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Sterling Receives NCAA Elite 89 Award


Tennessee senior Ryan Helms earned honorable mention All-America honors on the 1-meter springboard and the Vols’ 400-yard medley relay team did the same Thursday to start the NCAA Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
The Vols also took home some academic hardware to begin the meet as junior diver Brent Sterling was honored with the NCAA Elite 89 Award.
With eight competitors in the meet, the Vols stayed busy primarily with relays and diving on the opening day. Tennessee had not qualified three divers for theNCAAs in more than a decade, and while the first-day results were not quitewhat Tennessee had hoped for, there is optimism for the two remaining diving events.
Helms wrapped up the preliminary rounds with a score of 330.30 to finish 16th andreceive All-America honorable mention honors for the third time in his career in the event. Sterling was 24th in 274.90, and freshman MauricioRobles was 28th with a score of 261.55 in his NCAA debut.
Helms, the SEC Diver of the Year and 1-meter champion at the conference meet, remained in 16th place after the afternoon consolation final, although he did improve his score to 352.85 in the second list.
“Overall, I was a little disappointed today,” Parrington said. It would have been good to get all three divers a little higher, but at least Ryan was able to put some team points on the board for us.”
Before the evening finals, Sterling received the Elite 89 Award, an honor given to the swimmer or diver with the highest grade point average at the national championship.
“That just shows you what kind of work Brent is putting into academics and everything else,” Parrington said. “It’s very exciting for him.”
Tennessee did not qualify for the finals in the 200 freestyle relay, but the Vols advanced to the evening races in the 400 medley relay. The team of senior Ricky Henahan, sophomore Renato Prono, sophomore Oystein Hetland and sophomore Samuel Rairden finished 16th, improving their time to 3 minutes, 12.75 seconds in the consolation final.
Junior Ed Walsh, just two weeks removed from the British Olympic Trials, finished the 50 freestyle in 56th-place in 20.23.
The Vols have a busy day of competition ahead of them Friday. Henahan will race the 100 backstroke for the final time for the Vols, looking to finish in the top eight. Rairden, who was an All-American in the event a year ago, hopes to do the same. He will also swim the 200 freestyle.
Prono and Walsh are scheduled to race in the 100 breaststroke. Hetland’s will race in the 100 butterfly.
The three Tennessee divers are competing on the 3-meter springboard.
NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships
Federal Way, Wash.
Day 1 Results
200 Freestyle Relay: 1. California (Messerschmidt, Fleming, Gimondi, Stubblefield) 1:16.58; 2. Auburn (Modrov, Krug, Leon, Chierighini) 1:16.67; 3. Arizona (Small, Wyman, Friedemann, Gutman) 1:16.71 … 19. Tennessee (Walsh, Henahan, Hetland, Rairden) 1:19.94.
1-Meter Diving Preliminaries: 1. Drew Livingston (Texas) 387.65; 2. Constantin Blaha (Arizona State) 379.15; 3. David Bonuchi (Missouri) 377.70 … 16. Ryan Helms (Tennessee) 333.30 … 24. Brent Sterling (Tennessee) 274.90 … 28. Mauricio Robles (Tennessee) 261.55.
1-Meter Diving Consolation: 9. Benjamin Grado (Arizona) 396.20; 10. Matthew Cooper (Texas) 390.00; 11. Greg Ferrucci (Kentucky) 380.60 … 16. Ryan Helms (Tennessee) 352.85.
50 Freestyle: 1. James Feigen (Texas) 19.01; 2. Vladimir Morozov (Southern California) 19.08; 3. Jason Schnur (Ohio State) 19.46 … 56. Ed Walsh (Tennessee) 20.23.
400 Medley Relay: 16. Tennessee (Henahan, Prono, Hetland, Rairden) 3:12.75.



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