ATHENS, Ga. – Senior Laura Ryan finished second overall on the women’s 1-meter springboard to highlight the opening day of the Georgia Diving Invitational on Friday afternoon in Gabrielsen Natatorium.
Ryan posted a score of 305.70 in the final round to place second. During the preliminary rounds earlier in the day, Ryan was first with 315.30 points.
“I thought it was a pretty good day for us,” said Georgia Head Diving Coach Dan Laak. “Laura finishing second was good. She hasn’t dove a lot of 1-meter events because she was constantly on 3-meter boards for World Trials, but she dove really solid and I think it bodes well for the rest of the year.”
Elizabeth Ann Kirkland placed 18th for Georgia during the prelims with 241.75 points, while Ansley Long finished close behind in 21st place with a total of 235.05 points. Haley Goodman rounded out the competition for the Bulldogs with 170.80 points, good for 51st place.
Alabama’s Paige McCleary finished first overall with a score of 309.45 in the final round.
A trio of Bulldogs paced Georgia on the men’s 3-meter springboard competition, led by sophomore Spencer Madanay with a score of 298.60 to place 15th in the prelims. Walker Wheeler finished in 24th with 244.90 points, and teammate Bobby Chambless was directly behind in 25th place with a total of 243.80 points.
Missouri’s Clark Thomas claimed first place honors on the men’s side with a total of 386.75 points.
“Overall, I thought they did great for this time of the year,” added Laak. “It was a great way to start the semester off. There are a lot of conference teams here, so you can kind of see what’s going to be down the road at the conference meet. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit better, but overall I was pretty pleased today.”
The Georgia Diving Invitational will continue tomorrow with prelims at 11 a.m. The women will compete on the 3-meter while the men will move to the 1-meter springboard.
On Sunday, both groups of divers will compete on platform, with the men beginning at 10 a.m. and the women slated for a 2 p.m. start.
Admission to the Georgia Diving Invitational is free each day.
Alabama Diver Paige McCleary Wins 1-meter at Georgia Diving Invitational
ATHENS, Ga. – Alabama diver Paige McCleary started 2014 right where she left off in 2013, by winning the 1-meter board.
The senior tallied 309.45 in prelims to take first place off the 1-meter board at the Georgia Diving Invitational being held at Gabrielsen Natatorium on the University of Georgia campus this weekend. McCleary out-scored UGA’s Laura Ryan by more than three points to take the win.
McCleary closed 2013 by winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events at the Alabama Diving Invitational just in December, just after the end of the fall semester.
Freshman Taylor Zablocki just missed making finals in Athens, finishing 13th in the preliminaries of the 1-meter competition with 251.60 points.
On the men’s side of the meet, freshman Brent Sagert was Alabama’s top finisher off the 3-meter board, scoring 309.15 points and taking 14th place.
McCleary and her teammates return to action Saturday when the women will compete off the 3-meter and the men go off the 1-meter board.
Five UK Divers Place in Top 12 to Open Georgia Diving Invitational
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Five University of Kentucky divers advanced to the finals and placed in the top 12 in two events on the opening day of the Georgia Diving Invitational in Athens, Ga., Friday.
Junior Christa Cabot and senior John Fox both placed eighth in the finals of the women’s 1-meter and men’s 3-meter, respectively, to lead the Wildcats. Cabot scored a 270.45 in the finals after a 283.65 in the prelims, while Fox scored a 333.95 in the finals and a 336.45 in the prelims.
“It was good to be back in competition today,” UK diving coach Ted Hautau said. “We had some good performances and we had some performances that indicate we have to get better. The women did a nice job today. Lindsay Keahey keeps improving on springboard and competed like an SEC diver today. Zack Peterson is returning after being out for a month with a hand injury and dove well.”
Fox was joined in the 3-meter finals by fellow seniors Zachary Peterson and Greg Ferrucci, who finished 11th and 12th. Peterson notched a finals score of 322.40, ahead of Ferrucci’s 319.75. Both bested their prelim scores in the finals. The men’s competition featured 29 competitors, with the top 12 in the finals.
In the women’s 1-meter, junior Lindsay Keahey placed 12th with a score of 249.40. Keahey and Cabot were two of the 12 competitors to advance to the finals out of a field of 53 divers in the prelims.
The Georgia Diving Invitational continues Saturday with the men’s 1-meter and women’s 3-meter competition. The three-day event concludes Sunday with platform events.
The spring season officially begins for the entire team next weekend, when the Wildcats travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to race SEC-foes Alabama and Arkansas on Jan. 11.
LSU’s McKinney Finishes Third on First Day of Georgia Diving Invite
ATHENS, Ga. - LSU Diver Sean McKinney finished with a score of 374.45 in the final of the men’s 3-meter for a third place finish. Fellow Tiger diver Kevin Leong finished sixth with 341.60 points. Both divers recorded their second highest scores of the season.
For the Lady Tigers, in the women’s 1-meter, Alex Bettridge tallied 294.90 in the final for a fifth place finish. Cassie Weil finished 10th and scored 264.50 points for a season high
“We had a really good first day in Athens,” LSU Diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “Four of our Tiger divers qualified for finals and three of those finished in the top-six to move on to the shootout. We had some bugs and hiccups, which is expected coming off break. This is the perfect opportunity to work these things out. It was a good day though and I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”
In the prelims of the men’s 3-meter, Zakary Rowton finished 19th with a score of 280.95. Leong finished fifth (342.15) and McKinney seventh (338).
In the women’s 1-meter prelims, Allie Alter returned to competition with a 30th place finish (232.10). Freshman Katie Lagarde also scored 174.60 points to finish 50th. Bettridge finished fourth (291.20) and Weil eighth (277.30)
McKinney, Leong and Bettridge all moved on to the Bulldog Shootout held during the night session. That was determined based on their top six finish.
Competition will begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. CT with the prelim of the women’s 3-meter followed by the prelims of the men’s 1-meter. Finals will follow immediately.
A full recap will be available on lsusports.net at the conclusion of each day. For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit LSUsports.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter @LSUswimdive.
Five Auburn Divers Advance to Finals at Georgia Diving Invitational
ATHENS, Ga. - Five Auburn divers advanced to the finals on the first day of the Georgia Diving Invitational on Friday. Three Auburn men's divers participated in the 3-meter final while a pair of Auburn women's divers competed in the 1-meter final on the competition's first day at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens.
Sophomore Justin Youtsey was the top finisher for Auburn on the first day of competition, advancing to the 12-diver final with a score of 341.50 in prelims. Youtsey dropped one spot and placed seventh in the final round with 335.40 points.
"Justin was our most consistent performer today, I thought he competed hard and was our highest finisher," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "Fraser (McKean) turned in our best score for the men and had a good first list. John (Santeiu) really sharpened his focus and got it in to the finals. Overall, it was very good for us because this meet is similar to the SEC Championship and the NCAA Zone Diving Competition."
Junior Fraser McKean posted the highest score for the Tigers during Friday's preliminary round with a 348.00. McKean finished ninth in the final at 332.85 as just two points separated seventh to ninth-place finishers.
Senior John Santeiu IV recorded 332.65 points in the 3-meter prelims to advance to the 12-diver final. Santeiu closed out the Auburn contingent in the finals and placed tenth with 332.70. Before Friday's competition, Santeiu was previously undefeated on the 3-meter springboard this season. Junior Kevin Beran finished 16th in the prelims with a score of 295.50, but did not advance to the final.
On the women's side, the junior duo of Cinzia Calabretta and Shanna Schuelein advanced to the 1-meter final. Calabretta snuck her way into the 1-meter final with a 12th-place finish in the prelims by scoring 257.55. The junior jumped five spots in the final and scored 270.50 for seventh. Calabretta's finish advanced the junior to the knockout competition; where she finished fourth.
"I thought Shanna turned in a great list to start this morning in the prelims," Shaffer said. "Cinzia did well to earn a spot in the finals and it's exciting that she will get to participate in the knockout round this evening. There are certainly some things we can do to get better, but after eight days off, I thought we turned in some good dives."
Schuelein placed ninth for Auburn in the prelims with the top score of the day for the Tigers at 276.15. Schuelein finished ninth in Friday's final with a 267.95. Sophomore Morgan Mullins nearly made the finals in her first competition since October, scoring a 251.55, just six points shy of earning a spot in the final. Sophomore Carly Scheper scored 244.05 for 16th.
The Tigers return to action tomorrow with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. The women swap to the 3-meter board, while the men compete on the 1-meter.
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Thomas Wins 3-Meter at Georgia Diving Invite
ATHENS, Ga. - The Mizzou diving team opened competition at the Georgia Diving Invitational with four top-six finishes, highlighted by a 3-meter win from sophomore Clark Thomas (Olathe, Kan.) on Friday, Jan. 3 at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga. The three-day event, which runs until Sunday, pits the Tigers against 13 other schools, including Southeastern Conference foes Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee and host Georgia.
Thomas advanced to 3-meter finals after placing 10th in prelims with a score of 330.95. Once in finals, the sophomore came on strong and posted a new career high score of 386.75, more than 17 points better than his previous best. Throughout the finals session, Thomas and SMU's Bryce Klein went back and forth as the leader before Thomas eventually prevailed.
Senior David Bonuchi (Columbia, Mo.) also competed on the 3-meter and earned a fourth-place finish with a final round score of 373.80. Bonuchi posted a tally of 354.6 in prelims to advance to finals in third.
On the women's 1-meter, redshirt junior Loren Figueroa (Houston, Texas) and sophomore Lauren Reedy (Rochester Hills, Mich.) both posted top-six finishes in a field of 55 divers. Figueroa took fourth with a finals round score of 296.3, five points better than her prelims total of 291.25. Reedy finished with 293.45 points in finals to take sixth. The sophomore posted a score of 286.8 in prelims. Also competing on the event was junior Lauren Callin (Middleton, Wis.), who placed 33rd with 219.95 points.
Thomas (men's 3-meter), Bonuchi (men's 3-meter), Figueroa (women's 1-meter and Reedy (women's 1-meter) will all compete in the Bulldog Shootout this evening at 5 p.m. CT. The shootout is a round-by-round, knock-out event. Each diver will do only one dive, and the diver with the lowest score at the end of each round will be eliminated. The elimination process will continue until there are only two divers left with one dive remaining.
Day two action at the Georgia Diving Invitational gets underway at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 4 with women's 3-meter and men's 1-meter competition.
Lamp Takes 3rd on 1-Meter at UGA
ATHENS, Ga. - Tennessee redshirt senior Tori Lamp finished third on the 1-meter springboard Friday to open the Georgia Diving Invitational.
Lamp rallied on her last dive in the finals to post a six-dive score of 305.15, less than five points shy of the winning total. It was Lamp's second time to score more than 300 on the 1-meter boards this season.
"Tori did an excellent job," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "With the limited time she's been on the board, I'm really pleased she was able to pop a 305 on her list. She was very solid all day today."
Alabama's Page McCleary won the tight competition with a score of 309.45.
The Southeastern Conference showed off some of its depth in this meet; of the 12 women's finalists, 11 were from SEC schools. There were a total of 53 competitors during the preliminary rounds, the largest diving contest Tennessee has participated in this year.
Sophomore Samantha Lera missed out on the finals by placing 17th with a score of 243.55. Freshman Gaffney Taylor was 31st in 222.40.
"Samantha was a little off the mark today unfortunately," Parrington said. "Maybe a little bit of rust there. Diving in a long preliminary event may have caught up with her a little bit. She missed missed the final by 14 points and I felt there were a good many more left on the board today."
In the men's 3-meter springboard competition, neither of the UT freshmen advanced to the finals. Lee Fullam was 27th with a score of 220.15 and Michael Howell was right behind him with 215.80. Fullam injured his hand on the board in practice Thursday but was still able to compete.
"Lee really showed some toughness competing today after getting injured yesterday on the board, so I was proud of him for that," Parrington said. "Michael had that deer in the headlights look about him. Hopefully he'll be able to bounce back from that tomorrow."
Redshirt sophomore Mauricio Robles did not compete because he was attending the funeral of a family member this week in Mexico.
The Georgia Diving Invitational continues Saturday with the women's 3-meter springboard and the men's 1-meter springboard. The platform competition is Sunday.