Aug. 12, 2011
By Todd Mounce, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a tough day yesterday on the 3-meter boards, former Tennessee diver Michael Wright rebounded to notch fifth in the 1-meter competition on Friday at the 2011 AT&T National Diving Championships hosted at the Spieker Aquatics Center on the campus of UCLA.
Wright, who exhausted his eligibility this past season, battled back in the prelims to earn a spot in the 1-meter finals after placing seventh with a tally of 327.45. In the event's 27-diver field, the top eight qualified for the finals.
"Mike was in a major hole with two dives left, but I told him to try and catch and pass as many divers as he could and he made the final off his last two dives," Tennessee head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "I was really pleased with Mike's performance,"
In the finals Wright captured fifth after a score of 367.40. MichaelHixon won the highly competitive event with a point total of 392.20.
"After a pretty rough competition yesterday, I was ready to come back and show what I've been working on this summer," Wright said. "I didn't really hit my dives as I wanted to in the middle of list (in prelims), so I knew ever point counted on my last two dives. The finals were pretty close and I was satisfied with coming back today after yesterday's performance."
"It was a very close final and he was in it until the final dive," Parrington said." "After a tough day for him yesterday, he bounced back."
Rising junior Brent Sterling also competed on the 1-meter boards andfinished 26th with a score of 239.35.
"Brent kind of struggled in the contest and wasn't as aggressive as he should have been," Parrington said. "In the men's 1-meter, which is really a power event, that will cost you. He dove valiantly and came up short."
Divers will have one more shot to earn an Olympic Trial spot at the Diving Winter Championships in February.