Tennessee’s depleted diving squad suffered through a tough weekend at the SEC Diving Championships in Gainesville, Fla.
Sophomore Jevon Tarantino’s runner-up finish on the 3-meter springboard was just about the only positive that came out of the three-day event.
Tarantino’s score of 579.60 bettered his 2004 3-meter performance by more than 60 points.
“Jevon provided some of the greatest excitement of the evening with 94 points on his final dive, which is exceptional,” UT diving coach Dave Parrington said. “He scored 94 on the reverse three-and-a-half, which is generally considered one of the toughest dives in the world.”
Tarantino was runner-up to Chris Colwill of Georgia who won with 627.30. Colwill also took home the 1-meter crown on Friday.
Junior John Venditti finished 15th on the 3-meter board, which equaled his 15th-place finish on the 1-meter board.
Tarantino had a ninth-place finish on Friday with a score of 304.20. He won the 1-meter event last year as a freshman.
Tennessee’s two divers netted 30 team points, which were good enough for eighth place overall.
On the women’s side, it was a trying weekend for Tennessee’s young divers as neither Brittany Fulmer or Lauren LeRoy advanced past the preliminaries in any of the competitions.
“The results...were not what I was expecting,” Parrington said. “I knew it was going to be tough for them to make the finals but I expected them to notch some team points.”
The Lady Vols only garnered two team points — which will carry over to the swimming championships later this week — on LeRoy’s 15th-place finish in the 3-meter platform competition on Sunday.
LeRoy tallied 286.30 points in her nine dives and only finished three points behind Florida’s Nicole Bolt for 14th. It was the first time the Wisconsin native had ever competed in a platform event.
“I’m very proud of her effort,” Parrington said. “She is obviously very inexperienced and some of that showed today, but she kept a good attitude and was able to put some points on the board for Tennessee.”
In the springboard competition on Friday and Saturday, LeRoy took home a 19th-place finish on the 3-meter board and 18th place on the 1-meter board.
Fulmer finished 21st in the 3-meter competition and 17th in the 1-meter event.
Tennessee’s swimmers will now take to the pool for the second portion of the SEC Championships, which resume Wednesday in Gainesville.