The Tennessee swimming and diving team completed the third day of competition at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Wednesday. The Vols top honor for the day was a second place finish in the 200 medley relay. Tennessee fell to sixth place with a total of 107 points. UT currently trails Alabama (109), Georgia (120), Florida (131), Auburn (143) and first place Kentucky (153).
Today's competition started with the final diving event of the championships, the platform competition. Tennessee's Jake Dorsey and Phillip Jones had to step up and dive in place of injured teammate, Sal Vilardo. Dorsey finished 11th with 360.85 points, while Jones placed 16th.
The swimming portion of the SEC Championships got underway with the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. The team of Matt Parrish, Justin Hoggatt, Jeremy McDonnell and Renato Gueraldi finished second with their fastest time of the year, just two-hundredths of a second behind Florida. In the 800 freestyle relay, the Vols team of Brett Tannhauser, Greg Simpson, George du Rand and Andrew Bree took home a fourth place finish in a time of 6:30.02.
The swimming championships continue on Thursday with the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle relay. The preliminaries start at 11:30 a.m., with the finals beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The University of Tennessee women's swimming and diving team continued competition at the 2002 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday at the Arkansas Natatorium. The highlights of Wednesday's action were the first two swimming events and the final diving event of the week.
Junior Stacy Binyon made the first final of her career in the women's platform diving competition after finishing sixth in the preliminaries with a score of 344.15. In the finals, Binyon tallied a total of 331.30 to take seventh place and score key points for the Lady Vols.
"Stacy took a big step today by getting into the SEC finals for the first time in her career," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Outside of our team, I don't think anyone really thought she had a chance to make the finals, but I am extremely proud of her performance. There were several times today when she had the chance to get down on herself, but she dove strongly and aggressively throughout to make the finals."
To kick off the swimming events, the Lady Vols finished eighth in the 200y medley relay in a season-best time of 1:43.96. The squad of senior Bianca Jones, junior Nicole Brannock, junior Bethany Hall and junior Sara Wingfield finished fourth in their heat to take eighth overall. Auburn took the 200y medley crown with a time of 1:38.87.
In the evening's final event, the 800y freestyle relay, Tennessee finished ninth with a time of 7:39.21 from the team of Wingfield, freshman Livia Trevisan, senior Elizabeth Philp and senior Valerie Conte. Georgia won the event with a pool-record time of 7:06.90.
"I am really pleased with the performance in the 200y medley relay as everyone swam lifetime bests in their splits," Tennessee head coach Dan Colella said. "It was nice to score in the 200y medley after disqualifying in the past couple of years. In the 800y free relay, we will have to do better than what we did tonight, but everyone is ready and geared up for the start of the individual events tomorrow."
In the team standings, the Lady Vols are in fifth with 105 points after five events. LSU leads after three strong days of diving with a score of 162.5 while Alabama is in second with 134 and South Carolina is third with a total of 107.5.
The Lady Vols will continue with the fourth day of the SEC Championships on Thursday. The preliminaries are slated for a 10:30 a.m. CT start with the 500y freestyle, 200y individual medley, 50y freestyle and the 200y freestyle relay. The finals for all of those events will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT with a 35-minute break before the last event.