Feb. 25, 2004
Athens, Ga. - The Tennessee men's swimming and diving team posted a win and some good performances after the first day of competition at the SEC Championships Wednesday in Athens, Ga. Defending NCAA champion Phillip Jones walked away with his second SEC victory in the 3-meter in three years, while Raymond Rosal turned in a lifetime best swim to finish sixth.
After the first day of competition the Vols are in fourth place with 86 points. Auburn is currently leading with 233 points.
Junior Phillip Jones brought home a first-place finish on the 3-meter board with 633.75 points. Jones came into the finals in second place behind Caesar Garcia of Auburn but came from behind to edge him in the finals. Freshman Jevon Tarantino barely missed making the finals. His score of 516.25 was three-tenths of a point behind Mario Rodriguez of Kentucky.
"Phillip did an excellent job tonight," UT head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "I was very pleased with the victory. He was a little off in the semifinals, but he came into the evening very relaxed and nailed his last dive for 85 points to put the heat on Garcia and seal the victory."
"I came up short last year, and I was really unhappy," Jones said. "I wanted to redeem myself having not won it since my freshman year. I wanted to show the rest of the field that I was still around."
Rosal led the way for the Vols in the swimming competition when he turned in a lifetime-best swim while competing in a three-way swim off for eighth place in the 50-yard freestyle. Rosal turned in a time of 20.01 seconds. While competing in the finals, Rosal managed to turn in the sixth-fastest time of 20.29 seconds.
Casey Dauw, Andrew Engle and Josh Fulton also scored points for the Vols. Dauw took 11th in the 400-yard individual medley in 3:55.67. Engle finished 10th (49.76), while Fulton finished 15th with a 49.93 in the 100-yard backstroke.
The Vols finished sixth in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a 6:33.45. The relay team consisted of Bryan Goldberg (1:39.01), Tyler Gustafson (1:37.78), Dauw (1:38.42) and Andrew Bree (1:38.24).
"We are very pleased with day one," UT head coach John Trembley said. "Rosal was not shaved and still swam a lifetime best. All of the 50 freestylers had lifetime bests or unshaven lifetime bests. Dauw struggled this morning but came back tonight to have two great swims. Wright and Engle had two outstanding freshmen performances, and the 800 freestyle relay had a solid performance for being unshaved."
Competition continues tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. and runs through Saturday.