Tennessee Men, Women Pull Off Big Upsets Over Georgia on Senior Night

  63 Braden Keith | January 28th, 2013 | College, Diving, News

The Tennessee Volunteers, historically, are one of the country’s great swimming programs; one need look no further than the massive complex they have on campus to see the evidence of that. In the late 2000’s, though, they slipped a bit out of that super-elite upper-crust of teams who are perennial in the top 10, looking at the top 5.

On Saturday, at high noon, with emotions running wild on senior day, the Volunteers announced their re admittance into that group by toppling the Georgia men and Georgia women in Knoxville; Matt Kredich’s ladies took the victory 161-139, and his men were 161.5-132.5.

Each victory was surprising in its own way. In the women’s meet, Tennessee had nearly a perfect performance. They won the races that they were expected to win, like the 100 fly where Kelsey Floyd was a 52.51; or the 200 fly, where she was a 1:56.32. Both of those times lead the nation this semester: the latter in a tie with 200 fly favorite Cammile Adams from Texas A&M.

Rather, the Tennessee wins also came heavily in races where they could be deemed big upsets. Like the 50 and 100 free, where freshman Faith Johnson topped Maddie Locus and Megan Romano in the 50 with a 22.47 to Locus’ 22.87 and Romano’s 22.91. She then turned around and won the 100 in 49.71, a tenth ahead of Georgia’s Olympic Champion Allison Schmitt in 49.81.

Tennessee also took a sweep of the relays; again, the medley was not unexpected, though maybe the margin over an improved Georgia medley was: Tennessee was a 1:38.71 to the Bulldogs’ 1:40.47, and that was without Johnson anchoring. Lauren Solernou is stepping up more-than-adequately this season in stead of the now-graduated Jenny Connolly. She got Tennessee out to a big lead with a 25.58 backstroke split on that medley, and also won the regular 100 back in a 54.5.

Then, more surprisingly given the depth and quality of Georgia’s freestyle group, Tennessee won that race in a 1:29.70 ahead of Georgia’s 1:30.26. Kelsey Floyd, who is vital to both the medley and free relays this season, dipped under 22 seconds on the third leg for UT with a 21.96 split. That’s faster than she split on this relay in NCAA finals last season.

That 200 free relay time was their best of this season, as were several of the Volunteers’ swims at this meet. What we have to keep in mind with these results is that Tennessee doesn’t really do a mid-season rest meet, so typical training logic would indicate that they probably come down a little bit earlier in the spring than does a lot of their competition. Don’t use that to undermine the quality of their results, however; regardless of where in the training cycle they fall, this was a great set of times for the Volunteers.

There were a few bright spots from Georgia. Sophomore Amber McDermott won the women’s 1650 in 16:07 and swam a very solid 4:49 in the 500 (though there she was beaten by a 4:44 from Tennessee’s Gendron). Their other swimming win came from freshman Hali Flickinger in 1:58.33. Perhaps most significant in the long-run, though, is the points Georgia got from diver Laura Ryan, an Indiana transfer. Historically, diving is somewhere that Tennessee has absolutely trounced Georgia. This year, however, that story is changed. Ryan won the 1-meter with a score of 299.63, six points ahead of Tennessee’s Tori Lamp, and was 2nd to Jodie McGroarty on the 3-meter, though not by much. That’s three All-Americans going at it, and for Ryan to come away with even a split really adds a new dimension to the Bulldogs for their championship season.

The men’s meet, though unexpected, was definitely a different feel from the women’s. Unlike their women, the Georgia men won a lot of races; just like they’ve done all year long, their young freshmen and sophomores stepped up and performed very well. Tennessee, however, fought back after every Bulldog win: a ferocity honed in the last 24 months of tumult in the program where their assistant passed away from brain cancer, their best swimmer left the program, then their head coach was removed amid many misdeeds, then were folded into a women’s team that has had a lot more recent success, then they thought their best swimmer was going to come back and he wasn’t. This team has been through a lot, and this will be a big morale-boosting win for them.

Tennessee started things off with a very impressive 200 medley relay of 1:27.17, which soundly beat Georgia’s 1:31.36. A 21.3 from Oystein Hetland on the fly leg and a 19.3 from Ed Walsh to anchor were really nice surprises for this team.

That race, though a sound thumping, wasn’t all bad news for Georgia, however. They got a 22.7 backstroke split on the B-relay from redshirt freshman Anival Rodriguez; that beat Ty Stewart’s A-relay swim by six-tenths. For a team that’s not really built around their skill in the 50 yard races, finding a guy who is within range of getting down to a 21 in his 50 backstroke at year’s end would be a big bonus.

Not surprisingly, the Georgia distance group dominated the mile, with Andrew Gemmell winning in 15:17 to Will Freeman’s 15:20.31. The Bulldogs’ defending NCAA Champion (in both the 500 and the 1650) Martin Grodzki was absent from this meet, as he has been all semester save for a single race against NC State earlier in the month.

Next the meet moved into the sprints, where in the 100 free, Tennessee really put some hurt into the Bulldogs. They went 1-4 in the event (though only the top three counted for points) led by Sam Rairden in 43.97 and Ed Walsh in 44.45. Georgia’s top finisher Jameson Hill was 5th in 46.11, and their super-freshman Matt Ellis was 6th in 46.33.

Absent from that 100 free was the most interesting freestyler in the country, Georgia freshman Matias Koski who has the potential to be an All-American in every race from 50 to 1650. At this meet, he swam the 200 and 500: one was not a good time (a 1:40.68 for 7th in the 200), and one was a very good time (4:26.50 in the 500 to beat Gemmell and Freeman.

Other great swims for Tennessee included freshman Sean Lehane winning a big class battle to top both freshmen Stewart and Rodriguez from Georgia and sweep the backstroke races. Lehane swam 48.5 in the 100 and 1:44.6 in the 200; those are both season bests for him, and his 200 is one of the races where they’re counting on some scoring at NCAA’s.

For Georgia, freshman Chase Kalisz did about the only thing he’s done since joining the team a few weeks ago: won. He actually took a three event run starting with a 1:46.8 in the 200 fly, a 1:58.0 in the 200 breast, and a 3:49.8 in the 400 IM. There’s few swimmers of any age in the country who could’ve pulled that off, though if there’s a race where there’s a history of freshman performing very well at NCAA’s, it’s that 400 IM. Those are all best times for him since joining the Bulldogs, and the 200 breast and 400 IM both rank 22nd in the country now. That should make him feel really good, given that he didn’t have the mid-season rest meet that most of the country have to hit qualifying times, about his chances of relying on SEC’s to get into the NCAA meet; really, with the new qualifying system, he’s about there already, but even a small drop of maybe a second per race should lock up his first NCAA qualification.

To really put an exclamation point on the meet, Tennessee ended by going 1-2 in the 200 free relay. Walsh wasn’t quite as good as he was on the medley, but a 19.86 anchor was more than enough to give the Volunteers the win in 1:20.38. Georgia didn’t have anybody go under 20 seconds on their A-relay, which was a 1:21.97.:

In This Story


  1. Rocky top says:

    Well when a team that is rested goes up against a team that is broken down and tired that’s what’s going to happen.

    • Swimma says:

      I doubt they were rested. Not broken down and rested are two wry different things. I’m sure they were just not broken down. (That is speculation I have no idea, mabye they were reted)

      • Ella says:

        Agreed. I think the Vols were probably weren’t as tired, coupled with the energy and excitement of a home meet and senior day, and it’s pretty clear that Georgia has been training really hard. Still, it was an upset, no two ways about it.

        • Powerhouses says:

          A powerhouse can fall. Why is it so totally shocking to the swimming world that a dominating streak may end? It happens all the time. Look at Auburn, look at Florida. While they are till top notch schools and any student athlete would be lucky to grace those campuses, competitions must be won and competitions must be lost. Consider the fact that the Tennessee coaching staff is almost 100% new with the assistance of legendary Bill Boomer- with new staff comes new ideas, new incentive to win, and fresh faces to the pool deck. I can bet that those swimmers wanted to send their seniors out on a high note, and beating Georgia would be the highest note of all. Hard work is hard work, pay some respect to everyone.

    • BULLDOGS says:

      First and foremost, It’s obvious Tennessee showed up to the meet while Georgia thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Given it was Tennessee’s Senior Day, what would you expect? Tennessee to spoon feed a meet to Georgia? Take last year for example … Georgia beat Tennessee on ‘their’ senior day, but it is clear that Matt Kredich and his staff came well prepared in the thought Georgia isn’t unbeatable. Congratulations to Tennessee & I cant wait to see what they do at SECs and NCAAs.

    • swim2 says:

      That sounds very similar to last year when people insisted that the Lady Vols rested when they beat Florida, but at SECs and NCAAs they went much faster and still beat the Gators. Regardless, it was a great meet for Tennessee. Can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring!

  2. Hungry Hippo says:

    Surprising to see the Georgia women lose this meet.. However, it will be interesting to see how well the vols are able to hold this taper for another 4 weeks through SECs

  3. Bump says:

    Oh really they weren’t broken down/rested. The Tennessee men got destroyed by Virginia Tech.

  4. WHOKNOWS says:

    No one will remember once NCAA champs come around

  5. Coach says:

    Do you really think TN rested for this meet? How lame.

    Give TN some respect.

    Haters gonna hate.

  6. Eye Opener says:

    Kelsey Floyd going faster in the 200 free relay than what she did at NCAA last year…. had to have been somewhat rested. I’m not saying they were completely rested but they had some extremely fast swims while Georgia stayed around what they have been going all year.

    Just like WhoKnows…. “No one will remember once NCAA champs come around” AND SEC!!

  7. Charles Morton, Esq. says:

    Completely classless by Coach Kredich to allow his swimmers to perform so close to their best in this meet. He is obviously a second rate coach who lives only for dual meets against Georgia


      Clearly you have a bias towards Georgia which is entirely acceptable; however, when you attack an opposing coach of any manner whether he be opponent or not it is entirely uncalled for. Now as for Matt Kredich being a “second rate coach” as you so elegantly stated, I have a feeling the swim community will disagree. I do not recall the last time a less than stellar coach was named the head women’s coach for the World University Games…

      Your opinion is appreciated. Your rudeness is not.

    • Whoah… Somebody’s hating on Tennessee.

    • Matt Kredich is a great coach, very down to earth. He has the respect of his peers and he has done a great job with the women (and now men) at Tennessee. Who are you again?

      • jman says:

        Uh, i believe that is Chas Morton, multi, multi time age group record holder (look it up). And he was totally being sarcastic.Got some slow people on this forum.

        • Wu Tang Yang Sun says:

          Morton was an age group legend. He was a NAG record Monster. Won NCAA title in 2 breast i think. He must be old bitter and slow now. Jk

    • Confused says:

      Perfect troll is perfect

  8. Bump says:

    Kredich is not a second rate coach at all. However, Tennessee was still clearly rested. It’ll be hard to hold a taper for the next four weeks.

  9. NLACSwimmer says:

    Impressive meet for Tennessee. This will set them up to swim really fast at SEC’s and NCAA’s. This was also a huge victory for them being able to beat the Georgia women, who are consistently a NCAA contender. The Georgia guys seemed to be all over the place with there swims. I think that will change come SEC’s and then NCAA’s.

  10. Hungry Hippo says:

    My guess is we will see how rested they really were/are when Tennessee swims Florida, who just beat Auburn, this upcoming weekend.

  11. H20FAN says:

    Lets all recap last year for Tennessee swimming, Lady Vols specifically. Tennessee gave Georgia a run for their money at their duel meet but came up short. They then went ahead and beat Florida in duel meet action, but soon claims arisen saying they must have tapered to beat the gators. The Lady Vols carried their “taper” or “rest” till SECs finishing 2nd with numerous career bests, which was their highest place finish since the 80’s. Still carrying their now 8-10 week taper to NCAAs, the Lady Vols finished 7th with some of their career/season best times. Now, please enlighten me with some logic to say that the Lady Vols held a 8-10 week taper and had a phenomenal season ?! Face it swimswammers, Tennessee Swimming is becoming a powerhouse and should be POSITIVELY recognized for their courageous performances against other top programs. Congrats to Coach Kredich and company for this outstanding performance and best of luck heading into SECs and NCAAs!

  12. Chutes & Ladders says:

    Personally attacking the TN coach to rest his swimmers isn’t going to change the result. However it is clear UGA has more talent top to bottom which will be made clear in the SEC & NCAA championships. When a TN swimmer beats a multple medal Olympian it is clear that she was rested for the meet. TN rested for SEC’s last year in their home pool to please the home fans and still got obliterated by UGA. The only sad part is that TN fans think that TN is actually better than they really are. Thanks for fueling the fire for Feb & Mar when it really counts. By the way if you want to see what the SEC ring looks like…the UGA women can show it to you.

  13. VolSoHard says:

    It is ridiculous to think that just because a team can win a dual meet they have to be tapered. If the vols didn’t rest or suit up for their own invite in November while the other attending teams did why would Matt Kredich rest them for a dual meet less than a month out of championship season? Having witnessed both the Virginia tech and Georgia dual meet, it was obvious that the men’s team was more connected and fed off the energy of the crowd and the initial adrenaline that came with a 1,2 finish in the first relay. The men’s team obviously made up their minds to beat Georgia after their loss to tech and stuck to it. There is high energy when the stands are full of cheering fans in orange and the seniors are honored before the meet. If you watched the meet at all you could have seen the emotion these vols brought to the table, the sideline was always full and there wasn’t a quiet moment during the meet. “Second hand coaches” are not named SEC coach of the year for 2012 and head coach of the World University Games this year. The vols have truly come together as a team and it shows in the success they have had and that which is still to come. VFL

  14. swimnorth says:

    Matt Kredich is a coach with a team to be reckoned with. ‘Nuf said.

  15. DAWGFAN says:

    VOLSOHARD…….How cute you think emotion on senior day is enough to beat a deeper better UGA team. I was at the meet and the team and fans were excited with lots of energy. Georgia getting swept in the Mens freestyle was the first clue the VOLS were rested, the second is when the UT women’s B relay beats the UGA A relay and finally the Olympians on UGA (Allison Schmitt) getting beat easily by a good swimmer in the 200 Free when she won the gold in London takes the cake. Last year UT had a great SEC’s at home and showed they have some talent on the rise. But if you think for one second they will beat UGA at either big meet the next few months is crazy. It is a different tactic resting this close to SEC’s and hoping they go faster at SEC’s. Good coach, but winning this dual meet by resting is lame. I also thought it was bad taste to time trial after the meet was over and making the UGA team wait to shake hands so they could warm down. Classy move while blasting that awful Rocky Top from the loud speakers.

    • when else would they time trial? says:

      Really? When else would a time trial be completed? 20 minutes after the dawgs get their warm down? If I am not mistaken there are 2 pools at the University of Tennessee, and if it was so harmful to have to wait I am sure using one of them would suffice. A time trial is a time trial and is completed at the end of any meet directly following the last event. Come on now…

  16. Coach GB says:

    Enough of this who rested or tapered or broken down it is fun to swim well sometimes and people can swim fast more than once in a season and excitement is a nice motivator. The only time you can be definite what your opponet has done is to go against a team shaved in mid season like the old days in the Ivy League . Then there was no conjecture. Read of Ron Clark the Aussie runner in the 60’s ran some 20 plus races in about 40 days and set some world records in 3000 and 5000 and some other distances. Why are people afraid something couldn’t be better even if you go fast. To much absolute judgement on performances. This only fast at the end is overdone .

  17. Montgomery says:

    A Matt Kredich coached team tapering for a dual meet? Please. He and his staff will have those teams ready to be at their peak at SEC’s and NCAA’s. If part of that plan was swimming well this weekend and upsetting a team that they respect and hope to emulate, then so be it. Matt is a great coach, but more importantly a great man and stepping up and swimming fast for someone like him is easy, no matter what phase of training you may be in.

  18. CoachJ says:

    Georgia got thumped. Why don’t you cry about. Jack Baurle isn’t have the coach of Kredich. You’ll see in a month. Baurle= old school dying philosophy pounding and hoping for the best. Kredich= technique, relating work the the race. The more RACE prepared team won, the team that can win practice didn’t.

  19. coacherik says:

    I feel like I’m reading a thread on collegeswimming.com…

    -No, they didn’t rest they were just not broken down!
    -No, they were just suited!
    -No, they weren’t suited, they shaved!
    -No, they didn’t shave, they did 8K that morning and 2 hours of weights. I was at practice!

    Pfft, whatever.

    And Newbies up above don’t know who Chas Morton is or what sarcasm looks like? Get you some knowledge!

    • ChestRockwell says:

      I left that board because of the knee deep bullshit on there, if hydroglide or xchrisx starts posting here, Ima cry.

  20. Chill Bro says:

    Rested or not UGA lost to UT in both men and women swimming. Luckily SEC championship is coming up soon and both teams will be in the same boat. Both teams will be rested and tapered, so we will see which is the better team. SEE YOU AT SEC!!!!

  21. Train Station says:

    I puke orange but bleed red and black!

  22. Arctic Thunder says:

    Is anybody on here not a TN/GA parent?

  23. Linh20 says:

    Who cares if Tenn rested or not. The only thing you can be certain of is that both Matt and Jack prepared their teams in the best way that they could with SEC’s and NCAA’s in mind. Every team is different and every coach will approach meets differently. Dual meets are a stop on the road to NCAA’s and conferenceb champs. Great coaches understand this and make adjustments/plans based on the swimmers and the team dynamic they are working with. Job well done to Tennessee and Georgia. It is always an awesome to see two great teams step up and race!

  24. world peace says:

    I think both teams get an A for effort. can’t we all just get along and bake cupcakes or something?! Funfetti for all!!!

  25. gosharks says:

    Has anyone bothered to look at last year’s dual meet results? This meet wasn’t as earth-shattering as everyone is making it. The times are roughly the same as last year. The difference for the women being UT freshman Faith Johnson winning the sprints, where UGA went 1-2 in both last year. Molly Hannis was also the difference. But Gendron and Floyd were just as fast last year; Gendron beat Romano in the 200 which is comparable to beating Schmitt (she would go on to swim 1:41.2).

    Both teams will be faster at SEC’s and NCAA’s. Tennessee has been a great team for the last several seasons, and Georgia is not a “fallen powerhouse” either.

  26. zebrafeet says:

    Schmitty pretty much stated that she hasn’t had much of a break since the Olympics. She probably is tired. That being said (and it’s amazing the amount of back and forth here given the similar results Zona/Cal), UGA, CAL are probably going to have better NCAAs than UT (duh!) – mostly out of more depth. UT swims well dual based on scoring; UGA/Cal/UF, work better on the conference/national levels.

    Positive point (and one for swimming in general) that with the upsets this weekend, it can only hope to grow the sport and not limit recruiting to a handful of schools. I was thrilled to see the UT results; and expect Schmitty to go much faster at the SEC/Nats

  27. swimmermom says:

    dear world peace, what do you think this is? miss america? no. this is SWIM AMERICA

  28. Christian Hanselmann says:

    The University of Tennessee swim team is a great swim team and is led by a great coach in Matt Kredich. He always gets his swimmers ready to swim and swim fast. Just look at results from years past. They beat Florida for the first time last year. Then got 2nd at SECs. Then got top 10 at NCAAs. The fact is that Tennessee is good. And they are just getting better.

    One does not need to be rested or have a fast suit on to swim fast. A lot of it comes down to adrenaline and being prepared to race. Watching the meet, it appeared that Georgia just flat out didn’t swim as well as Tennessee (yes, redundant and completely obvious). Ergo, Tennessee won the meet. They were ready to race. Rested? No. Ready.

  29. Sosa says:

    I wonder who would win in a case race???

  30. Bulldawg Pride says:

    What the hell is a Volunteer, dadgummit???

  31. Volunteer Pride says:

    Go Vols baby!!! Wooooo hooooo! Rocky Top all day!! We KILLED those ugly Dawgs!!!

  32. matt kredich for PREZ says:

    So what if we were rested? We did and we won the meet fair and square taking down the “BIG” dawgs. As a swimmer for Tennessee we prepared for this and the crowd was the biggest reason why we swam so fast. All the emotion from our loving fans we could feel.

    • 2chainzzz says:

      So you’re admitting y’all did rest? Well no duh y’all won to a clearly broken down dawg team

      • Tricky says:

        That couldn’t have been a UT swimmer that said that…They have practice at 2

        • Braden Keith says:

          Tricky – keep in mind that our comments are time stamped on Pacific Time, because Davis our webmaster lives in Vancouver…and like any other west coast’er assumes the world operates on Pacific time.

  33. SWIMDAWGFAN27 says:

    About the comment on Coach Bauerle–uncalled for and inaccurate. He is a class act and and an even better competitor. I know he will have his team ready when it really counts. Here is the quote from him after the meet, “We had some great swimmers, but Tennessee was just better than we were today, said head coach Jack Bauerle. “They did a good job. It was a disappointing day, but we will certainly get a chance to see them again at SEC and NCAA championships, and hopefully we can turn it around on them a little bit. They swam very well, both their men and their women. We had a lot of close races on the women’s side, but they outswam us. In the long run, it will help us, but in the short run, it bothers you.”

    I know that Georgia had a few rested swimmers. This was alluded to by an earlier comment by Bauerle, and I imagine Tennessee had a few also, maybe a few more. I agree that the real test comes in a few weeks, and that will be fun!

  34. Good God says:

    The amount of trolls posting on this article is actually scary. They’re multiplying!

  35. chiefkeef says:

    those Tennessee boys were busy runnin’ shine all mornin’ give ’em credit… anyways SEC’s is gunna be sooo funny when Tennessee has those bears!!!! – get ’em dawgs

  36. Coach GB says:

    We need to hear from the beyond from “Ray Bussard”.

  37. Zebrafeet says:

    I’m a former (very bad DIII) distance swimmer with ties to UT. Why this result (and zona to a lesser extent) excites me is, because, very few schools are rabid swimming schools (Kenyon…..). I hope the result in Knoxville helps to grow the fan base a la the Monica Abott era in softball. The more fans, the more funding, etc.

    I don’t expect UT to win the SEC but I do think they can fight with UF and TAMU for the 2nd spot. Like I said earlier, swimming has been a bright spot for sports rabid vols fans and as a former collegiate swimmer, I’m grateful!

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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