Feb. 21, 2003
AUBURN, Ala.--The No. 12 Tennessee men's swimming and diving team completed the third day of competition at the 2003 SEC Championships in Auburn, Ala. The Vols have 302 points and trail Georgia (336), Florida (454) and first-place Auburn (627.5).
"I am very pleased with the number of lifetime bests and time drops we have had," head coach John Trembley said. "We are swimming and diving very well."
In the diving well, sophomore Phillip Jones looked to defend his three-meter title, but fell short finishing third with 597.50 points. Going into the finals, Jones was seeded first but fell behind after missing his first dive. Jones then recovered but could not catch Kentucky's Clayton Moss (624.25).
"I just didn't have it today," Jones said. "I over committed on my first dive and from there I fought back into position. I put myself in contention but I just didn't pull it through. It didn't go my way."
Tennessee continued its strong freestyle tradition by placing five swimmers in the 200 freestyle finals. Freshman Bryan Goldberg led the way with a sixth-place finish. Goldberg's personal-best time of 1:36.66 is just three-tenths off an NCAA automatic qualifying time.
"Bryan is coming off of being sick all fall," coach Trembley said. "It was a great swim for him and a great moment for us as a team."
Goldberg suffered from pneumonia during the fall and spent most of the swim season in bed.
"After being sick so long it really feels good to be swimming my lifetime bests at the end of the season," Goldberg said. "I had faith in my coaches, faith in my taper and it is paying off."
Finishing 12th in the 200 freestyle was junior Evan Nylander in a time of 1:38.42. Rounding out the group was freshman Jason Thomas and junior Renato Gueraldi. Thomas finished 14th in a time of 1:39.24, while Gueraldi touched the wall for 15th-place (1:39.31). Earlier in the day, both Thomas and Gueraldi set new personal-best times. Thomas swam a 1:38.51 and Gueraldi posted a 1:38.58.
The Tennessee backstrokers placed three spots with a high finish of tenth. Senior Paulo Machado swam to a 10th-place finish in a lifetime best 49.10. Sophomore Josh Fulton finished 11th in a time of 49.31, while Greg Simpson touched the wall for 12th-place with a season best 49.68.
Freshman Casey Dauw added to the Vol point total with his eighth-place effort in the 400 I.M. with a time of 3:55.99. Winning the event was Florida's Ryan Lochte in a time of 3:43.31. Junior Jamie Graves touched the wall in an NCAA provisional time of 48.16 in the 100 butterfly, good enough for eighth place. In the morning session, Graves swam a lifetime best of 48.01.
"Graves swim tonight was huge," coach Trembley said. "His best event is the 200 butterfly which he will be swimming tomorrow. He is swimming with a great deal of confidence. It is going to be fun to see what he can do tomorrow."
Winning the consolation finals was Josh Fulton. His NCAA provisional time of 48.16 set a new personal-best mark and gave the flyer a ninth-place finish.
The Vols closed the night with a six-place finish in the 400 medley relay. The squad of Machado, Russo, Graves and Gueraldi swam an NCAA provisional time of 3:16.06.
The swimming and diving championships conclude on Saturday with the 200 butterfly, 1650 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 backstroke, 10-meter platform and the 400 freestyle relay. The preliminaries start at 11:30 a.m. ET, with the finals beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.