Aquatics Notebook: Tennessee Invitational

Nov. 15, 2011

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The 13th-ranked Volunteers host five men's team in the annual Tennessee Invitational beginning Wednesday at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

The meet runs Wednesday through Friday. Swimming preliminaries begin each day at 10 a.m., followed by the first rounds of diving at 1 p.m. Diving finals start at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and final races are at 6 p.m.

For some news and notes on this three-day event:

Two opposing teams should already be familiar to the Vols at this point: Kentucky and Louisville. Tennessee beat Kentucky in the season-opening double dual meet at home 213-87 and a week later defeated Louisville 163-137.

Other men's teams competing include LSU, Southern Illinois and the diving squad from Texas A&M

Because the Tennessee Invitational is three days long, a few additional events are being offered that are not usually in a 16-event dual meet. The Vols will be competing in the 1650 freestyle and platform diving for the first time this season.

The swimming preliminaries, which begin each morning at 10 a.m., feature an unusual twist for college swimming. To allow swimmers to clock some national or Olympic standard times, competitors will race in the long-course metered format in the preliminaries. The finals will be in the usual NCAA 25-yard short-course format.

With several swimmers competing in usual events, the Vols defeated South Carolina 167-132 on Nov. 4 in Columbia, S.C.

Sophomores Renato Prono and Sam Petersen recorded their second-straight dual-meet wins in their respective events. A week after scoring an NCAA B-cut time in a career-best race, Prono won the 100-yard breaststroke. Petersen won the 1000 for the second week in a row.

Senior Ricky Henahan took first in the 100 backstroke for the second time this year.

Senior Ryan Helms continued his tear in the 1-meter diving event, winning the competition for the third consecutive time. Junior Brent Sterling recorded a second-place finish in the 3-meter.

The Vols swam to a third-place finish last year at the Tennessee Invitational with 932.5 points, finishing behind Alabama (1,191) and Virginia Tech (975.5), but defeating Kentucky (566).

The Vols have recorded two individual NCAA B-Cut times and have done the same twice in the 200 Medley Relay. A look at the updated list:

NCAA B-Cut Times
Swimmer (Event; Time)

Ricky Henahan (100 Backstroke; 48.33)
Renato Prono (100 Breaststroke; 54.28)

Relay (Swimmers; Time)
200 Medley (Hetland/Henahan/Epperson/Walsh; 1:29.34)
200 Medley (Henahan/Epperson/Hetland/Walsh; 1:29.83)

"It is exciting to be hosting our fourth annual collegiate invitational which will be our biggest yet with six men's diving teams and seven women's teams being represented. Texas A&M have brought their men's divers without their men swimmers, which adds some incredible depth to the diving events and will set the stage for some highly competitive diving considering the quality of all the teams competing.

"The diving schedule is somewhat grueling but not unlike what we'll face at SEC's and will definitely serve as a valuable barometer for us as we go against a powerful field in a championship type format. Additionally we will be competing in the always exciting platform event for the first time this season and I am biting at the bit to see us up there on Friday afternoon."





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