Feb. 18, 2014
|2. Texas A&M||142|
|5. South Carolina||131|
|4. Texas A&M||135|
Lehane wrapped up the day with an electric finish to the 800 freestyle relay. He started the final leg in sixth place but moved the Vols up to third at the final wall.
Robles earned UT's first silver medal of the competition, diving a season-high 418.10 to finish in second place. The San Francisco, Mexico, native earned a spot on the podium after coming in fifth in preliminaries.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Mauricio Robles' return to the medal podium and a late charge in the final relay highlighted Tennessee's opening evening at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.
After just three events in the men's and women's competition Tuesday at Gabrielsen Natatorium, the Tennessee women are second with 153 points, trailing only defending champion Georgia (187). The Tennessee men are fourth with 135 points, and Auburn leads with 192.
"This meet is going to be really competitive," Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. "We knew that. We always know that. It was tight tonight in all the events, swimming and diving. We performed really well. ... I love the emotions we poured into tonight."
Robles, who missed the SEC meet last season with a season-ending injury, announced his return to a conference stage with a silver medal on the 3-meter springboard. Robles, the 2012 SEC platform champion as a freshman, earned his first medal on springboard by putting together a career-best score of 418.10.
"Credit to Mauricio for really competing well," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "It was a career-best score for him, and I'm very pleased with his performance and competitiveness and how this stacks up for the rest of the week."
Robles' finish helped energize the Tennessee men in final event of the night: the 800-yard freestyle relay. Sam Rairden, Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom, Tristan Slater and Sean Lehane took third in an NCAA A-cut time of 6:19.71.
For most of the race, it looked like the Tennessee men would not return to the podium for a third time during the session. When Lehane started the final leg, Tennessee was in sixth place in the outside lane. Lehane, a backstroker by trade, put together a final split time of 1:33.73 -- the second-fastest final leg in the field -- to boost the Vols to bronze.
"Sean's finish was unbelievable," Kredich said. "It was an outstanding swim. It was very fast and expertly done. It's tough to do from out in lane one."
Tennessee also earned a bronze medal in the men's 200 medley relay.
Senior Tori Lamp finished fifth in the women's 1-meter springboard, the only individual women's event of the night. It was a high-level performance by the entire field in the finals. Lamp's score of 315.90, her best score of the year, would have won the SEC title a season ago.
"In a highly competitive final, Tori got up and had an extremely good list of dives," Parrington said. "She finished 10 points out of first place. She left a few points on the boards there."
The schedule promises to be busier Wednesday with swimming preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.
WOMEN'S 1-METER SPRINGBOARD
Senior Tori Lamp was the only Lady Vol competing in the final, after Samantha Lera missed the 8-person final by less than a point. Starting the evening in fourth place after preliminaries earlier in the day, Lamp earned a season-high 315.90, but host UGA grabbed 1st and 3rd, while Mizzou won 2nd.
MEN'S 3-METER SPRINGBOARD
The Vols also sent just one male diver to the night's final. Redshirt sophomore Mauricio Robles came into the final in fifth place, but ended up on the podium. His score of 418.10 was a season-high and it clinched UT its first silver medal of the tournament.
MEN'S 200 MEDLEY RELAY
The men jumped out to an early lead and managed to hold off the competition to tie for the bronze medal with Alabama. Sam Rairden, Renato Prono, Oystein Hetland and Luke Percy swam a combined time of 1:24.84, the third-fastest time in the nation and the fastest time of the season for the relay team,
WOMEN'S 200 MEDLEY RELAY
Defending champion and current SEC record holders Tennessee couldn't quite defend their gold medal from last year, but the quartet of Lauren Solernou, Molly Hannis, Harper Bruens and Faith Johnson earned the silver medal. The time of 1:35.81 was less than a second off the record-breaking time last year and was also a season high.
MEN'S 800 FREESTYLE RELAY
Sophomore Sean Lehane led UT's charge to the podium in the final event of the night. The team of Sam Rairden, Gustav Aberg Ledjstrom, Tristan Slater and Lehane took third in 6:19.71, an NCAA A-cut time. UT was in sixth place before Lehane's leg, which was clocked at 1:33.73.
WOMEN'S 800 FREESTYLE RELAY
The relay team of Faith Johnson, Harper Bruens, Mary Griffith and Lindsay Gendron jumped out to an early advantage, but the top qualifying teams of Georgia, Texas A&M and Florida pulled out to earn the medals.Johnson's split of 1:46.09 is the fourth-best in UT history.