The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt Swimming: Commodores win first match of the season over Iowa

Vanderbilt came out on top in a close result with the Hawkeyes.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt earned their first victory of the season. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

After falling to Florida in their first match of the season, Vanderbilt Swimming bounced back with a narrow 138-124 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes to claim their first victory of the season. The Commodores were led by Kailia Utley, who earned first in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly at the competition. 

The Commodores were able to begin the meet on the right foot, narrowly claiming both first and third place in the 200-yard medley relay. The quartet of Sophia Kosturos, Faith Knelson, Utley and Abby Francis finished with a time of 1 minute and 42.21 seconds, just a touch ahead of Iowa’s leading team who finished the race in 1:42.62.

Despite the quick start, Vanderbilt fell behind after the Hawkeyes claimed first and second place in the 1000-yard freestyle and first place in the 200-yard freestyle, where Vanderbilt’s Ellie Taliaferro lost out by just .18 seconds. After a fast start, the Commodores found themselves in a deficit after the first three events of the meet. The Commodores split the winnings in the next two events, with Kosutros comfortably winning the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.75 seconds before Knelson’s time of 1:03.06 in the 100-yard breaststroke was narrowly beaten out. Kosutros’ time moved her to ninth in Vanderbilt’s history in the event. 

After being nearly tied through five events, the Commodores dominated the individual events towards the middle of the meet. After Utley claimed the 200-yard butterfly, the Commodores won three events in a row, with first-place finishes from Megan Ciezczak, Francis and Grace Ciaramitaro. In addition to the victories, the Commodores claimed finishes in the top three to continue building their lead over the Hawkeyes. 

Iowa claimed the next two events, but Utley’s first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly gave the Commodores the extra push they needed to outpace the Hawkeyes. The last events of the meet were highlighted by another second place finish by Knelson, who earned a time of 2:06.11 in the 200-yard IM. 

The victory marked progress for the Commodores, who tied with the Hawkeyes in this fixture in January of last season.

“It was a really great day overall from this group, there were key points in the meet where some of the ladies stepped up and got victories in races that we weren’t sure we were going to win,” head coach Jeremy Organ said after the match. 

The Commodores will look to build on their early success as they take on Illinois in their next meet on Nov. 4.

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About the Contributor
Anish Mago
Anish Mago, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Anish Mago ('24) is from West Windsor, N.J., and is studying economics and political science in the College of Arts and Science. He previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. When not writing for The Hustler, Anish enjoys playing basketball and rooting for all Philly sports. He can be reached at .
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