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 fall to Fighting Illini

Impressive performances across the board were not enough to overcome Illinois.
Vanderbilt+swimming+fell+to+1-2+on+the+season.+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt swimming fell to 1-2 on the season. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

After earning its first win of the season over Iowa last week, Vanderbilt was unable to build momentum, falling to Illinois 156-106 on Saturday. Despite the loss, the Commodores impressed with multiple record-breaking performances across the 14 events the two sides competed in. 

“This was another good, hard-fought meet for us,” head coach Jeremy Orban said after the meet. “We weren’t able to come up with a couple of key races that tipped the scales, but overall I really like the way this team is coming together and competing right now.”

Despite a strong start in their last meet, the Commodores got off on the wrong foot in Champaign and were unable to recover. The Fighting Illini were able to claim first place in the first four events of the meet, including a victory in the 200-yard medley which netted them 11 points to begin the meet. The Commodores were able to secure second and third place in the third event of the afternoon with strong performances by Ellie Taliaferro and Abby Francis. 

Vanderbilt secured their first victory of the meet in the 100-yard breaststroke, where Faith Knelson won with a time of 1 minute and 1.74 seconds. With the effort, Knelson also set a new facility standard in the race. Knelson was able to build on a strong second-place effort in the same event last week against Iowa, where she finished with a time of 1:03.06.

The Commodores were able to build on Knelson’s strong performance with a record-setting performance from Kaila Utley. For the second week in a row, Utley won gold in the 200-yard butterfly, setting a pool record with a time of 2:00.36. The junior followed up this performance with another victory later in the competition in the 100-yard butterfly, where she finished with a time of 54.81, earning another pool record.

In addition to the impressive performances from Knelson and Utley, Vanderbilt earned back-to-back victories in the eighth and ninth events of the afternoon with strong performances from Abby Francis and Grace Ciaramitaro. Francis emerged victorious in the 100-yard freestyle, winning with a time of 51.72, and had her victory followed up by a 1:59.39 finish from Ciaramitaro to win the 200-yard backstroke. 

Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, those were the only four victories they were able to muster in Saturday’s competition. Despite claiming second and third place in a number of competitions, the Commodores’ inability to consistently earn gold hurt them in the end. 

Vanderbilt will continue their season at the Gamecock Invitational from Nov. 15-17.

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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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