March 27, 2014
|Men||1st Team||Hon. Mention|
Robles earned his first career All-America honor on springboard by taking 11th in the 1-meter competition. He narrowly missed the championship final by 10 points and ended up taking third in the afternoon consolation contest with a score of 358.20. The 3-meter springboard competition is Friday.
Rairden earned his team-leading 10th and 11th career All-America honors Thursday to begin his final NCAA meet. As usual, Rairden was part of both relays on Day 1, swimming the anchor leg on the 200 freestyle relay and the butterfly leg of the 400 medley relay.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Tennessee scored two top-16 finishes on relays and Mauricio Robles added points in the diving well Thursday to start the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.
After a day of competition, the Vols have 26 points and are 16th in the team standings, the same place the team ended last year's NCAA meet. Host team Texas leads with 146 points.
"I think in both sessions, I felt like we left some points out there," Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. "We're swimming well. Some people were just off this morning and swam better tonight, while others were great this morning and were off tonight. We just need to get everybody together and synched up for the rest of the meet."
Tennessee qualified for the evening finals in both relays, placing 10th overall in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 14th in the 400 medley relay.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Luke Percy, Troy Tillman, Gustav Aberg Lejdstrom and Sam Rairden started the first night session of the meet by finishing second in the consolation and 10th overall in a time of 1 minute, 17.59 seconds.
In an unusual day in which 14 relay teams were disqualified in preliminaries or finals because of early takeoffs, the Vols ignored the distractions and stayed the course to score points.
"I've never seen so many relays disqualified," Kredich said. "That could mean a door is opened there for some teams to get more points, but at the same time, this is the deepest, fastest NCAA meet there's ever been. We swam times this morning that certainly would have been top eight a year ago."
In the diving well, Robles accounted for the Vols' first points from an individual event. He took 11th on the 1-meter springboard to earn honorable mention All-America honors, his first such award in a springboard event. He was an All-American on platform as a freshman in 2012.
Robles just missed the championship final by 10 points. He ended up finishing third in the consolation -- 11th overall -- with a six-dive score of 358.20.
"I was very proud of him today," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "He battled really hard in the prelims. He missed his back two and a half a little bit in the third round. This is as deep as it gets. The talent on the boards here is really, really good. You can't afford to make mistakes.
"He was a little up and down, but he showed some really good stuff. I think he impressed the judges some, and we're going to come back tomorrow and go after it."
In the morning preliminaries, junior Tristan Slater missed the finals, but he nearly recorded a school record. He placed 23rd overall in the 200 individual medley in a career-best time of 1:44.59, just two one-hundredths off Michael Christy's 2008 UT record.
Competition continues Friday with the 200 medley relay, 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 800 freestyle relay and the 3-meter springboard.
"The goal is to be consistent," Kredich said. "We have to get as much as we can out of every session. We can't hang our heads. We've got a big day tomorrow with a lot of potential scorers."