SEC Swimming and Diving Weekly Notebook (January 8, 2014)
Alabama diver Luke Zippi closed out the Georgia Invitational with a 10th place finish off the platform Sunday afternoon in Athens, Ga. The senior scored 293.75 points over the course of six dives to earn his best finish of the weekend. On the women's side of the meet, senior Paige McCleary took 12th place off the platform with a score of 205.75 over five dives. Earlier in the weekend, McCleary won the 1-meter board and was fifth off the 3-meter board. The Alabama swimming and diving teams will compete in their first combined meets of the New Year on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 11 a.m. in the Alabama Aquatic Center against Southeastern Conference foes Kentucky and Arkansas.
After spending last week on a training trip in Florida, the Razorback swimming and diving team will resume competition this week. The team travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday to face Alabama and Kentucky in a double-dual meet at 11 a.m.
Auburn’s diving team kicked off the second half of its season at the Georgia Diving Invitational last weekend. Fraser McKean capped off an impressive weekend with a win in the men’s platform final, posting a season-best score of 387.80. John Santeiu IV also gave the Tigers a second-place finish with a 366.25 on the platform. On the women’s side, Cinzia Calabretta was the top finisher for Auburn throughout the three-day event. Calabretta’s best performance came during Sunday’s one-list platform final, scoring 263.25 on her fives dives. Auburn’s full squad returns to action on Thursday as the Tigers travel to Austin to face longtime rival Texas. The dual meet is set to start at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network.
The Florida Gator swimming teams returned from a six-week competition hiatus to sweep Florida State in front of an overflow crowd on Saturday at the O’Connell Center. The third-ranked UF men (5-0, 3-0 SEC) defeated No. 16 FSU (3-1) by a score of 180-118 and the fifth-ranked Florida women (3-2, 2-1 SEC) took down No. 23 FSU (6-2) by a total of 153-147. The Gators showed fight after a tough six weeks of training as every UF swim was slower than the results from the Fall season. Florida men led from start to finish, winning all of the freestyle, breaststroke and relay events. The Gator women needed to battle back after Florida State placed 1-2 in both sprint events. The gator women finished strong with wins in the 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. A second place finish in the 200 free relay clinched the final score for the Orange and Blue. Senior Brad deBorde led the Gators with a pair of sprint victories and was on both the first place 400 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay. Fresh off of a silver medal at the European Short Course Championships, freshman Mitch D’Arrigo touched first in the 200 free and 500 free. Junior Carlos Omana also had two wins, reaching the wall first in the 400 individual medley and the 1000 free. Senior Elizabeth Beisel swept the backstroke events and completed a grueling back-to-back double with a second place finish in the 200 breaststroke immediately after winning the 200 back. Senior Hilda Luthersdottir posted wins in both breaststroke events and swam the breaststroke leg of the first place 400 medley relay. The Gator distance group swept the 1000 freestyle with a 1-2-3-4 finish behind senior Alicia Mathieu.
The Georgia swimming and diving teams swept North Carolina State on Saturday at Gabrielsen Natatorium. The No. 4 Lady Bulldogs improved to 7-0 with a 186-113 victory, while the No. 10 Bulldogs moved to 6-1 as they posted a 156-142 decision. The Lady Bulldogs also extended their UGA all-sports school record with their 87th consecutive win at home. With the victories, Jack Bauerle earned his 500th and 501st wins as Georgia's coach. He is just the sixth coach in NCAA history to reach the 500-wins plateau. Georgia will return to action Friday and Saturday with meets at Texas A&M and Texas.
The Kentucky swimming and diving team had several representatives at both the swimming and diving USA Winter National Championships along with the Georgia Diving Invitational. At the AT&T Winter national Championships Dec. 5 in Knoxville, Tenn., UK senior Eric Bruck advanced to the C finals out of a field of 67 athletes to finish 21st with a time of 20.00 after a 19.96 in the prelims. At the USA Diving Winter National Championships in Austin, Texas on Dec. 17 and 18, junior Christa Cabot placed 13th in the women’s 1-meter with a 241.05. Senior John Fox finished 17th in the 1-meter with a 287.20 and 27th in the 3-meter with a 295.70. At the Georgia Diving Invitational, Jan. 3-5 in Athens, Ga., Fox and senior Greg Ferrucci and junior Lindsay Keahey advanced to the finals and finished in the top 12 on each event. Fox placed eighth on the 3-meter and ninth on the 1-meter and platform, while Keahey finished seventh on platform and 12th in the 1- and 3-meter finals. Ferrucci tallied UK’s highest finish with a fifth-place showing on platform after finishing 10th on the 1-meter and 12th on the 3-meter. UK returns to action on Jan. 11 against Alabama and Arkansas in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The LSU Diving team traveled to Athens, Ga. for the Georgia Diving Invite Jan. 3-5. Lady Tiger sophomore Cassie Weil highlighted the three-day invitational with a win on the platform with a score of 291.70. She also finished with a third place finish on 3-meter (319.50) and tenth place finish on 1-meter (264.50). Senior Alex Bettridge finished the weekend with three top-five finishes. Bettridge finished fourth on 3-meter (313.55) and placed fifth on platform (244) and 1-meter (294.90). For the Tiger divers, Sean McKinney finished third on 3-meter (374.55) and eighth on platform (322.15). Kevin Leong earned a score of 326.30 on platform for a seventh place finish and 341.60 points on 3-meter for sixth place. The LSU men's swimming and diving team returns to competition Thursday, Jan. 9 when the Tigers take on SMU. The men and women teams compete in the LSU Relays against Oklahoma Baptist Saturday, Jan. 9 at the LSU Natatorium.
The Mizzou diving team opened the new year at the Georgia Diving Invitational last week. The Tigers recorded 10 top-eight finishes during the three-day event. Sophomore Clark Thomas claimed the men's 3-meter title and placed fifth on the 1-meter and sixth on platform, while posting career best scores on both springboard events. Senior David Bonuchi took second on the 1-meter and fourth on the 3-meter and platform. On the women's side, sophomore Lauren Reedy finished fourth on the 3-meter sixth on the 1-meter. Redshirt junior Loren Figueroa placed fourth on the 1-meter and junior Lauren Callin took eighth on the platform.
South Carolina returns to action on Saturday, playing host to Duke at 1 p.m. ET in Columbia.
The Tennessee swimming and diving program got its 2014 season going last week with the Georgia Diving Invitational. The meet welcomed the return of Tori Lamp to action. The back-to-back SEC Diver of the Year is coming back from a shoulder injury in November. She made the finals of the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard. Sophomore Samantha Lera also put together a strong weekend, taking 10th on 3-meter and fourth on platform. It was the first collegiate diving invitational for freshmen Gaffney Taylor, Michael howell and Lee Fullam. UT returns to dual meet action this weekend with a double dual meet at home against Missouri and Virginia Tech. It is the first SEC dual meet matchup between UT and Missouri.
Texas A&M returns to action on Friday, when it plays host to nationally ranked Georgia in College Station, beginning at 12 p.m. CT.
Vanderbilt returns to competition on Saturday, January 18, when it plays host to Liberty and West Florida at 1 p.m. CT in Nashville.