March 11, 2013
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Sophomore Fraser McKean put himself in a strong position to qualify for the NCAA Championships with a third-place finish in the men's 1-meter event Monday at the NCAA Zone B Diving competition.
Eight of nine Auburn divers competing at the meet advanced to the finals of their respective events, including all four women's divers, at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
"Overall, the results are what we needed them to be today," Auburn diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "Fraser will get in. He's not officially in yet, but with the doubles we project, we feel pretty confident that he's in (the NCAA Championships)."
McKean recorded a 12-dive score of 682.35 to finish third in the men's 1-meter competition, behind 2012 Olympian Nick McCrory of Duke (820.80) and Thomas Neubacher of Florida State (728.45). McCrory and Neubacher automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, and McKean currently stands two priority spots away from qualification.
Junior John Santeiu put together a strong performance as well, scoring 618.35 on 12 dives to finish sixth overall, and freshman Justin Youtsey made a statement in his first collegiate postseason event with a 609.30 to finish eighth. Both of Youtsey's six-dive lists set personal-best marks; his 299.80 in the prelims was a PR by seven points, and then he was 10 points better still in the final with a 309.50. Fellow freshman Andrew Laing was 15th with a 559.15, and sophomore Michael Beran finished 25th in prelims with a six-dive total of 262.00.
"The diver of the day on the men's side was Justin Youtsey," Shaffer said. "He did a great job, and I'm really proud of his efforts today, coming back and performing very well at this level. He actually did a new dive in the final that we haven't even practiced, so that was outstanding."
In the women's 3-meter competition, sophomore Shanna Schuelein led the group of Auburn's four divers that all advanced to the final. Schuelein posted a 12-dive total of 606.85 for 12th place overall, and her score of 305.30 on her second six-dive list was a personal-best. Sophomore Cinzia Calabretta was 15th with a 570.70, freshman Carly Scheper took 16th with a 549.90, and freshman Morgan Mullins finished 18th with a 539.80.
"I thought the girls took a huge leap forward in stepping up and competing on their first list," Shaffer said. "The second list, they took a little bit of a step backwards and didn't quite focus. But I'm going to focus on what they did well and build upon that for both tomorrow and Wednesday."
The groups switch boards for Tuesday's second round of competition. The women's 1-meter event gets underway at 10 a.m. CT, and the men's 3-meter event is set for a 2:30 p.m. CT start. Finals will follow their respective events. Live scoring is available at Divemeets.com, and fans can watch live video of the action at UTSports.com.