The Tennessee Lady Vol swimming and diving team stepped up on the final day

of competition to finish in fourth place overall at the 2000 SEC Swimming

and Diving Championships on Saturday night. The Lady Vols collected 409.5

points at Auburn University's James A. Martin Aquatics Center with the help

of a second-place finish from Monica Shannahan and Lizzy Flynt on the final

day of competition.

"As expected, we got better each day with the final day being our

strongest," said head coach Dan Colella. "Finishing fourth was an

improvement from last year, but we're not going to be content with

that."

Georgia won the team title with a score of 850 points, the highest SEC meet

total since 1990, followed by Auburn in second and Florida in third.

Tennessee's fourth-place finish was one step up from the fifth spot the

team has occupied the past two years.

Flynt, along with sophomore teammate Bethany Minser, advanced to the finals

in platform diving. In a close race that came down to the final dive, Flynt

ended in second with a score of 482.95 on the tower, just behind LSU's

Ashley Culpepper. Minser, in her first trip to the SEC meet, finished

weight at 315.35.

"In what was a very competitive contest, Lizzy performed extremely well,"

said diving coach Dave Parrington. "Having Bethany Minser in the finals of

the platform, despite her eighth-place finish, was one of the proudest

moments of my personal career and I'm sure it was very special to

her."

The second half of the day started with the 1650-yard freestyle where

sophomore Cortney Piper clocked a career best NCAA B Standard time of

16:41.07 for tenth place. Piper placed first in her heat.

The trend continued in the 200-yard backstroke where both Pam Hanson and

Valerie Conte touched the wall with NCAA B Standard times. Hanson finished

fifth with a season-best tie of 1:59.98 and Conte recorded a career-best

2:01.56 for 11th-place. Tennessee also sent numbers into the 100-yard

freestyle finals as Teresa Moodie proceeded to the championship final, and

junior Tanya Felton and freshman Bethany Hall entered the consolation heat.

All three recorded season-bests in the prelims, and Moodie went on to

finish eighth with a final time of 50.78. Felton came in 14th and Hall was

just behind for 15th place.

Shannahan, the defending SEC Champion in the 200-yard butterfly, stepped

onto the blocks in the finals again this year. In a race that came down to

the last stroke, Shannahan was narrowly out-touched, finishing second with

a time of 2:00.31, a season-best mark.

Two Lady Vols also qualified for the finals in the 200-yard breaststroke:

Shannahan and freshman Nicole Brannock. Shannahan finished 11th overall,

recording a season-best time of 2:18.34, while Brannock touched in 13th in

her first SEC meet at 2:19.24.

The meet closed with a fifth-place finish from Tennessee swimmers Moodie,

Hall, Laura Hancock and Felton in the 400-yard free relay, clocking a

season-best 3:25.01.