Mona McSharry Posts 59.6/2:09.9 Breaststrokes As Vols Down SEC Rival Kentucky

by Spencer Penland 4

November 07th, 2021 College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


  • Friday, November 5th, 2021
  • Lancaster Aquatic Center, Lexington, KY
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results



  1. Tennessee – 192
  2. Kentucky – 108


  1. Tennessee – 161.5
  2. Kentucky – 138.5

Kentucky hosted SEC rival Tennessee on Friday night at the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington. The Lady Vols downed the defending SEC champion Wildcats by 23 points, while the men’s meet wasn’t nearly as close, featuring a Tennessee victory by 84 points.


Tennessee sophomore Mona McSharry continues to assert herself as one of the premier women’s breaststrokers in the NCAA. The Irish Olympian swept the women’s breast events on Friday, clocking a blistering-fast dual meet 100 breast of 59.68. She was over a second faster than anyone else in the field on both 50s of the race, taking it out in 28.28, and coming home in 31.40. She then went on to clock a 2:09.99 in the 200 breast, which is also a fast dual meet performance. Between her breaststroke races, McSharry also clocked a 22.99 50 free, which was good for 4th.

McSharry also provided a critical leg on the Tennessee 200 medley relay, splitting 27.01 on the breast leg. She out-split Bailey Bonnett on Kentucky’s relay by over a second, giving, the Vols a lead that would prove to be too much for Kentucky to overcome. Josephine Fuller (25.27), McSharry (27.01), Emma Carlton (24.14), and Jasmine Rumley (22.18) combined for a 1:38.60.

Tennessee freshmen got the job done in the women’s distance events as well. Summer Smith took the women’s 1000 free handily, clocking a 9:56.94. Smith likely could have won the 500 as well, given that she split 4:54.73 at the 500 mark of the 1000, but she didn’t compete in the event. Instead, fellow TENN freshman Julia Mrozinski won the 500 in 4:50.47. Vols freshman Jasmine Rumley would also win an event, posting a 22.76 in the 50 free.

Kentucky’s backstroke squad was on full display, as the dynamic duo of Caitlin Brooks and Sophie Sorenson got the job done. Brooks took the 100 back in 53.12, beating out Tennessee’s Josephine Fuller (53.91). Sorenson came in 3rd in the event, swimming a 54.07. Sorenson went on to win the 200 back in 1:55.75, marking a 1-2 punch for the Wildcats, as Brooks took 2nd in 1:55.91. Kentucky also picked up points in the 200, with Lauren Poole coming in 4th with a 1:56.84.

Riley Gaines was in great shape in her best event – the 200 free. She clocked a 1:46.60, winning the race by 1.6 seconds. She went on to tie with Tennessee’s Trude Rothrock in the 100 free, as both women posted 49.83s. Rothrock would also go on to win the 100 fly in 53.36.


Tennessee’s Rafael Ponce de Leon swept the men’s distance events. He took the 1000 free in 9:08.12, touching first by 6 seconds. Ponce de Leon went on to win the 500 free in 4:28.07, winning the event by 3 seconds.

The Vols breaststroke squad truly dominated their Wildcats counterparts, as Tennessee went 1-2-3-4 in both the 100 and 200 breast. In the 100 breast, Michael Houlie touched first in 53.67, and was followed in order by teammates Lyubomir Epitropov (53.95), Jarel Dillard (54.12), and Brett Champlin (55.68). Epitropov won the 200 breast convincingly, swimming a 1:57.41. Houlie took 2nd in that race in 1:59.93, Dillard was 3rd in 2:01.15, and Champlin swam a 2:02.74 for 4th.

Tennessee’s Harrison Lierz swept the backstroke events, kicking things off in the 100 back with a 48.83. He won a tight race over Kentucky’s Kyle Barker (49.05). Lierz then went on to swim a 1:46.25 to win the 200 back, touching first by over a second.

The Vols also swept the sprint events. Junior Scott Scanlon took the 50 free in 20.04, with freshman teammate Jordan Crooks touching 2nd in 20.36. Crooks then went on to win the 100 free in 44.49, leading another 1-2-3-4 charge by Tennessee. Teammates Seth Bailey (44.50), Nolan Briggs (44.86), and Micah Chambers (44.91) were the next swimmers into the wall.

Kentucky’s Mason Wilby won two events for the Wildcats, taking the 200 fly and 200 IM. In the 200 fly, Wilby swam a 1:46.05, splitting 27.21/27.39/27.42 on the final 3 50s. He went on to swim a 1:48.62 to win the 200 IM, getting out to a quick 50.51 on the first 100.


LEXINGTON, Ky. – It was a hard-fought battle between two Southeastern Conference rivals, but the RV/No. 12 University of Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving team fell to No. 17/7 Tennessee on Friday afternoon at the Lancaster Aquatic Center. The UK men’s team dropped a 192-108 decision to the Vols while the Wildcat women were bested by the Lady Vols, 161.5-138.5.

Kyndal Knight swept both boards for Kentucky, posting final scores of 290.18 on the 1-meter and 333.60 on the 3-meter. Morgan Southall finished second on the 3-meter with a personal best of 327.75, and Abby Devereaux achieved her Zone cut on the 1-meter 272.85 for a lifetime best of her own.

Danny Zhang also claimed both boards on the men’s side, sweeping the 1-meter (369.23) and 3-meter (424.43) in convincing fashion. Sam Duncan dove to second on the 1-meter with a score of 336.75, while Rodrigo Romero did the same on the 3-meter (369.00).

Dominating the 200 free for the women in the pool was Riley Gaines, who won the event by well over a second in 1:46.60 before going on to earn the runner-spot in the 50 free (22.85). The senior co-captain also tied for first in the 100 free with Tennessee’s Trude Rothrock in 49.83.

Caitlin Brooks was victorious in the 100 back, clocking in at 53.12 as Sophie Sorenson (54.07) took third and Lauren Poole (54.34) placed fourth. Sorenson (1:55.75) and Brooks (1:55.91) made it a one-two finish for UK in the 200 back with Poole (1:56.84) again taking fourth. 

Poole also finished second in the 200 IM in the closest race of the day, taking second by just one-tenth in 2:00.42, with Sorenson (2:01.07) and Bailey Bonnett (2:01.44) finishing second and third. 

The Wildcats also went 2-4 in the 1000 free after Beth McNeese (10:03.79) took second with Megan Drumm (10:05.55) and Caroline Benda (10:05.75) following close behind. Drumm was Kentucky’s top finisher in the 500 free, placing second in 4:52.53, and Gillian Davey also registered a runner-up spot in the 200 breast (2:12.59).

Pacing the Wildcat men in the pool was Mason Wilby, who won the 200 fly in 1:46.05 to hold off Tennessee’s Kayky Mota by less than three-tenths. He also got his hand to the wall first in the 200 IM in 1:48.62 in addition to taking second in the 100 fly (48.31). 

UK’s distance contingent was led by Adam Rosipal who recorded a second-place finish in the 500 free (4:31.20) and a third-place showing in the 1000 free (9:17.51). Jakob Clark was third in the 500 free (4:32.28) and fourth in the 1000 free (9:19.47).

Victor Martin Roig was the runner-up in the 200 free with a time of 1:38.25, followed closely by Max Berg (1:38.30) in third. Berg also sprinted to third in the 50 free after stopping the clock in 20.63 while Roig turned in a time of 44.97 for fourth in the 100 free.

Also tallying a second-place finish was Kyle Barker in the 100 back with a final time of 49.05 as Jackson Mussler (50.94) took fourth. Mussler then went on to take second in the 200 back in 1:47.38 with Barker finishing third in 1:49.41.

The Wildcats have two weeks off from competition to prepare for the Ohio State Invitational from Nov. 18-20. Hosted by the Buckeyes, the three-day meet will take place at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio.

For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook and on the web at



LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tennessee swimming & diving had a pair of strong showings Friday, sweeping the Kentucky Wildcats on the road at Lancaster Aquatic Center.

The Lady Vols earned their second-straight top-15 win with a 161.5-138.5 victory against 12th-ranked Kentucky, who is the reigning SEC champion, while the Vols cruised to a 192-108 win against the Wildcats. Tennessee posted three meet records on the day.

Mona McSharry notched a pair of season-best times to sweep the 100 and 200 breaststroke, touching the wall in 59.68 and 2:09.99, respectively. Alexis Yager sealed the victory for the Lady Vols with a close win in the 200 IM (2:00.32), decided by 0.10 seconds. She also had a pair of third-place finishes in the 100 (1:01.86) and 200 (2:13.01) breaststroke.

The Lady Vols went back and forth with Kentucky early on in the meet. After Summer Smith secured the top time in the 1000 free with a mark of 9:56.94, Tennessee rallied with a strong showing in the 50 free to extend its lead going into the first break. Jasmine Rumley touched the wall first at 22.76 to pace three scorers for the Lady Vols in the event. Trude Rothrock finished in a tie for first in the 100 free (49.83) after placing second in the 200 (1:48.21). Julia Mrozinski came out on top in the 500 with a time of 4:50.47.

With the meet tight going into both butterfly races, Tennessee received a huge swing in momentum with a sweep in the 200 fly early followed by a strong performance in the 100 as Trude Rothrock (53.36) and Mallory Beil (53.74) took first and second, respectively. Beil placed third in the 200 behind the freshman duo of Ellen Walshe (1:57.26) and Sara Stotler (1:58.40).

“Kentucky is a really competitive program, so it’s great to race against them in November,” associate head coach Ashley Jahn said. “They showed us again just how competitive they are, but we came out as the victors. It was fun to see us win and show off our depth in different areas against a really good team.”

The Vols dominated the meet, posting the top times in 12 of 14 events and recording four sweeps. Two of the sweeps came in the breaststroke races. In the 100, Michael Houlie took first (53.67) followed in second by Lyubomir Epitropov (53.95). The duo swapped places for the 200, as Epitropov posted the top time of 1:57.41 ahead of Houlie’s 1:59.93. Jarel Dillard and Brett Champlin finished third and fourth in both races, respectively.

In the freestyle, Rafael Ponce de Leon Castilla finished first in both the 500 (4:28.07) and the 1000 (9:08.12). Jacob Narvid took second in the 1000 with a mark of 9:14.60. The Vols swept the 100 with Jordan Crooks (44.49) taking the top time followed by Seth Thompson-Bailey (44.50) and Nolan Briggs (44.86) in second and third. Crooks notched a second-place finish in the 50 free (20.36) behind Scott Scanlon’s top mark of 20.04.

Harrison Lierz placed first in both backstroke races with a pair of season-best times, touching the wall in 48.83 in the 100 and 1:46.25 in the 200. In the butterfly, Kayky Mota posted the fastest mark in the 100 (46.79) and was second in the 200 (1:46.33). Gus Rothrock recorded a time of 1:49.97 in the 200 IM to take second in the event.

“We continue to lean on our breaststrokers, as they present really well in these meets,” associate head coach Rich Murphy said. “Those guys are really competitive with each other and keep challenging each other to raise the level. We are really benefiting from their competitive presence. Our relays continue to be very competitive. We want all the men on the team to feel like they are behind the blocks when the 400 free relay goes off, so regardless of how the meet is shaping up, we want to see it out all the way until the end. We know that it comes down to the 400 relays in our best, most competitive and most fun dual meets. With NCAAs and SECs also ending on the 400 free relay, it’s a great championship mindset rehearsal for us.

“We have gotten a lot of consistency from Rafael in the longer races and Harrison in the backstrokes. We continue to benefit from Kayky’s presence in the butterflies. I’m really excited about what our sprint crew is showing both in the 50 and the 100. Jordan has been outstanding, and Scott is from Lexington, so it’s always fun to watch him do well here. Across the board, it was a really good, solid team effort.”

Tennessee opened the meet with a strong showing in the 200 medley relays, posting the top times for both races. The Vols took first and second in the event as the squad of Lierz, Houlie, Mota and Scanlon recorded a time of 1:26.92, and the team of Griffin Hadley, Dillard, Luke Brice and Micah Chambers touched the wall in 1:28.92. The Lady Vols lineup of Josephine Fuller, McSharry, Emma Carlton and Rumley notched the top mark of 1:38.60.

Rothrock, Rumley, Mrozinski and Tjasa Pintar picked up the win in the 400 freestyle relay (3:20.24), while the men took first and second in the event. Crooks, Chambers, Jackson and Bailey posted the top time of 2:57.70, while Briggs, Houlie, Ponce de Leon and Scanlon recorded a mark of 2:59.30.

In diving, Grace Cable placed second on the 1-meter springboard with a mark of 288.45 and finished third on the 1-meter (305.10). Bryden Hattie was third on both springboards, posting a score of 324.45 on the 1-meter and 362.55 on the 3-meter.

“I’m relatively happy, even though I don’t like to get beaten,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “First of all, credit to Kentucky’s divers. They are a very strong team to begin with, but they also dove very well today. That is what you expect in a great rivalry. We had some divers that really battled. Grace had a solid 3-meter, and then she came back and was on the edge of winning the 1-meter against a former SEC champion. I think that will be a confidence boost for her. On the men’s side, Bryden was solid. It was a good learning experience for us in a hostile and loud environment. We have a lot to learn from today, and we will go back and keep working at it.”

Up next, UT will host some of the nation’s top teams for the annual Tennessee Invitational on Nov. 18-20 at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. Among the teams slated to compete, three squads are ranked on both the men’s and women’s side. The teams coming to the invitational will be Virginia (#1 women/#9 men), Alabama (#14/#20), Arkansas, South Carolina, UNLV and Carson-Newman.

“We are hungry and eager heading into the invite,” Murphy said. “We know our best swims are still ahead of us this season, so it will be exciting to get a little bit of rest and then compete in that championship format. That is always a fun time, and it’s always an honor to host both the invite and SECs like we are this year.”

For the most up-to-date information about the program, follow Tennessee swimming & diving on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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2 years ago

Where was SEC Champion Kristen Stege and Brooklyn Douthwright for Tennessee?

Reply to  SwimFan76
2 years ago

Claire Nguyen as well.

Reply to  VFL
2 years ago

and AJ Kutsch

Reply to  swimmer
2 years ago

and Jimmy Hoffa