Feb. 20, 2016
COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the second year in a row the Vanderbilt swim team capped the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships the same way they began, with a broken record. Vanderbilt leaves Columbia, Mo. having broken four school records in five short days.
“We finished the meet the way we were hoping to swim all week,” said head coach Jeremy Organ. “We had numerous lifetime bests, which is a really good testament to the girls and what we did all year. It was nice to end that way. Obviously, we were hoping for the whole week to be a lot better, and we’ll be working all year next season to make sure that happens. But what a great meet this event isÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ just some really fast swims. We’re starting to handle the meet a lot better, and we’re starting to see that success come later in the week. I think next year with the experience of another year, we’re going to be that much more prepared.”
Having smashed the 200-medley relay on day one, the Commodores broke the 2015 400 free relay record at a time of 3:23.59 to come full circle. The relay featured a strong final leadoff swim by senior Hannah Martin, as well as legs from Kayla Moran, Breanna Sapienza and Summer Brown.
Satuday’s final day of championship action was highlighted by sophomore Kara Lucenti’s third place finish in the 200 breast “C” Final. For the second time this season, the Kenilworth, Ill. native broke the school record by touching in at 2:12.60.
The record was almost half a second faster than what Lucenti previously set during the Georgia Fall Invitational in early December. The finals time was also a lifetime best for the sophomore, who also owns the VU 400 IM record.
“For Kara to really have a great swim tonight was huge. Then the girls finished up the night with breaking the 400 free relay record was awesome.”
During morning prelims, VU earned three podium finishes in their respected heats of the 100 freestyle. One of the top-three finishes was generated by Martin to conclude her last individual swim for the black and gold.
Martin, a leader in and out of the pool, generated a second place finish in the fourth heat of the 100 freestyle. The Greensboro, N.C. native went out with a bang setting a new season best time at 50.58. Eun Sol Chon and Madeline Hunt brought joined the senior, taking third in their respected 100 free heats.
In addition to Lucenti’s 19th place finish in 200 breast prelims (2:13.95), Kacie Dunham ended her sophomore season with a PR in the 200 breast at a time of 2:23.86.
“The contributions Hannah made to our program is evident on the record board and in all the relays. It’s going to be really tough to replace somebody like her next year. We have a huge class coming in next year, which is going to be really exciting and something new.”
Vanderbilt will send a few Commodores to a Last Chance Meet next weekend, with a date and location still to be announced.