Vandy Handles Hawkeyes

Kailia Utley wins two races to help Commodore swimming earn first victory of season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kailia Utley claimed both of her individual events and was part of a victorious relay Saturday to help Vanderbilt swimming to a 138-124 win over Iowa at the Centennial Sportsplex.

The junior’s victory in the 200 butterfly came during a stretch in which the Commodores (1-1) finished first in five of six races. Other winners for Vandy in that span included Sophia Kosturos, Megan Ciezczak, Abby Francis and Grace Ciaramitaro.

Utley then touched the wall first in the 100 butterfly for the Dores’ final victory of the meet.

“It was a really great day overall from the group, there were key points in the meet where some of the ladies stepped up and got victories in races that we weren’t sure we were going to win,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “That allowed us to get rolling and come out on top at the end of the day. What a super exciting meet, hats off to Iowa. The two programs pair up really well, it was a fun meet with great energy and it was great to get a home win.”

Faith Knelson, Ellie Taliaferro and Madelyn Porter also posted Vanderbilt season-best marks during the course of the competition.

The Dores will face another Big Ten opponent in their next meet when they visit Illinois Saturday at 11 a.m. in Champaign.

Meet Highlights
-Vandy opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay by a .41 second margin.
-Kosturos won the 100 back for the Commodores’ first individual victory of the day.
-Ciezczak and Francis claimed the 50 and 100 free, respectively, after Utley’s first win.
-Ciaramitaro then won the 200 back, with Emily Carpenter giving the Dores a one-two finish in the event.
-Taliaferro recorded runner-up finishes in both the 200 and 500 free, while Knelson placed second in the 100 breast and 200 IM.

-This was just the second meeting between the two programs after they tied in the first matchup in Iowa City on Jan. 21 last season.
-Vandy’s 200 medley and 400 free relays recorded NIC A standards with times of 1:42.21 and 3:24.32, respectively.
-The mark in the 400 free relay—posted by Taliaferro, Francis, Ciezczak and Kosturos—was the fourth fastest on the program’s all-time performance list.
-With her 54.84 mark in the 100 fly, Utley became the first Commodore to meet the NIC B Standard in multiple events in 2023-24.
-She now has 12 individual race victories in her career, tied for the most on the team with Mercedes Traba.
-Ciaramitaro’s 2:00.54 time in the 200 back both met the NIC B Standard and moved her into fourth place on Vandy’s all-time performer list in the event.
-Knelson also achieved an NIC B Standard in the 100 breast after touching the wall in 1:03.06.
-Kosturos moved up one spot into ninth place on the Dores’ all-time performer list with a 55.75 mark in the 100 back.
-Ciaramitaro, Ciezczak, Francis and Kosturos all posted their first event wins as Commodores in the meet.
-Traba recorded a career-best 1:53.91 mark in the 200 free while swimming the event for the first time this season.