Up to the Task

Kailia Utley advances to finals to lead the Dores on Day 4 of SEC Championships

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt swimming team saw multiple individuals post season- and career-best times, highlighted by a school-record performance from a freshman, on Friday at the SEC Championships at the Alan Jones Aquatic Center.
Kailia Utley became the first Commodore swimmer to make the finals of an event on the fourth day of the competition with a time of 1:59.55 in the preliminary heats of the 200-yard butterfly. The freshman returned to the pool and posted a mark of 1:58.53 to place sixth in the C finals and 22nd overall, setting school overall and freshman records with the performance. Fellow freshman Mercedes Traba also had a personal-best time in the prelims after finishing in 2:01.90.
In the preliminaries for the 100-yard breaststroke, Faith Knelson missed advancing to the C final by just over a half second with a mark of 1:02.08 while Francesca Neubauer touched the wall in 1:02.44 to post the best time of her career in the event. Gabriela Pierobon Mays led Vandy in the 100-yard backstroke with a season-best time of 55.27, with Gray Almasi cutting more than two seconds off her previous mark after touching the wall in 56.03.  Tonner DeBeer and Abby Burke also had their fastest times of the season with finishes of 56.06 and 56.27, respectively, in the event.
The last day of the championships will start Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. (CT), with finals beginning at 4:30 p.m.; featured events include the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 1,650-yard freestyle, and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
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.