The Tennessee swimming and diving fell into third place on the final day of

the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships as Florida came on strong to move

ahead of the Vols into the second spot. Auburn, who trailed the

front-running Vols after the first two days of competition, extended their

lead to claim the team title. Tennessee finished with 637 points, Auburn

with 752 and Florida with 680.5.

"Florida swam a great competition," UT head coach John Trembley said. "Our

team really enjoyed the battle and we look forward to the NCAAs."

The Vols were honored for their performance following the meet. Michael

Gilliam shared the Performer of the Meet award with three other swimmers.

Gilliam took the 100 back, 200 and 400 medley relays, and made the finals

in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Gilliam set an SEC record in the 100

backstroke with his lead-off of the 400 medley relay.

Despite the fall into third, the Vols had a successful weekend as almost

every swimmer produced career-best swim in an extremely fast meet. For the

weekend, the Vols won seven conference championships, broke two SEC meet

and five school records. The swimmers also entered 25 performances into the

UT all-time top 10 list. The seven-event championship is the most since UT

won the team title in 1996 with 11 wins. The third-place finish is the

seventh in team history to go along with 10 championships and 11 runner-up

finishes. The Vols finished second last season.

Gabi Chereches won the platform diving event for the second consecutive

year. The title is his second of the meet and marks the second season in a

row that the junior won both the three-meter and the platform. Chereches

was honored as the Diver of the Meet, his second such award. Vol junior

Shannon Roy took 13th in the event.

Ross Powells turned in the second fastest 200 backstroke time in school

history. His time of 1:44.22 was good for third-place. Also scoring in the

200 backstroke were freshman Greg Simpson and sophomore Matt Parish as they

finished 10th and 16th respectively.

Jeremy McDonnell posted a 200 breaststroke time that ranks third in school

history in finishing fourth in a time of 1:58.51. Chris Stewart won the

consolation heat to finish ninth in a career-best time of 2:01.12. Freshman

Ben Brink was not far behind in finishing with a 10th-place time of

2:01.64. Senior Allen Jones rounded out the foursome of scorers in the

event with a time 2:02.30.

In the 200 butterfly, Joel Shapiro clocked a career-best time of 1:45.61 to

finish fourth while Zane DeWitz, who was second in the event last season,

finished fifth with a time of 1:45.90. Jason Baxter finished in a time of

1:49.16 to take 13th place.

In the final event of the evening, Tennessee finished third in the 400

freestyle relay with a time of 2:55.19.