Jan. 3, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Three Auburn men's divers advanced to the 1-meter final Thursday to highlight the first day of the Tennessee Diving Invitational at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
Sophomore Fraser McKean was the top qualifier from the preliminary round, posting a score of 347.30 to earn his way into the 12-diver final. He would finish sixth in the final with a score of 316.20 as the third- through eighth-place competitors were within 1.5 points of each other.
Junior John Santeiu made his way into the final with a 303.85 to finish eighth in prelims, then improved his score to 310.85 but dropped one spot to ninth in the finals. Freshman Andrew Laing, meanwhile, was consistent with a 10th-place finish in both prelims and finals, scoring 297.55 in the morning session and 301.55 in the afternoon.
"Fraser had a great first list," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said, "and the final was a really tight contest, only three points out of second place. He had some really strong tops on dives, but he ended up over-rotating. Didn't finish quite the way we hoped, but it was good experience. John was steady but not sharp. I'm really pleased with Andrew, he's really coming on and making a great push. Justin had a personal-best on 1-meter, and Mike did some nice dives, too."
On the women's side, none of the three Auburn competitors reached the final in the 3-meter event. Sophomore Shanna Schuelein posted the top finish, scoring a 265.00 to take 15th place, and sophomore Cinzia Calabretta was 20th with a 249.25. Freshman Carly Scheper finished 33rd (220.30).
A total of 15 schools are competing in Knoxville, including SEC foes Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, LSU, Missouri and host Tennessee. Three other Zone B teams - Clemson, Duke and North Carolina - are competing, as well as James Madison, Penn State, South Dakota State, SMU and Virginia. The meet is being conducted under many of the same conditions as the NCAA Zone B meet, which Tennessee is scheduled to host in March.
"There are more than 40 divers here on both the men's and women's side, very similar to what it will be at Zones," Shaffer said. "In that sense, it's a very good learning experience. They have to learn to manage themselves better between dives so that they're up and ready to compete. We didn't compete the way we've been training. We had a great meet in the Auburn Invitational, but we were 30 to 80 points below our scores from that meet today. Some of that is attributed to a week off during Christmas, but we're not going to make excuses. Overall, we didn't step up and compete to our ability. There were some very good, positive things and some things that were disappointing."
Day two of the meet gets underway at 10:30 a.m. CT with women's 1-meter and men's 3-meter competition. Live video is available at UTSports.com, and live results can be followed at Divemeets.com.