The first day of the annual Tennessee Invitational at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center saw a strong showing from both the Vols and Lady Vols. There was a 48 combined personal bests set on day one of the competition, including a few swimmers cracking their way into the record books.
In the Women’s 200 free relay, swimmers Bailey Grinter, Erika Brown, Megan Sichterman, and Stanzi Moseley boasted a time of 1:27.20. That time checks in at a tie for third fastest in program history.
On top of being a key part in the 200 free relay, Brown swam a 21.19 in the 50 freestyle. Despite it being shot of her personal best of 21.15, she was able to put herself into a tie for the fastest time in the country this year.
"I think she is in a great place," women’s associate head coach Ashley Jahn said. "She is always looking to get better and she is always searching for ways to get faster. Because of that, she is going to continue to get faster and she is exactly where she should be in that event."
Grinter’s 21.95 in the 50 freestyle was not only a new best, but also fast enough to place her fifth all-time in the Tennessee record books.
“Bailey has been searching for ways to get better and has gotten stronger and more thoughtful with her skills in the pool," Jahn said. "She is open to competing in a variety of events and is great at all of them and I think that is what led to her swim today. She is having a ton of fun and enjoying the process."
Lady Vols Mallory Beil, Abby Semansky, and Alex Gebel were able to record new personal best times in the 50 freestyle as well.
For the men, Matthew Garcia and Alec Connolly both had a successful day. Garcia was able to set a new personal best of 1:44.71 in the 200 IM. The time was enough to place him fifth all-time in the Tennessee record books.
Garcia also swam in the 400 medley relay, which clocked in at seventh all-time in program history with a time of 3:07.20.
"Garcia has been working hard on all four strokes," men’s associate head coach Lance Asti said. "We have been seeing it everyday and the things he has worked on showed up today. In the past we've focused a lot on backstroke and this year he has really taken the reigns and spent time on his weaker strokes and we saw the results tonight."
Going into day one of the competition, Alec Connolly held the eighth fastest men’s 50 free in Tennessee history. On Thursday night, he was able to lower that eighth fastest time to 19.47.
Other Vols that saw new bests on day one were Josh Walsh and Scott Scanlon in the 50 free, Nathan Murray and Joel Giraudeau in the 200 IM, and Ethan Sanders in the 500 free.
Both the Vols and Lady Vols will look to build on their success in days two and three of the Tennessee Invitational.