2019 Tennessee Invite: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

by Spencer Penland 18

November 23rd, 2019 News


  • November 21st-24th, 2019
  • Alan Jones Aquatic Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • SCY, Prelims/Finals
  • Meet Details
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results
  • Results on MeetMobile: 2019 UT Invite

After a scintillating day 1 at the 2019 Tennessee Invitational, which featured historic swims from Virginia’s Kate Douglass and Erika Brown, among others, day 2 looks like more history could be made.

In prelims, Brown swam a lifetime best and a new Tennessee School Record in the 200 free, posting a time of 1:41.66. In the women’s 100 breaststroke, post-grad Molly Hannis took the fastest morning swim in 57.97, but was followed by a group that arguably represents most of the future of women’s breaststroke in the US: Georgia freshman Zoie Hartman was 2nd in 58.76, Indiana freshman Emily Weiss was 3rd in 59.16, Virginia sophomore Alexis Wenger was 4th in 59.41, and Virginia freshman Kate Douglass was 5th in 59.68.

Women’s 200 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time – 1:36.40
  • 2020 NCAA Provisional Time – 1:37.05
  1. UVA – 1:33.91
  2. Tennessee – 1:35.61
  3. IU – 1:37.94

UVA swam away with the opening event tonight, clearing the NCAA Invite standard by a whopping 2.49 seconds, breaking the ACC Record in the process. Caroline Gmelich got the Cavs off to a stellar start, roaring to a 23.93 back split, and was followed by a blistering 26.49 breast split by Alexis Wenger. At the 100 mark, UVA already had opened up over a second lead on the rest of the field. Kate Douglass then dove in for UVA, throwing down a 22.35 fly split, and was followed by a 21.14 from Morgan Hill on the end. The Cavs time stands as the fastest in the NCAA this season. Most notably, UVA led the field tonight in every leg of the relay except freestyle, where Hill was #2 to Erika Brown.

Erika Brown posted a 20.89 anchoring Tennessee to their 2nd place finish. Although we’ve already seen a few sub-21 splits this weekend, Brown is still only one of a handful of swimmers to ever achieve that mark. Another huge split came from UGA’s Zoie Hartman, who clocked in at 26.77 on the breast leg. UGA came in 4th tonight, with a final time of 1:37.95.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time – 1:24.30
  • 2020 NCAA Provisional Time – 1:24.97
  1. Tennessee – 1:24.85
  2. IU ‘B’ – 1:25.22
  3. IU ‘A’ – 1:25.24

Hosts Tennessee picked up a win in the first men’s event of the night, also coming in just under the provisional standard for NCAAs. Matthew Garcia led off in 21.87, and was followed by a field-leading 23.44 from Michael Houlie on the breast leg. Braga Verhage and Alec Connolly held it down on the back half, posting splits of 20.38 and 19.16 respectively.

Interestingly, IU’s B relay beat the A relay, yet the two relays were only separated by ,02 seconds in the end. Moreover, the splits on both relays were similar. Gabriel Fantoni led off the B relay in 21.60, and was followed by Zane Backes in 23.81, Van Mathias in 20.48, and Brandon Hamblin in 19.33. The A relay was led off by Jacob Steele in 21.56, and was followed by Andrew Couchon in 24.10, Brendan Burns in 20.44, and Bruno Blaskovic in 19.14. Using their fastest combination of swimmers tonight, IU would have been 1:24.95.

UGA came in 4th with a 1:26.14, highlighted by a field-leading 20.22 from Camden Murphy on the fly leg. Murphy is the top seed in tonight’s 100 fly final.

Notably, UVA’s A relay was disqualified, marking yet another relay DQ for the Cavs this weekend.

Women’s 100 Fly – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 50.92
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 53.76
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 52.34
  1. Erika Brown (TENN) – 49.79
  2. Kate Douglass (UVA) – 50.30
  3. Dakota Luther /Morgan Hill (UGA/UVA) – 52.09

Erika Brown raced to a new personal best of 49.79, establishing the top time in the NCAA this season, and posting the 6th fastest performance of all-time. With the swim, Brown took .06 seconds off her personal best, but remains the 4th fastest performer all-time. Kate Douglass swam yet another personal best, this time obliterating her previous mark to finish 2nd in 50.30. That swim makes Douglass, who recently turned 18, the #2 performer all-time in the 17-18 age group, according to the SWIMS database.

Dakota Luther and Morgan Hill tied for 3rd, with Luther dropping from her prelims mark of 52.23, and Hill adding a little from her 51.81 this morning.

Men’s 100 Fly – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 45.05
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 47.43
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 45.90
  1. Camden Murphy (UGA) – 45.36
  2. Brendan Burns (IU) – 46.12
  3. Van Mathias/Cooper Wozencraft (IU/UVA) – 46.33

Camden Murphy doubled down on his performance from this morning again clearing the field by a significant margin. Murphy’s time tonight is overwhelmingly likely to earn him an Invite to NCAAs in March, as it came in well under the 45.90 it took to earn an invite last year. The IU duo of Brendan Burns and Van Mathias were the next two into the well, both swimming season bests. Burns’ time came in just .02 seconds off the freshman’s lifetime best, and puts him just outside what it will likely take to earn an invite to the NCAAs.

Mathias tied with UVA’s Cooper Wozencraft, after establishing a small early lead of .29 seconds on the first 50. IU also picked up top times in the B and C finals, with Gabriel Fantoni and Cory Gambardella going 1-2 in the B final (47.43/47.71), and Bruno Blaskovic going 47.52 to win the C final.

Women’s 400 IM – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 4:03.62
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 4:17.30
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 4:10.00
  1. Tess Cieplucha (TENN) – 4:03.06
  2. Meghan Small (TENN) – 4:04.83
  3. Josie Grote (IU) – 4:08.34

Tess Cieplucha motored to a new personal best en route to winning the event, shaving .75 seconds off her previous best from this same invite last year. Cieplucha swam a great race all around, but again used a speedy front half of 1:57.73 to establish a lead that would carry her to victory. Additionally, Cieplucha roared home with a 55.95 on the free leg, which only teammate Meghan Small was faster than (55.90).

Small, for her part, just swam her fastest 400 IM since the 2017 NCAAs, and her 3rd fastest in her career. Small has a lifetime best of 4:03.96, which she swam in high school at the 2015 YMCA Nationals. Tonight, Small came within 1 second of that mark for the first time since March 2017.

IU took the next two spots, with Josie Grote posting a personal best and breaking 4:10 for the first time in her career to take 3rd. Grote’s best time heading into tonight was 4:10.00 from Big Tens back in Ferbruary. Mackenzie Looze was 4th with a 4:09.20, marking her 6th fastest performance of her career.

Men’s 400 IM – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 3:39.16
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 3:51.46
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 3:43.42
  1. Clayton Forde (UGA) – 3:42.14
  2. Casey Storch (UVA) – 3:44.43
  3. Ted Schubert (UVA) – 3:45.48

After swimming a big best time in the 200 IM yesterday, UGA’s Clayton Forde roared to victory in the 400 IM tonight, nearly hitting his personal best. He swam a great race all around, posting splits of 51.31, 58.23, 1:02.48, and 50.12 respectively. Forde’s personal best stands t 3:41.14 from this March, and his swim tonight marks the 2nd fastest of his career. Forde’s time now makes him the 6th fastest Georgia Bulldog in history, behind

UVA picked up the next two spots, with Casey Storcha dn Ted Schubert coming in 2nd and 3rd. Storch swam the fastest breast split in the field, clocking in at 1:01.37. Schubert has the fastest personal best in the field, having swum a 3:39.52 at the 2018 ACCs.

Women’s 200 Free – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 1:42.98
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 1:47.12
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 1:45.12
  1. Paige Madden (UVA) – 1:43.52
  2. Veronica Burchill (UGA) – 1:44.62
  3. Courtney Harnish (UGA) – 1:44.86

After swimming a blistering 1:41.66 this morning, Erika Brown didn’t race the 200 free tonight, leaving the field wide open. UVA free star Paige Madden came away with the victory instead, posting a 1:43.52 for her 3rd fastest performance of her career. Madden has been as fast as 1:43.03, and her time tonight was way faster than the 1:45.35 she swam at mid-season last year.

UGA teammates Veronica Burchill and Courtney Harnish were the next two swimmers in, and the only other swimmers under 1:45. Both swimmers cleared the time it took to earn an invite to NCAAs last year, and swam season bests.

Men’s 200 Free – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 1:32.05
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 1:36.32
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 1:34.21
  1. Mohamed Samy (IU) – 1:33.65
  2. Jakub Karl (IU) – 1:35.45
  3. Alec Connolly (TENN) – 1:35.89

After a tight finish this morning, IU’s Mohamed Samy broke away from the field tonight, leading a 1-2 charge by the Hoosiers. Samy clocked a 1:33.65, marking his 2nd fastest Fall performance of his career (1:32.97 in November of last year). He broke away from the field early, turning at the 100 in 45.17.

Teammate Jakub karl nearly posted a lifetime best, finishing 2nd with a 1:35.45. His best time stands at 1:35.41 from Big Tens last season. Karl was behind 3rd place finisher Alec Connolly at the 150 mark, 1:10.52 to 1:10.99, but came home in 24.46 to Connolly’s 25.37.

Women’s 100 Breast – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 58.60
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 1:01.84
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 59.93
  1. Molly Hannis (UN) – 57.88
  2. Zoie Hartman (UGA) – 58.27
  3. Emily Weiss (IU) – 59.00

27-Year-Old Molly Hannis of Tennessee Aquatics was the fastest in the field again tonight, swimming a 57.88. Zoie Hartman tore to a new personal best of 58.27, knocking .67 seconds off the 58.94 she entered the meet with. Hartman picked up the NCAA A cut this morning, and came in well under it tonight, ensuring her a spot at NCAAs in March. Fellow freshman Emily Weiss (IU) was 3rd with a season best of 59.00. The swim for Weiss marks her 4th fastest career performance, and puts her well under what it should take to receive an invite to NCAAs.

Kate Douglass was 4th tonight, swimming another best time. Douglass’ 59.53 came in just under the 59.55 she swam a month ago at the Trojan Invite, which had stood as her personal best in the event. UVA teammate Alexis Wenger was 5th with a 59.64, coming in just off her season best 59.41 from this morning. Noelle Peplowski, an NCAA qualifier and All-American in the 200 breast last season, was 6th tonight with a 59.82, marking her first sub-1:00 performance of the season.

UGA’s Danielle Dellatorre won the B final with a 59.24, which would have been good for 4th in the A final, and will all but certainly earn her an invite to NCAAs.

Men’s 100 Breast – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 51.67
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 54.27
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 52.52
  1. Michael Houlie (TENN) – 52.33
  2. Keefer Barnum (UVA) – 52.50
  3. Gary Kostbade (IU) – 53.28

Michael Houlie held on to win the race tonight, shaving .01 seconds off his prelims time. The time marks Houlie’s 2nd fastest of his career, bumping the 52.33 he swam in prelims to 3rd. He used his speed to his advantage, taking the race out in 24.49, faster than anyone else on the field.

UVA’s Keefer Barnum dropped nicely from his prelim swim, clocking in at 52.50. That puts Barnum under what it took to earn an invite to NCAAs last season. Gary Kostbade of IU rose from 8th this morning to 3rd tonight, establishing a new season best of 53.28.

Women’s 100 Back – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 50.93
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 53.94
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 52.46
  1. Caroline Gmelich (UVA) – 52.21
  2. Bailey Grinter (TENN) – 53.25
  3. Megan Moroney (UVA) – 53.29

After throwing down the fastest lead-off leg on the 200 medley relay at the beginning of the session, Caroline Gmelich picked up another win for UVA, taking the 100 back by over a second. Gmelich took .17 seconds off her personal best with the swim, also coming in a little under what it took to earn an NCAA invite last season.

Men’s 100 Back – Finals

  • 2020 NCAA “A” Cut – 44.95
  • 2020 NCAA “B” Cut – 47.77
  • 2019 NCAA Invited Time – 46.06
  1. Jacob Steele (IU) – 46.35
  2. Matthew Garcia (TENN) – 46.41
  3. Gabriel Fantoni/Cooper Wozencraft (IU/UVA) – 46.53

In an extremely tight race, IU’s Jacob Steele emerged victorious with a season best and 3rd fastest career performance of 46.35. Steel had neither the fastest split in the field on the first or last 50, but managed to get his hand on the wall first thanks to solid splits on both. He was out in 22.46, and came home in 23.89. 5th place finisher Youssef Said (UGA – 46.56) was 22.31 going out, and Matthew Garcia was 22.33. Cooper Wozencraft, ending in a tie for 3rd, came home the fastest in the field, with a 23.77.

Women’s 3 Meter Diving – Finals

  • NCAA Zone Qualifying Standard –
  1. Grace Cable (TENN) – 310.20
  2. McKensie Austin (UGA) – 310.15
  3. Ana Celeya-Hernandez (TENN) – 303.00

Men’s 1 Meter Diving – Finals

  • NCAA Zone Qualifying Standard –
  1. Zach Allen (UGA) – 354.80
  2. Keegan Rochardson (TENN) – 336.45
  3. Nick McCann (TENN) – 273.90

Women’s 800 Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals

  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time – 7:00.86
  • 2020 NCAA Provisional Time – 7:05.88
  1. Tennessee A – 7:01.54
  2. UGA A – 7:04.55
  3. IU A – 7:10.43

Tennessee won this relay comfortably, taking the lead at the 250 mark, and never looking back. Meghan Small led the Vols off in 1:45.85, with Erika Brown splitting a 1:43.51 on the 2nd leg. Brown was notably much faster in the individual 200 this morning, where she swam a 1:41.66. Tess Cieplucha then dove in for a 1:47.03, and Tjasa Pintar anchored in 1:45.15. Despite being off her individual prelims swim, Brown’s split was still the fastest in the field tonight.

Notably, UVA did not compete in this relay, where on paper, they would have stood a good shot at winning. UGA was 2nd tonight, thanks in large part to a 1:44.83 lead-off leg from Veronica Burchill, who also finished 2nd in the individual 200 tonight. Courtney Harnish also anchored the Bulldogs with a 1:45.04.

Men’s 800 Freestyle Relay – Timed Finals

  • 2020 NCAA Invite Time – 6:17.18
  • 2020 NCAA Provisional Time – 6:21.85
  1. IU A – 6:22.79
  2. UGA A – 6:25.09
  3. IU B – 6:25.67

The Hoosiers pulled out the victory in the final event of the night, finishing in 6:22.79. Brendan Burns led off in 1:35.89, with Jakub Karl (1:35.67), Kai Bathurst (1:36.42), and Mohamed Samy (1:34.81) following, leading to an event win by over 2 seconds. IU’s B squad almost beat Georgia for 2nd place, thanks in large part to a field-leading 1:33.91 split from Van Mathias on the 3rd leg. UGA was buoyed by 1:35.32 and 1:35.26 splits on the middle legs by Grant Norgan and Kevin Miller.

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4 years ago

Also notably Zoie Hartman went a 1:44 on the B relay, she is swimming lights out. Huge add for Georgia exceeding expectations in my opinion. That now gives them 3 1:44 or faster girls. Lets go. They would have won that relay actually if the switched Dakota for her.

Colin Baker
Reply to  Troy
4 years ago

And the HOOS would have won if they had swum it. #GOHOOS!

Reply to  Colin Baker
4 years ago

Again a joke. In what world do they win this based off of their swims this weekend

Reply to  Colin Baker
4 years ago

In order to win something, you have to actually compete!

4 years ago

whoa zoie hartman with a 1:44.7 split on Georgia’s B relay

Reply to  mediocre-ly
4 years ago

Mistake by coaching staff not knowing she should have been on the A

4 years ago

Georgia Tech Invite results?

Reply to  Blaize
4 years ago

Why are you asking on this meet review?

Reply to  Notaswimmer
4 years ago

Possibly because there hasn’t been a single article about the GT meet and they don’t know where else to post

4 years ago

Gmelich is a drop dead sprinter. Blazing fast 50 but her 100 barely qualifies for NCAAs.

Tom Smyth
4 years ago

She lead off in a 51.88 last night. That would have scored at NCAAs last year.

4 years ago

She was 51.8 on the relay last night

Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

UVA going for the indoor record for relay DQs. Best ever, though was 2015 NC State men at NCAAs 200 free relay, when they got dq’d in the morning (Held), appealed, got a night swim, would’ve won by a mile, BUT GOT DQ’d AGAIN.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

DeSorbo effect?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  John
4 years ago

Had a hand in both.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

UVA on the 800 free relay: ‘can’t DQ a relay if you don’t enter a relay’
comment image

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  iLikePsych
4 years ago

Comment alone was gold, but you went platinum with the GIF.

4 years ago

“Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh“….. do you know something we don’t Swim Swam