Tennessee Invite Day 1 Finals Live Recap

by Robert Gibbs 39

November 18th, 2021 National, News, Previews & Recaps

Tennessee Invite

The first final session of the 2021 Tennessee Invite gets underway this evening with timed finals of the 200 free and 400 medley relays, as well as finals of the individual 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free. This morning, Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia evenly split the top seeds, with each school coming away with two top times.

2021 NCAA CUT LINES

MEN EVENT (SCY) WOMEN
19.46 50 free 22.32
42.88 100 free 48.76
1:34.04 200 free 1:46.25
4:16.75 500 free 4:44.77
15:01.33 1650 free 16:25.47
46.29 100 fly 52.7
1:43.47 200 fly 1:57.42
46.37 100 back 53.01
1:41.81 200 back 1:55.05
52.4 100 breast 1:00.12
1:54.28 200 breast 2:10.37
1:44.15 200 IM 1:57.62
3:45.67 400 IM 4:13.19

Women’s 200 Free Relay – Timed Final

  1. Alabama – 1:26.38
  2. Virginia – 1:26.61
  3. Tennessee – 1:28.19

The Alabama women fired off of a notable opening salvo to get tonight’s session going, blasting a 1:26.38 to give them what appears to be the top time in the nation so far this season. Kalia Antoniou led off in 21.79, then Morgan Scott scorched a 21.26 split, followed by freshman Kailyn Winter (21.92), and Cora Dupre (21.41). That also appears to be a new school record for the Crimson Tide, toppling the previous record of 1:27.02 from 2020.

UVA took 2nd in 1:26.61. Kate Douglass nearly had the fastest overall split in the field with a 21.27 leadoff, quicker than most of the flying splits. Lexi Cuomo followed with a 21.70, Reilly Tiltmann split 22.05, and Alex Walsh brought it home in 21.59 for a 1:26.61. The Cavaliers are without sprinter Gretchen Walsh, who is out of the meet for undisclosed reasons. That potentially sets up even more drama come March, when these two teams should go to head to head again at NCAAs.

Tennessee finished 3rd in 1:28.19, under the NCAA ‘A’ cut, while Arkansas was under the NCAA ‘B’ cut with a 1:28.50.

Men’s 200 Free Relay – Timed Final

  1. Virginia – 1:17.67
  2. Tennessee – 1:17.80
  3. Alabama – 1:18.04

It was another close race on the men’s side, with only 0.13s separating the top two teams, and the third team only another 0.24s behind. UVA got win, thanks to a 19.02 anchor leg from Matt King. Freshman Jack Aikins led off in 20.04, followed by August Lamb (19.07), Justin Grender (19.54), and King, who touched in 1:17.64. The UVA men were also missing a notable leg, this time, Matt Brownstead.

Tennessee was ahead after a 19.55 leadoff by freshman Jordan Crooks. Micah Chambers (19.46) and Nolan Briggs (19.43) held on to the lead; Scott Scanlon‘s 19.36 anchor leg was the fastest by a Volunteer, but wasn’t quite enough to hold off King, and Tennessee touched in 1:17.80, matching the NCAA ‘B’ cut.

Alabama got a 18.98 anchor leg from Jonathan Berneburg on the ‘A’ relay to finish 3rd in 1:18.04. Matthew Menke split 18.96 on Alabama’s ‘B’ relay.

Women’s 500 Free – Finals

  1. Kensey McMahon (Alabama) – 4:38.76
  2. Julia Mrozinski (Tennessee) – 4:38.82
  3. Emma Weyant (Virginia) – 4:38.90

Wowzers. You normally don’t see a 500 that’s as tight as this one, but the top three swimmers all finished within 0.14s of each other, and 4th place was only another 0.13s behind.

Alabama’s Kensey McMahon took the lead relatively early and held on to win in 4:38.76. Tennessee’s Julia Mrozinski stormed home in 26.21, over a second faster than McMahon’s final split, but that wasn’t enough to earn the win, as the Volunteer finished 2nd in 4:38.82. It was enough to get her past UVA’s Emma Weyant (4:38.90) and Ella Nelson (4:39.03).

A total of 8 swimmers were under last season’s NCAA invite time of 4:44.77, including Kristen Stege (4:40.62), Maddie Donohoe (4:41.54), Aly Breslin (4:42.91), and Mela Delmenico (4:44.02).

Men’s 500 Free – Finals

  1. Rafael Ponce de Leon (Tennessee) – 4:17.10
  2. Charlie Hawke (Alabama) – 4:18.03
  3. Christopher Mykkanen (UNLV) – 4:19.62

While 8 swimmers finished under last year’s qualifying time in the women’s 500, exactly zero did on the men’s side. Tennessee’s Rafael Ponce de Leon came the closest, winning with a 4:17.10 that was only 0.35s time of what it took to earn a NCAA invite last season. Alabama ‘s Charlie Hawke was 2nd in 4:18.03, while Christopher Mykkanen got UNLV on the podium with a 4:19.62 effort for 3rd.

Women’s 200 IM – Finals

  1. Kate Douglass (Virginia) – 1:52.21
  2. Ellen Walsh (Tennessee) – 1:54.77
  3. Alexis Yager (Tennessee) – 1:56.38

No surprise here, as Kate Douglass, an Olympic medalist, and one of the fastest women ever in this event, got the win with a 1:52.21, well under the NCAA ‘A’ cut. The Volunteers swept the next two spots, with Ellen Walsh touching in 1:54.77 and Alexis Yager in 1:58.38. UVA’s Ella Bathurst (1:57.12) and Tennessee’s Sara Stotler (1:57.27) were both under last year’s invite time, while Alabama’s Avery Wiseman (1:57.68) was just over that mark of 1:57.67.

This was a youth-centric event, as all of the aforementioned-women except Douglass and Yager are freshmen.

Men’s 200 IM – Finals

  1. Derek Maas (Alabama) – 1:43.49
  2. Matthew Menke (Alabama) – 1:44.42
  3. Sean Conway (Virginia) – 1:45.39

The Crimson Tide rolled in this event, taking 4 of the top 5 spots. Derek Maas won with a 1:43.49 after going 1:43.12 in prelims, again eclipsing the 2021 NCAA cut time of 1:44.15. Maas’ teammate Matthew Menke wasn’t too far off of that mark, taking 2nd in 1:44.42.

UVA’s Sean Conway broke up the ‘Bama bulwark with a time of 1:45.39, followed by Alabama’s Linus Kahl (1:45.45) and Nicholas Perera (1:45.67).

Notable, South Carolina freshman Patrick Groters had the 2nd-fastest overall time, courtesy of a 1:44.02 to win the B-final.

Women’s 50 Free – Finals

  1. Morgan Scott (Alabama) – 21.80
  2. Kalia Antoniou (Alabama) – 21.84
  3. AJ Kutsch (Tennessee) – 21.89

There were two big groups here, as the top three women all finished within less than a tenth of a second of each other, then the there five all touched within 0.18s of each other.

That first group was led by Alabama’s Morgan Scott, who won in 21.80, followed closely by teammate Kalia Antoniou (21.84) and Tennessee’s AJ Kutsch (21.89).

There was a 0.36s gap between that group and the second one. Tennessee’s Mona McSharry finished 4th in 22.25, with teammate Jasmine Rumley just behind at 22.31, also under last year’s NCAA invite time of 22.31.

Men’s 50 Free – Finals

  1. Jordan Crooks (Tennessee) – 19.39
  2. Matt King (Virginia) – 19.47
  3. Nolan Briggs (Tennessee) – 19.58

Tennessee picked up another win, courtesy of freshman Jordan Crooks, who outdueled UVA’s Matt King, 19.39 to 19.47. Crooks, a native of the Cayman Islands, only has a handful of swims in yards, all coming in the last two months, so tonight’s time was a new personal best for him by nearly 8/10s of a second.

King actually went 19.39 in prelims, meaning both he and Crooks were under last season’s invite time of 19.46. Volunteer Nolan Briggs took 3rd in 19.58.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

  1. Virginia – 3:27.12
  2. Alabama – 3:27.18
  3. Tennessee – 3:28.91

Any watching were treated to another close race, as Alabama nearly ran down Virginia for the win. Alabama took an early lead when Olympian Rhyan White out split UVA’s Reilly Tiltmann on the leadoff, 50.15 to 51.85. UVA regained the lead after a 57.75 breast split by Alexis Wenger and a 50.19 fly split from Kate Douglass. Meanwhile, Alabama’s Avery Wiseman went 58.66 on breast and Morgan Scott went 51.60 on fly. UVA had a 0.62s lead heading into the final leg. Alabama’s Kalia Antoniou did her best with a blazing 46.77 anchor leg, but Alex Walsh‘s 47.33 was enough to secure the win for UVA, 3:27.12 to 3:27.18. Alabama did set a new school record, improving on their previous best of 3:28.90.

Tennessee was also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut, going 3:28.91 thanks to Mona McSharry’s 57.21 breast leg, the fastest split in the field.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – Timed Finals

  1. Alabama – 3:04.36
  2. Virginia – 3:08.21
  3. UNLV – 3:08.46

The Crimson Tide men ran away with this one, knocking out a 3:04.36 that won by nearly four seconds and was well under the NCAA ‘A’ cut. Matthew Menke led off in 45.59, Derek Maas split a very fast 50.79 on breast, freshman Bernardo Bondra split 45.68 on fly, and Jonathan Berneburg anchored in 42.30. Berneburg cut it close, as the live results showed a reaction time of -0.01s, but there was no DQ, and Alabama touched in 3:04.36, a very strong effort at this point in the season.

UVA took 2nd in 3:08.21, followed by UNLV at 3:08.46.

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iLikePsych
6 months ago

Douglas’s 21.27 leadoff is massively understated. I finished this article, went to the Stanford one, saw Huske’s time, and came back to this one to then realize it’s almost half a second faster than anyone else in the NCAA. It would have easily placed 3rd at NCs last year behind herself and MacNeil, and I wonder where it is on the all-time performances list

Hswimmer
Reply to  iLikePsych
6 months ago

She’ll be 20. Before she graduates

Taa
Reply to  iLikePsych
6 months ago

It was her first swim of the night while Huske swam the 200IM right before her 50. Stanford looks tired I don’t know if I would draw any conclusions off their swims. If Huske drops a little more she may go IM? That would be stupid I think they should make her a sprinter so she can be a relay beast. Might take a year most freshman struggle a little adopting to college.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Taa
6 months ago

Don’t perceive my comment as a slight against Huske, and that’s a valid point that Huske’s 21.7 could be faster. But 21.2 in November is insane for any female swimmer

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Taa
6 months ago

Huske swam the 50 in a relay and her split was a 21.96 which is still way slower than Kate’s time

Random123
6 months ago

looking like a great first rest meet for Alabama despite all the coaching drama. impressive

Rtr
Reply to  Random123
6 months ago

There is no coaching drama at Bama. Coley is gone – he now a Frog in Tokyo. All is well in Tuscaloosa – the kids are working hard, having fun, and swimming fast.

Chas E
Reply to  Rtr
6 months ago

Coley brought in the majority of that entire team. Let’s be honest here. Cora, Morgan, Markum and the other transfers etc and the current freshman were all his. None of those people would have looked at Bama w out him. So knock him all you want but he assembled that team and got rid of what he needed to over the course of 2 years. He handed Margo a great team on a silver platter.

Swimm
Reply to  Chas E
6 months ago

Alves & Kahl committed under Margo. The seniors & Juniors are all Pursley (except Scott, Dupre, & Marcum)

Last edited 6 months ago by Swimm
SwimAlum
Reply to  Chas E
6 months ago

If Margo were a male, would you all knock her this much in the comments?

Also, let’s not build Coley up for any type of positive contributions to a team environment

Last edited 6 months ago by SwimAlum
VA swim
6 months ago

Tennessee needs to fix their touch pads….lots of splits not recorded due to insufficient facilities.

SwimFan76
6 months ago

I know Gretchen isn’t swimming but UVA is looking underwhelming in many events?

Mr. Sir
Reply to  SwimFan76
6 months ago

Quick look back at the same meet last year for them (for the women), 200 FR is 1 second faster and 400 MR is 2 seconds faster than last year. Individual events look about the same. Tennessee and Bama are just swimming well.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Mr. Sir
6 months ago

Yeah their relays were really good and Kate Douglass killed the 2IM the only thing was that Alex Walsh was swimming an off event so I really don’t see a problem

SwimAlumpq
Reply to  SwimFan76
6 months ago

Yeah they got too excited for the Cal and texas dual meets

Ghost
6 months ago

Was anyone there with men’s medley results?

Nova
6 months ago
Taa
6 months ago

Who is Ellen Walsh? The missing Walsh sister? Her breast split was pretty quick

Wow
Reply to  Taa
6 months ago

Irish Olympian – 100 fly/200 IM plus a nice breaststroker. TEN containing to tap that Irish pipe line.

Taa
Reply to  Wow
6 months ago

Oh she’s a foreign swimmer. I thought maybe there was new talent rising up. She kinda hung with Douglas in the IM pretty impressive

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
6 months ago

Um Kate Douglass 6 seconds off her PB

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
6 months ago

Whoops nevermind looked at the wrong result