KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Three divers with University of Tennessee ties will compete this week at the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials in Federal Way, Wash., for an opportunity to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Former Vols Ryan Helms and Michael Wright will both be in action in the 3-meter springboard competition on Wednesday, while Tori Lamp, a rising redshirt junior for the Lady Vols, will take to the platform on the same day. The top 18 finishers will advance to the quarterfinals, with the top 12 moving on to the semifinals later in the day.
"To get anybody qualified for the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials is certainly a huge honor," Tennessee Head Diving Coach Dave Parrington said. "We have three divers who achieved the opportunity to be able to dive in the U.S. Olympic Trials, which is one of the toughest trials. I'm very proud of Mike, Ryan and Tori and the fact that they are vying for that opportunity is just an awesome thing."
If any of the Tennessee divers finish in the top 12, they will advance to the finals on Sunday in hopes of finishing in the top two and traveling to London as members of Team USA. The scores of each round will carry over into the next, meaning the scores will be cumulative and not reset after each round.
Wright, who exhausted his eligibility after the 2010-11 season ranks second all-time in Tennessee history on the 3-meter boards, while Helms, the reigning 2012 Southeastern Conference Male Diver of the Year, ranks fourth in the record books in the event.
"It is a really good and deep field so Mike and Ryan are going to have to be on their game," Parrington said. "They are certainly not favorites to make the team because a few guys have kind of separated themselves, but they certainly have done enough to show that they are capable of making the finals. Anybody that makes the finals is a world-level diver and on any given day, something exciting can happen."
Lamp holds the school record in the platform, won the event at the conference meet and finished runner up at the NCAA Championships. She is also the 2012 SEC Female Diver of the Year and represented Team USA at the Canada Cup with Helms.
"I've looked at the field and Tori has competed and beaten every single diver at one time or another," Parrington explained. "Now the trick is to get up and do it three times. She is certainly capable but some things have to go right and she has to be able to withstand some pressure she hasn't had before. I expect Tori to be able to step up and I'm excited about her chances."
NBC Sports Network will have coverage of both events Wednesday, as the action will be televised from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET. The finals of both events will air Sunday from 3-6 p.m.
After a round is complete, results are available on DiveMeets.com.