season—with the freshman moving into the seventh spot on Vandy’s all-time list in the event, and Bauer also finishing with a season-best performance after touching the wall in 52.86.
-Smith (2:04.77) posted her fastest time of the season in the 200 back finals, with the group of Utley (2:03.26), Stout (2:05.73), Tran (2:08.85) and Dalton (2:09.82) accomplishing the feat in prelims of the event.
-Beers (51.58), Cook (52.72), Ravarino (52.78), Pierobon Mays (52.82) and Gray Almasi (53.36) all recorded season-best marks in the prelims of the 100 free.
-Roy (2:07.88) and Hall (2:10.32) won the C and D Final of the 200 fly, respectively, with their fastest times of the season, with DiPasquale (2:06.20), Nutter (2:08.82) and Vetkoetter (2:11.62) adding the best marks of 2022-23 in finals of the event as well.
-Platek claimed the D Final of the 200 breast after touching the wall in a season-best 2:24.08.
Vandy will be off until the season resumes with a Jan. 21 dual meet at Iowa.