March 25, 2004
Long Island, N.Y. -- Freshman Jevon Tarantino started off the NCAA Championships in strong fashion Thursday with a title on the one-meter board at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Long Island, N.Y. The Vols stand in eighth place with 57 points while Auburn leads the field with 211.
"This was the goal that we have all worked so hard for all year," UT diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Anytime you have somebody win an NCAA title, it shows that all of your training and hard has work paid off. Jevon's victory was just exhilarating."
Tarantino, also the SEC titleholder on the one-meter, won the event with 388.65 points. Tennessee junior Phillip Jones was fourth with 363.50. Jones hopes to defend his title on the three-meter board tomorrow.
"I wanted this (title) so bad, and it really feels great," Tarantino said. "There was a lot of pressure on me coming in as a freshman, and I wasn't doing too well during the dual-meet season. I just brought it all back together here at the end to finish the season. My heart was really in it."
The 400-meter medley relay team of Fulton, Bree, Jamie Graves and Gustafson brought home 11th in 3:36.14.
Freshman Brad Boswell finished 24th in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:50.17. Teammate Casey Dauw finished 32nd in 3:50.98.
"To be back in the top-10 is very enjoyable," head coach John Trembley said. "We had some good performances today with Raymond Rosal tying the school record in the 50-meter freestyle, and Jamie Graves swam a great leg in the 400-meter medley relay. We are one of a handful of teams to leave the pool with an NCAA Champion in Jevon Tarantino. Fantastic day all around."
The Vols compete tomorrow with preliminaries starting at noon, while the finals begin at 7 p.m.