Swim/Dive - Alabama

Patrick Townsend swimming butterfly at the the dual meet against Alabama at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on Oct. 26, 2018.

The No. 15 Tennessee men’s swimming and diving team beat No. 24 Wisconsin 204-96, and No. 25 Purdue 200-98, with the help of Taylor Abbott in distance events, a slew of veteran swimmers in the sprints and SEC Diver of the Week Colin Zeng on the springboards.

On the women’s side, the Lady Vols earned a sweep of their own with a 206.5-92.5 win over No. 14 Wisconsin and a 188-111 victory against Purdue.

Abbott, who redeemed himself last week against Alabama after struggling against Louisville, won the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:06.15) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:26.16).

“Taylor Abbott continues to energize our team,” associate head coach Lance Asti said. “He’s looking for any way possible to get better. He sees the big picture with each race building into the postseason.”

Individual wins consisted of the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events by Kyle DeCoursey (20.43), Alec Connolly (44:51) and Josh Walsh (1:37.77), respectively.

Other notable first place finishes were Matthew Garcia in the 100 backstroke (47.89), Marc Hinawi in the 200 butterfly (1:49.29) and Matthew Dunphy in the 200 breaststroke (2:00.15).

“Our sights our set on getting ourselves ready for SECs and NCAAs and today was step towards that,” Asti said.

Kyle DeCoursey’s first meet back from injury was unique not only because he is from Indiana, but also because his sister swims for Purdue, bringing a little bit of sibling rivalry to the pool deck.

“It’s good to see him healthy and competing… It was also good to have him to be able to compete here with his family in town to watch,” Asti said.

After impressive back-to-back meets just a week ago, Lady Vols’ Erika Brown continued in her success by winning the 100 backstroke (53.02), the 100 freestyle (49.43) and the 100 butterfly (52.72).

The SEC Swimmer of the Week added to her tally of individual wins this season, putting her at seven with her three victories today.

Other notable first place finishes for the Tennessee women were mostly in the shorter distances. Trude Rothrock won the 200 freestyle (1:49.43), Meghan Small in the 200 butterfly (1:59.48), Madeline Banic in the 50 freestyle (22.77), Emily Skyes in the 200 breaststroke (2:16.44) and Amanda Nunan in the 500 freestyle (4:51.40).

“One of the things we were focusing on was being more aggressive in the front of the races,” associate head coach Ashley Jahn said. “The women really did that today. They put themselves out there a little bit more.”

After two meets last week, Jahn talked about moving some athletes into different events, and those moves were instrumental in Friday’s win.

“We were able to see some athletes in some different or new events,” Jahn said. “Getting to see the freshmen race again, getting to see some sophomores, juniors and seniors in events they were working on, it was good to see.”

Senior Colin Zeng remains unbeaten on both the 1-meter (393.60) and 3-meter (439.75) dives this season.

“When you are on the road going against such competition, it certainly lets us know where we stand as opposed to being in our comfort zone,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “I learned a lot from the team.”

The Vols will host Auburn (No. 17 women) and Texas (No. 1 women, No. 5 men) on Nov. 9 at noon ET at Allan Jones Aquatic Center. 

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