Vandy Tops Tulane

Sophomore shines at Commodores’ Senior Day meet

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt swimming celebrated Senior Day Friday at the Centennial Sportsplex, but it was a member of the program’s sophomore class who stole the show.

Ellie Taliaferro earned two individual victories while supplying the anchor leg for the Commodore relay that closed the meet with a win as Vandy defeated Tulane, 136.5-67.5, in its final meet of the regular season. The Dores will enter postseason competition at the SEC Championships—hosted by Auburn this year beginning on Feb. 20—with three wins in their final two weekends of competition.

Faith Knelson and Sophia Kosturos, members of the group of eight individuals who were honored prior to the meet, also claimed races as Vandy ultimately won seven of nine individual events.

“This is a great way to send off our seniors with some good swims, it’s always sweeter when you can finish the regular season with a home victory,” head coach Jeremy Organ said. “Ellie has quietly been having a really strong season, today things aligned where that showed. We’re extremely happy for her with her races today, her effort lifted the team and helped that energy stay up. But it was a really good team effort today, sometimes it’s hard with that emotion—there were a lot of alumni back and a lot of parents were here—but they were able to put that aside and everybody chipped in in their own way to give us a real good team victory.”

Meet Highlights
-Vandy began the competition by taking the 200 medley relay and finishing with a victory in the 400 free relay.
-Kailia Utley won the 1,000 free, Jenna Ravarino touched the wall first in the 50 free and Taliaferro was first in the 200 IM prior to the first break of the afternoon.
-The second session of the meet was highlighted by wins from Taliaferro (100 free), Kosturos (100 back) and Mercedes Traba (500 free).
-Knelson was victorious in the final individual event of the day after touching the wall first in the 100 breast.
-Traba and Kate Heintz placed second and third, respectively, in the 200 free, while Utley led the Dores with a second-place result in the 100 fly.

-Other members of the graduating class who were recognized in the pre-meet ceremony were Abby Francis, Gabriela Pierobon Mays, Ella Platek, Maddie Smith, Alina Stout and Trinity Tran.
-It was Vandy’s fifth win in the last six matchups with the Green Wave as the Dores now lead the all-time series, 10-6.
-Utley’s victory in the 1,000 free was the team-leading 15th of her career, helping her move into third on the Commodores season performer list after posting a mark of 10:30.64 in the race.
-Knelson matched Utley with her fifth win of the season—most on the squad—after touching the wall in 1:02.82 in the 100 breast.
-Traba earned her sixth career victory in the 500 free with a time of 5:03.59, giving her 14 wins since joining the program.
-It marked the first time since coming to Vandy that Taliaferro has won multiple races on the same day.
-Ravarino was .03 seconds off her season-best time after claiming the 50 free in 24.18, her first victory since finishing first in the event in a tri-meet with North Florida and Georgia Southern on Oct. 15 last season.