Despite a final day surge by the Lady Vol swimming and diving team, which

included wins from freshman Monica Shannahan in the 200-yard butterfly and

senior Kathy Pesek on the platform, the squad concluded the 1999

Southeastern Conference Championships in fifth place with a score of

478.5.

Georgia claimed the women's team title with 807.5 points after the fourth

day of competition in the Lancaster Aquatic Center at the University of

Kentucky on Saturday.

"I'm really proud of our performances," UT head swimming coach Dan Colella.

"We topped off the event with a great final evening, in particular Monica

Shannahan winning the 200 fly with Kari Peterson right behind her for

second."

Shannahan and fellow freshman Peterson started the final day off by

clocking NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 200-yard butterfly and

claiming the top two seeds heading into the evening's finals.

Shannahan also qualified for the finals in the 200-yard breaststroke,

posting her season-best time of 2:14.96 to lower her provisional mark.

After the midday break, she first returned to the water for the finals of

the 200-yard breaststroke where she claimed third place. It was her third

trip to the podium, as she also finishing third in the 100-yard

breaststroke on Friday.

Just 20 minutes after her 200 breaststroke, Shannahan hit the pool again

alongside Peterson for the 200 fly. The duo burst off the blocks with the

same drive as in the preliminary heat, swimming side-by-side right to the

wall. Shannahan narrowly out-touched Peterson with a season-best time of

1:59.29 for first place, and Peterson finished second with a time of

1:59.63 in her season-best performance.

Both clocked NCAA "A" cut marks for the second time on the day. Shannahan

remains undefeated in the 200 fly on the season.

"I was surprised," Shannahan said. "Kari and I said we wanted to go 1-2,

and we were just really happy we both got our 'A' cut in the morning."

The surge continued for the Lady Vols in the next event as Pesek claimed

her second consecutive SEC title on the platform, winning with a score of

639.90. Pesek recorded two nines on her final dive in the preliminary round

to take a 35-point lead, and started the final rounds off with another pair

of 9.0's.

She advanced to the finals on all three boards at the meet, finishing sixth

on the 3-meter springboard and seventh on the 1-meter board.

"Kathy's win was a great way for her to finish her SEC career," said UT

head diving coach Dave Parrington. "I feel really good about the way she

performed and I was very excited."

Additional highlights on the final day came from junior Teresa Moodie,

finishing fifth in the 100-yard freestyle, sophomore Pam Hanson, finishing

fourth in the 200-yard backstroke in a season-best and provisional time,

and senior Sarah Nichols clocking a season-best and lower provisional time

in the 1650-yard freestyle.

Overall, nearly every Lady Vol swimmer recorded season-best times, and the

team added 12 NCAA first-time or lower provisional qualifying times, two

NCAA automatic bids and two relay consideration times.

Several members of the team will return to the water Friday at the Bulldog

Invitational, hosted by the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. The meet

will serve as a last chance for individual swimmers to secure a bid to the

1999 NCAA Championships in March.