Feb. 18, 2005
Tennessee's 17th-ranked men's swimming team was led by its underclassmen Friday at the Southeastern Conference championships in Gainesville, Fla., at the University of Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center, with five different underclassmen finishing in the top-10 in their respective events.
The Vols are currently in sixth-place with 232 points.
"We had a very good day, and we expect to build off the momentum going into tomorrow," UT head coach John Trembley said. "We are not happy with the team place, but as coaches we are happy with the guys here, who are swimming hard."
Freshman Octavio Alesi is making a name for himself at the SEC championships. Alesi finished fifth in the 100-yard butterfly with a career-best mark of 47.38. He was the only underclassman in the top five. The Vols had two of the three underclassmen in the eight-man championship final. Sophomore Andrew Engle finished eighth in 47.84, a career-best for him also.
"Our number of guys qualified for NCAAs is up to six for certain, with the good possibility of eight being qualified," Trembley added. "Octavio's swim in the 100 fly will get him into the NCAAs."
Sophomore Travis Wright and senior Josh Fulton also scored for the Vols in the 100 fly. Wright continued the youth movement with a 10th-place finish in a career-high 47.81 in the consolation final. Fulton finished 12th in 48.10, which was a season-high for him.
"Travis Wright's time has made the NCAA meet comfortably in years past so we feel strongly about his time," Trembley said.
Freshman Michael Wolfe finished seventh in the 100-yard backstroke in 49.23. Wolfe set a career-best time in the prelims in 49.05. Wright finished 14th in 50.34 with Fulton following closely in 15th in 50.47. Fulton set a season-high of 49.35 during the prelims. Engle finished 16th in 51.67.
Junior Bryan Goldberg led the Volunteers' contingent in the 200-yard freestyle. Goldberg finished seventh in 1:36.95. He set a season-best mark in the preliminaries in 1:36.53.
Sophomore Brad Boswell followed Goldberg in the 200 free in 10th in 1:36.75. Junior Tyler Gustafson rounded out the 200 free scorers for the Vols in 15th-place in 1:38.98. Gustafson set a season-best time in the prelims in 1:37.82.
Junior Kiel Huston was the lone scorer for the Vols in the 100-yard breaststroke, finished 14th in 56.16. Huston's time of 56.05 was a season-best.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Alesi, Fulton, Engle and Gustafson finished sixth in 1:20.02. Alesi's time of 20.00 in the 50 free lead-off is a season-best for the Vols.