OVERVIEW: Swim and Dive at UNC Wilmington


WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Tennessee Swimming and Diving opens its 2021-22 season with a meet at UNC Wilmington on Friday October 1 at the Seahawk Natatorium, with the dive starting at noon followed by the swim at 2 p.m.

The meeting is part of a weekend trip for the team over the fall break. The team will participate in team training on the beach and also tackle the waves for surfing. On Saturday, UT will face UNCW in an open water race in the ocean to cap off the main events of the weekend.

After the season opener, Tennessee will face two tough ACC opponents in North Carolina (Oct. 15-16) and Louisville (Oct. 21). The game against Louisville will be UT’s first home game of the season.

Here are some of the key notes regarding the 2021-22 squad:

Four Olympians in the spotlight

  • Four current UT swimmers competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last summer: Lyubomir Epitropov, Michel houli, Mona McSharry and Ellen walshe. Besides Walshe, who is in freshman this year, everyone is a key comeback from last season.
  • Epitropov is the reigning SEC champion in the 200 breaststroke, helping the Vols to finish third in the conference. The program record holder in the event will look to pick up where he left off last season.
  • The record holder for Flight in the 100 breaststroke belongs to Houlie, who won a silver medal in that event at the SEC in addition to a bronze medal in the 200 breaststroke.
  • In her first season with the Lady Vols, McSharry was named the 2021 SEC Freshman Swimmer of the Year. She holds the UT record in the 100 and 200 chest and has six All-America certificates and four SEC medals.
  • Walshe comes to Tennessee as one of the nation’s top-rated rookies, specializing in butterfly and instant messaging.

Lady Vols Sign Nation’s No. 2 Class

  • SwimSwam released their 2021 Signature Class Rankings ahead of the season, and the Lady Vols landed the nation’s second class with 16 swimmers and one diver. The group consists of some of the best freshmen in the world as well as three huge transfers.
  • On SwimCloud, Tennessee signed seven of the top 45 incoming freshmen, including three in the top 10.
  • Julia mrozinski arrives in Knoxville as European Junior Champion, German Champion and World Championship finalist. She is an excellent freestyle swimmer, her best converted time in the 200m propelling her for an NCAA “A” final.
  • Tabbed SwimSwam Josephine Fuller as the ninth-ranked national rookie and top Lady Vols signatory. In the post of his rankings, SwimSwam said: “Fuller just completed a massive season that saw him rise to No. 1 in the 200 backstroke category, clocking 1: 52.73 to claim the title. junior in the NCSA in March. Fuller is not only quick enough to qualify for the NCAA “A” final in this race, but she is also below the 2021 cut line in the 100 backstroke (52.9) and had big time drops to get down to 1: 01.7 / 2: 12.2 in breaststroke. “
  • The three transfers are Emma Carlton (Texas A&M), AJ Kutsch (Auburn) and Bayley stewart (Our Lady).
  • Kutsch was part of the 200 freestyle relay team that won first place in the SEC in 2020, posting a 21.15 lead, while Carlton and Stewart are expected to be among UT’s top backstroke swimmers.

SEC Champs Squad Returns Trio

  • Three SEC 2021 champions are back on the roster this year, as Bryden hattie (platform) and Kristen stege (1650 free) join Epitropov (200 breast).
  • Hattie just wrapped up a stellar freshman campaign that ended with a pair of CSCAA All-American Honorable Mentions. he joins Dillon richardson and Matthew Wade as one of the nation’s top diving lines, all three with the potential to score plenty of points in the NCAAs.
  • In her first season in Tennessee, Stege became the first Lady Vol to win the 1650 freestyle since Leslie Mix in 1994 and broke the program record in the event. She also won a silver medal in the 500 freestyle.
  • Tennessee was set to win gold in three more events, with second places in the men’s 100 breaststroke (Houlie), women’s 100 breaststroke (McSharry) and women’s 400 medley relay (Harty, McSharry, Rothrock, Pintar ), who sacked three of his four members for this season.

Best as of 2021 NCAA

  • UT brings back a total of 16 All-Americans from last season (9 women, 7 men).
  • The Lady Vols finished 10th in the general classification thanks to 14 top-16s during the championships.
  • Mona McSharry was third and fourth in the 200 and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
  • Kristen stege placed fourth in the 1650 freestyle and ninth in the 500 freestyle.
  • The Lady Vols 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays were the fifth fastest in the country, while the 200 medley relay was eighth.
  • Matthew Wade was sixth in the 3-meter at the NCAAs in 2021.

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