UT's diving team has been active lately, participating in the Georgia Diving Invitational in Athens, Ga., this past weekend and currently preparing for a meet against Virginia Tech and Missouri this weekend in Knoxville.
Redshirt senior Tori Lamp and sophomore Samantha Lera will both enter this weekend's meet after impressive finishes in the Georgia Diving Invitational.
Lamp finished third on the 1-meter, and Lera finished fourth in the 10-meter and 10th in the 3-meter.
Both divers said they were pleased with their overall performance and acknowledged that the invitational helped prepare them for the SEC championship.
"It was actually one of my best 1-meter performances of the season," Lamp said. "My consistency throughout the entire competition I was really pleased with, and it was a good outlook for what our SEC is going to look like."
"I was pretty pleased being that we are just starting to get back into competition season," Lera added. "There is a lot more to do during practice and stuff to get ready for SEC, but for now I am really happy with that (performance)."
Tennessee Head Diving Coach Dave Parrington said he was also pleased with his two divers' performances and praised Lamp for competing while nursing an injured shoulder.
"As far as Tori goes, being third on 1-meter, given the lack of actual diving she has been able to do just because she has been recovering from a shoulder injury, is pretty remarkable," Parrington said. "And that is just a testament to her competitive spirit and her level of talent."
Though Lamp has certainly done a good job dealing with her shoulder issues, she said the injury has still prevented her from doing the type of numbers she wishes to do.
"We didn't want to push (the shoulder injury) because the focus is definitely the SECs and the NCAAs," Lamp said.
Lamp and Lera won't have much time to celebrate their accomplishments at the Georgia Diving Invitational. Women's diving will be given another opportunity to prepare for the SECs and NCAAs this weekend at a meet against Missouri and Virginia Tech.
"We have just come off a pretty rigorous weekend this past weekend, and actually the level of competition this weekend is really tough." Parrington said. "The University of Missouri have an outstanding squad, both men and women, as do Virginia Tech, and we do too. This is going to be a matchup of divers who are all ranked in the top 10 in the country coming from three different programs. It is really going to be an exciting meet."
Even though both Missouri and Virginia Tech have strong diving squads, Lera said she is confident about the next meet in Knoxville and excited about the opportunity to improve for the SECs and nationals.
"I think coming off this past meet, this past weekend in Georgia going into this next meet, I feel really confident being that we already have one under our belt after Christmas training," Lera said. "This will be a good indicator for the SECs once again because we have Missouri, who is in the SEC. Virginia Tech is not, but they are really tough in good competition, so it is just one more step to SECs."
Lera said she is also excited about the meet being in Knoxville for the first time this season.
"It is always fun competing at home," Lera said. "You have all your fans that come out and support, and being in a more comfortable, familiar place with your team and everything, it is always good to compete at home rather than on the road."
The diving team will compete against Virginia Tech and Missouri this Saturday at noon at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.