The Tennessee men’s swimming and diving team finished 17th at the 2005 NCAA championships in Minneapolis. The 17th-place finish runs the Tennessee record of consecutive top-25 finishes to 23.
Southeastern Conference rival Auburn won the overall national championship with 491 points.
The 400-yard freestyle relay squad of Tyler Gustafson, Octavio Alesi, Bryan Goldberg and Brad Boswell finished 15th. They were the only Vols who competed on the final day of action. Tennessee finished 12th in the relay during the preliminary round in 2:55.47.
The Vols were led throughout the championships by diver Jevon Tarantino, who finished fourth in the 3-meter springboard on Friday.
Tarantino finished with 609.60 points. He was sixth coming out of the semifinal round with 182.10 points.
“Jevon really dove well, and I was very proud of his performance,” UT diving coach Dave Parrington said. “He did a phenomenal job tonight (Friday).”
Tarantino injured his ankle on the final dive of the preliminary round but was able to battle through to climb to fourth in the finals.
“I really had to dig myself out of the hole I got in after the preliminary and semfinal rounds after hurting my ankle,” Tarantino said. “I am happy with my performance because during the finals I dove the best dives out of the rest of the guys here.
“I was just too deep in a hole after my injury.”
The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Boswell, Goldberg, Gustafson and Thomas finished 11th in 6:28.50.
“The 800 free relay team put up a great fight for the Volunteers today while putting up points,” UT swimming coach John Trembley said.
Alesi, a freshman, finished 21st in the 100-yard butterfly in 47.62. Boswell finished 21st in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:36.78. The 200-yard medley relay team finished 19th in 1:29.45.
Tarantino finished sixth on the 1-meter board on Thursday, leaving the Vols to a tie for 16th place with 19 points. He was eighth entering the finals with 313.55 points. Joona Puhakka of Arizona State won the event with a 421.05 final score.
Tarantino was the defending champion on the 1-meter board. Puhakka finished runner-up to Tarantino last year.
“Jevon was a little off his game (Thursday), but he fought real hard all day long,” Parrington said. “Jevon’s 1-meter hasn’t been great since his appendectomy earlier in the season, and he was just a touch off tonight.”
The 400-yard medley relay team finished 14th in 3:16.68.
The Vols didn’t bring home any national titles, but it was a fitting end to a trying year for UT.
“This team has really suffered through adversity, including but not limited to losing four team members who should be here today with us,” Trembley said.