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.

Swimming: Bright spots shine despite losses in Athens

Several Commodores swam impressive races despite tough competition from Georgia and Florida State, respectively.
Vanderbilt+Swimming+traveled+to+Athens%2C+Ga.+to+take+on+Georgia+and+Florida+State.+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Swimming traveled to Athens, Ga. to take on Georgia and Florida State. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt faced its second challenge of the winter season in the newly christened Bauerle Pool at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, G.A. on Saturday, Jan. 13. Vanderbilt lost to No. 12 Georgia and No. 23 Florida State. The Bulldogs bested Vanderbilt by a score of 219-61 while the Seminoles cruised to a 230-61 win over Vanderbilt.

However, the Commodores were still able to pry some top finishes from the grasps of the nationally-ranked programs, finding the podium in three events. A team composed of Sophia Kosturos, Faith Knelson, Alina Stout and Megan Ciezczak started the meet by beating Florida State’s B team to take third place in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 41.35 seconds. 

Vanderbilt’s next podium finish was captured by Faith Knelson, who came in at a blazing time of 1:01.90 to place third in the 100 breaststroke. Knelson — who swam the breaststroke leg in the Commodores’ successful 200 medley relay — impressed once more with a time of 2:16.60 in the 200 breast, which was good enough for fifth in the event.

The 400 Individual Medley saw Vanderbilt’s final podium of the night as Mercedes Traba scored third in the event. Traba’s 4:23.82 time had her fifth in the standings, but two of the swimmers who finished before her were exhibition swimmers who did  not count towards the meet’s scoring. Additionally, the race also met the B Standard for the CSCAA National Invitational Championship.

The Commodores narrowly missed the podium in several other races. In addition to her third palace effort in the 400 IM, Traba earned fifth place for the Commodores in the 500 free with a time of 4:54.25. Junior Kailia Utley broke the two-minute mark with a time of 1:59.82 in the 200 fly to place fourth in the event. Vanderbilt’s last top five finish came in the 400 free relay when a team of Ciezczak, Ellie Taliaferro, Abby Francis and Olivia Solimine placed  fourth overall with a time of 3:25.16.

One school record was broken at the meet by the sophomore Taliaferro. Taliaferro’s time of 50.24 dethroned a nearly decade-old record in the 100 free. The swim met the NIC B Standard and solidified her name in the Vanderbilt record books for the second time in an individual event.

The Commodores will next drop their anchors in Fayetteville, Ark. on Jan. 20 to face the Arkansas Razorbacks.

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About the Contributor
Vincent Xu
Vincent Xu, Sports Copy Editor
Vincent Xu (‘27) is planning on majoring in economics with a minor in data science in the College of Arts and Science. Outside of The Hustler, Vincent enjoys playing sports, watching sports, talking sports and a couple of other things that are sadly unrelated to sports. He can be reached at [email protected].
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