March 7, 2012
Tennessee freshman Mauricio Robles won the platform competition for a third time this season Wednesday to finish the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in Auburn, Ala.
In winning, he helped out a teammate as well.
Robles took first place with a preliminary and final combined score of 723.35. His victory helped junior teammate Brent Sterling earn one of the remaining two qualifying spots into the field of the NCAA Championships, giving the Vols three diving representatives in the national meet.
"It's an extremely tough thing to do to get three divers qualified for NCAAs, so I really commend our divers for their performance this week," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said.
Thanks to Robles' top performances in the platform and a second-place finish on the 3-meter springboard Monday, Sterling moved up the priority list two spots to become the seventh of eight qualifying divers for the NCAAs.
"I imagine Mauricio does feel good about helping a teammate into the NCAAs," Parrington said. "Having that type of pressure is a whole different situation than the pressure of just competing to win. He did a very solid job today."
Senior Ryan Helms also qualified for the NCAAs. The SEC Diver of the Year placed third in both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events, which also helped Sterling's national meet bid. Sterling helped his own cause by recording two career bests in the 3 meter, good for a fifth-place finish that put him in the running to qualify.
All four of Tennessee's divers competed on the 10-meter tower Wednesday. Helms was 23rd with a score of 219.75. Sterling was 24th in 188.35. Junior Jordan Mauney placed 18th in 277.85.
"Jordan was a little off today, but it was good for him to get this type of meet experience," Parrington said.