Jan. 3, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - Five Auburn divers advanced to the finals on the first day of the Georgia Diving Invitational on Friday. Three Auburn men's divers participated in the 3-meter final while a pair of Auburn women's divers competed in the 1-meter final on the competition's first day at the Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens.
Sophomore Justin Youtsey was the top finisher for Auburn on the first day of competition, advancing to the 12-diver final with a score of 341.50 in prelims. Youtsey dropped one spot and placed seventh in the final round with 335.40 points.
"Justin was our most consistent performer today, I thought he competed hard and was our highest finisher," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "Fraser (McKean) turned in our best score for the men and had a good first list. John (Santeiu) really sharpened his focus and got it in to the finals. Overall, it was very good for us because this meet is similar to the SEC Championship and the NCAA Zone Diving Competition."
Junior Fraser McKean posted the highest score for the Tigers during Friday's preliminary round with a 348.00. McKean finished ninth in the final at 332.85 as just two points separated seventh to ninth-place finishers.
Senior John Santeiu IV recorded 332.65 points in the 3-meter prelims to advance to the 12-diver final. Santeiu closed out the Auburn contingent in the finals and placed tenth with 332.70. Before Friday's competition, Santeiu was previously undefeated on the 3-meter springboard this season. Junior Kevin Beran finished 16th in the prelims with a score of 295.50, but did not advance to the final.
On the women's side, the junior duo of Cinzia Calabretta and Shanna Schuelein advanced to the 1-meter final. Calabretta snuck her way into the 1-meter final with a 12th-place finish in the prelims by scoring 257.55. The junior jumped five spots in the final and scored 270.50 for seventh. Calabretta's finish advanced the junior to the knockout competition; where she finished fourth.
"I thought Shanna turned in a great list to start this morning in the prelims," Shaffer said. "Cinzia did well to earn a spot in the finals and it's exciting that she will get to participate in the knockout round this evening. There are certainly some things we can do to get better, but after eight days off, I thought we turned in some good dives."
Schuelein placed ninth for Auburn in the prelims with the top score of the day for the Tigers at 276.15. Schuelein finished ninth in Friday's final with a 267.95. Sophomore Morgan Mullins nearly made the finals in her first competition since October, scoring a 251.55, just six points shy of earning a spot in the final. Sophomore Carly Scheper scored 244.05 for 16th.
The Tigers return to action tomorrow with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. The women swap to the 3-meter board, while the men compete on the 1-meter.
For the latest updates on Auburn Swimming and Diving, follow the Tigers on Twitter, @AuburnSwimming or like Auburn Swimming and Diving on Facebook.