The fifth-ranked men's swimming and diving team finished fourth in the 2002 SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The Vols held off South Carolina and finished with 476 points. Winning the championships was Auburn (763), their sixth consecutive SEC title.
Freshman George du Rand and sophomore Evan Nylander finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 1650 freestyle, clocking NCAA "B" cut qualifying times. Sophomore Andrew Bree joined the charge and placed fourth in the 200 breaststroke with his third NCAA "B" cut qualifying time. Senior Jeremy McDonnell added to the Vols scoring with and eighth place finish in the 100 freestyle, earning another NCAA "B" cut qualifying time. The 400 freestyle relay team of Greg Simpson, Matt Parrish, Jeremy McDonnell and Renato Gueraldi closed out the championships with fourth place finish in a time of 2:58.39.
Other Vols scoring were Chris Stewart (200 breast), Renato Gueraldi (100 free), Jamie Graves (200 fly), Jason Baxter (200 fly), Josh Fulton (200 back), Paulo Machado (200 back) and Michael Gross (200 back).
Next for the Volunteers is the NCAA Championships that will be held in Athens, Ga., March 28-30.
Lady Vols take seventh
After a week of action, the University of Tennessee women's swimming and diving team wrapped up the 2002 Southeastern Conference Championships with a seventh-place finish on Saturday at the Arkansas Natatorium.
Florida won the overall crown with a total of 742.5 points, knocking off five-time defending conference champ Georgia. The Lady Bulldogs were second with 719 points while Auburn was third (693.5), Alabama was fourth (340.5) and LSU was fifth (312). South
Carolina edged the Lady Vols with 285.5 points while Tennessee had 240. Arkansas finished eighth with 214 while Kentucky was ninth with 203 points.
Senior Valerie Conte recorded the highest finish of any Lady Vol swimmer at the 2002 SEC Championships when she took fifth in the 200y backstroke. The Bensenville, Ill., native swam a lifetime-best time of 2:00.60 in the finals to record an NCAA "B" cut.
Earlier this week, Conte finished seventh in the 200y IM and 10th in the 100y backstroke to cap her senior season off with three of the best SEC finishes of her career and two NCAA qualifying times. Auburn freshman Margaret won the 200y backstroke with a time of 1:55.35.
With the conclusion of the SEC Championships, the Lady Vol divers will next be in action at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in Lexington, Ky., over the weekend of March 15-16. The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are scheduled for March 21-23 in Austin, Texas.