Feb. 18, 2006
Sophomore Michael Wolfe led the 12th-ranked Tennessee men's swimming and diving squad on the final day of competition with two third-place finishes at the SEC Championships at the UT Student Aquatic. The Vols finished fourth overall with 715.5 points.
Auburn won the conference title with 1101.5 points. Florida finished second with 939.5 followed by Georgia with 761.
"We had some great performances this week," head coach John Trembley said. "You never like getting beat by any SEC opponent, especially at home, but we are up from sixth last year which is good. We are eager for the new pool as well as some help in other areas as we look to keep going."
Wolfe finished third in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke. His time of 1:44.54 in the fly is an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA championships. Florida's Ryan Lochte set a SEC record with his first-place time of 1:42.39.
"It was really good to move up from where I was last year, and make the podium on both of my swims," Wolfe said. "I feel like tonight was good but I can move up at the NCAAs time wise."
In the 200 back Wolfe finished third in 1:44.11. Doug Van Wie won the event for Auburn in 1:42.83. UT's Brad Boswell, who followed a second-place finish in the 100 back on Friday, finished fifth in 1:46.68.
Freshman Nolan Morrell finished ninth in 1:46.77 to continue a fine championship meet. Andrew Van Meter also scored for the Vols with a 15th-place finish in 1:49.67 in the 200 back.
The Vol 400 freestyle relay placed third in 2:56.61. Octavio Alesi led the relay followed by Boswell, Bryan Goldberg and Jeff Sudbury.
Alesi led the Vol contingent in the 100 freestyle with an 11th-place score in 44.35. Goldberg finished 16th in 44.87 with Tyler Gustafson following in 18th in 45.28.
Senior Kiel Huston closed out his Tennessee career with a tie for 10th-place in 2:00.63 with Sean Osborne of Georgia. Sudbury concluded his strong showing at the SECs while finishing 15th in 2:03.42. Michael Russo finished 18th in 2:05.04.
"We believe we have 12 guys qualified for NCAAs. Of course, you do have to play the waiting game," Trembley added. "If we do have 12 as we think we do, that will be the most we have taken in a while. The diving is still yet to be contested as they have to compete at zone diving for qualifications."
Next up for the Vol divers is the Zone B Diving qualifier in Lexington, Ky., March 10-12. The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are March 23-25 in Atlanta.