The Vanderbilt Commodores, after a tough first two meets against Auburn and Texas A&M, picked up their first win of the season on Saturday on the road against Tulane 166-122. That avenges the result a season ago, where Tulane came out as the winners.
The Commodores won all but three of the meet’s 14 swimming events, though the final results weren’t necessarily as lopsided as that might make it sound.
Both relays were extremely close, being won by Vanderbilt by a total margin of .54 seconds. The 200 medley saw the Commodores win 1:47.10-1:47.25, and the 200 free relay saw a 1:38.16-1:38.55 edge, with both teams getting sub-24 second anchors.
Vanderbilt’s Chrissy Oberg swept the backstroke races, both in season-best times.
First, she was a 56.89 in the 100, clearing freshman teammate Chandler Soapes (57.83) by a second; then Oberg won again in the 200 back in 2:01.93, capped with another 1-2 finish thanks to Soapes in 2:03.52).
The three wins for Tulane came in arguably the two best heads-up racing battles of the day. First, freshman Joy Jason won the 100 breaststroke in 104.07. Her teammate Mia Schachter was 2nd in 1:04.56, and Vanderbilt’s top breaststroker Elly Faulkner was 3rd in 1:04.61. Psychologically, that’s a big win for the Green Wave, as these breaststroke groups (and Faulkner) were among the team’s starring-attractions last season – though its worth noting that Faulkner is about three seconds faster than she was in the same meet exactly one year ago.
Faulkner did come back and win the 200 breaststroke in 2:19.12.
Tulane’s Jonna Frantz won the 50 free in 24.57, and Vanderbilt’s Caroline Thomas was 2nd in 24.61. Another Tulane swimmer, Mia Schachter, won the 100 free in 52.75.
In addition to the backstrokes, Vanderbillt got stroke sweeps from Kayla Moran in the 100 fly in 56.79, following an earlier 2:03.93 win in the 200 fly. The runner-up in that 200 fly was Alex Blankenburg in 2:05.47, and she would turn around later with a 2:10.16 win in the 200 fly.