SEC Swimming And Diving Championships: Day 1 Preliminaries


Feb. 20, 2008

SEC Championship Meet Central
Men's 3-meter Preliminary Results

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Auburn diving team was in action Wednesday morning as the 2008 SEC swimming and Diving Championships opened at the Alabama Aquatics Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The only preliminaries on tap for Wednesday's morning session were the women's 1-meter diving and the men's 3-meter diving.

Auburn's men came out strong on the 3-meter, leading all schools with three divers advancing to tonight's finals.

Sophomore Dan Mazzaferro finished second to lead the way for Auburn in prelims with a score of 372.50, but right on his heels was fellow sophomore and teammate Kelly Marx with a 369.15, finishing third.

Also advancing to Wednesday night's finals is sophomore Caleb Dunnichay after he finished eighth in prelims with a score of 343.65, squeezing out teammate Scott Morgan, who finished ninth with a 337.45.

Alabama's Aaron Fleshner won the preliminary with a score of 411.10.

Auburn has performed well on the 3-meter in the past few years, advancing four to the finals in 2007 (Steven Segerlin, Mazzaferro, Marx and Morgan) and three in 2004 (Cesar Garcia, Matt Bricker and Andrew Sivulka).

The Tigers have won the 3-meter SEC Championship four times in the team's history. Segerlin won in 2007, Skipper Wood won in 1983 and Jose Rocha won in 1988 and 1989.

Finals are scheduled to begin tonight at 6 p.m. with the women's 1-meter diving, followed by the 200 medley relay at 6:30 p.m., men's 3-meter diving at 7 p.m. and the 800 freestyle relay at 7:30 p.m.



MEN'S OUTLOOK: Auburn's men have won four of the past five 200 medley relays at the SEC Championships and have six titles overall. The Tigers return two of the four members of last year's team in Cesar Cielo and Alexei Puninski. Auburn enters the meet with the second-fastest time in the conference with a 1:28.49, coming in behind Tennessee with a 1:26.03. In the 800 free relay, Auburn has not won a SEC title since the 2000 season, following a run that included four-straight championships in the event from 1997-2000. The Tigers have finished second in the event in five of the past six years and return Tyler McGill from last year's team. Auburn enters the meet with the fifth-fastest time in the conference at 6:39.07. Tennessee enters with the top time of 6:25.35.

WOMEN'S OUTLOOK: Auburn's women have also see success in the 200 medley relay after winning the event last year and return Margo McCawley and Kara Denby from that lineup. The Tigers have finished either first or second in the event in six of the last seven years, including three-straight titles from 2001-03. Auburn also won the championship in 1997 and 1998, giving the women six overall 200 medley relay championships. The Tigers enter the meet with the third-fastest time in the conference at 1:41.84 with Tennessee leading with a 1:41.25. Auburn is also the defending champion in the 800 free relay and returns the entire team as Ava Ohlgren, Emile Ewing, Emily Kukors and Denby are all back this season. The Tigers have won four 800 free relay titles with back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004 - Auburn also won in 1999. The Tigers enter the meet with the second-fastest time in the SEC with a 7:09.19 while Georgia leads with a 7:08.56.