Dec. 17, 2012
AUBURN - Auburn sophomore Fraser McKean narrowly missed setting a new school record on the 1-meter springboard, and six Auburn divers hit personal-best marks Monday on the opening day of the Auburn Diving Invitational at the James E. Martin Aquatic Center.
McKean and junior John Santeiu earned a 1-2 finish in the 1-meter final as both recorded career-best scores. McKean's finals score of 396.60 was just four points shy of the school record of 400.90, set by Kelly Marx in 2010. It was the second time Monday for McKean to record a personal-best; he also had the top score in prelims with a 373.90.
"I'm obviously very pleased with the guys' performance, Fraser and John," Auburn head diving coach Jeff Shaffer said. "They really stepped up in the evening. Fraser was rock-solid in the morning; John missed a twist on one of his dives this morning but stepped up tonight. To see them both get close to 400 points is a big list; where we are in our training, that's really positive."
Santeiu, meanwhile, rebounded from a tough morning session to post a 389.05, his career-best on the 1-meter board, for a runner-up finish. Freshman Andrew Laing had the best performance of his young career, posting a sixth-place score of 308.85 for an NCAA Zone qualifying mark, and sophomore Michael Beran (285.15) and freshman Joel Bierwert (career-best 265.55) also had strong outings for the Tigers.
"Andrew Laing competed a back two-and-a-half for the first time in a meet after learning it 30 minutes before the contest, so that was encouraging," Shaffer said. "And the rest of the guys, Mike and Joel, they stepped up their lists tonight."
Sophomore Cinzia Calabretta led a trio of Auburn women who posted outstanding scores. Calabretta eclipsed her personal-best on the 3-meter board with a 319.00 to take runner-up honors behind LSU's Cassie Weil (329.30), and freshman Carly Scheper put together an NCAA Zone-qualifying mark of 303.15 for third place and the best score of her collegiate career. Sophomore Shanna Schuelein had a strong performance of her own with a score of 294.35 to take fourth place.
"On the women's side, we were much stronger tonight," Shaffer said. "Cinzia and Carly did a great job, and Shanna was right there as well. We have to learn to challenge ourselves to be a little bit more competitive, and allow us to rise to the abilities that we have. I like where we are, especially at the end of a long semester. Very pleased with today; we've got two more days to go."
Action continues Tuesday as divers from Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Georgia Tech return for men's 3-meter and women's 1-meter competition. Prelims begin at 11 a.m. and finals start at 5 p.m. Admission is free to all Auburn swimming & diving meets, and live scoring is available through DiveMeets.com.