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Freshman Mauricio Robles’ collegiate debut in platform diving Friday was nothing short of historic.
Robles became the second Vol ever to score more than 400 points in the platform diving event, winning the contest with a 404.00 total as the Vols finished third of five schools in the team standings in the Tennessee Invitational.
Tennessee (3-1, 2-0 SEC) ended with 822.5 points behind Louisville’s leading 1,038 and LSU’s 914. Kentucky (543.5) and Southern Illinois (280) followed Tennessee in fourth and fifth.
“Overall, it was a good team performance,” Tennessee head coach John Trembley said. “You have to pick your fights in swimming. When teams shave and taper, they perform extremely well. And we as a team chose to nothere at the invitational, which is not fun.
“In some years, we’ve done this at this Invite. This year we didn’t so we could save more eggs in the basket for February for the SEC Championships, which we’re hosting.”
After preliminary swimming, the divers took to the tower for platform diving for the first time this season. Robles won the event by nearly 70 points, finishing with 404.00, ahead of Kentucky’s Greg Ferrucci’s 336.95.
In doing so, Robles became the first Vol to break the 400-point barrier since Gabi Chereches scored 458.95 in 2001.
“I was extremely pleased with Mauricio’s performance in his first-ever time to compete on the platform in a collegiate event, even though we know that’s probably his strongest event,” Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. “He got up and competed with an enormous amount of composure.”
In the third of six rounds, Robles scored a key 81.00 points on his back three-and-a-half dive, a difficult dive only a handful of competitors around the world use.
“That’s the best time I’ve seen him do that dive for sure,” Parrington said. “I had some goosebumps going there. That was awesome.”
Senior Ryan Helms finished fourth in the event with 312.30 points. Junior Jordan Mauney was seventh with 292.25 and fellow junior Brent Sterling was 10th with 256.85.
For Robles, Friday marks the end of the competition season. The rest of the Vols’ diving squad will compete at home Dec. 15-22 as the USA Diving Winter Nationals comes to Knoxville.
The Vols competed in the 1650-yard freestyle for the first time this season, and sophomore distance swimmer Sam Petersen made the most of his early-season opportunity by finishing in an NCAA B-cut time of 15 minutes, 22.23 seconds.
Tennessee swimmers earned three of the top six places in the event. Senior Carl Jones was fourth in 15:34.61 and freshman Shane Kleinbeck ended sixth in 15:51.05.
“It was a very fine mile to start the day by redshirt sophomore Sam Petersen,” Trembley said. “We hope that time that gets him seeded in the SECs in the 1650. It was a gutsy swim. Carl Jones swam a very fine mile also.”
The Vols, historically successful in the relays, waited until the very last event to score their first relay victory at the meet: the 400 freestyle.
The Louisville team that finished ahead of them was disqualified for an early takeoff, so the Vols’ team of Ricky Henahan, Clint Johnson, Ryan Harrison and Samuel Rairden finished in an NCAA B-cut time of2:57.10.
Trembley said Rairden’s performance this week has been particularly impressive since the All-American sophomore was battling illness throughout the meet.
Freshman Ben Scheffer finished his meet with a strong second-place performance in the 200 backstroke in 1:46. Senior Anders Storvik was fourth in 1:47.36.
“Ben Scheffer swam his best time by about two seconds, and that’s really good for this time of year,” Trembley said. “Senior Anders Storvik swam a phenomenal 200 backstroke as well.  Anders has not performed as well early on this season because he’s trained hard and paid his dues.”
Freshman Tristan Slater capped his first Tennessee Invitational with five top-10 finishes, including a victory in the 400 individual medley. Slater currently leads the Vols in top times in the 200 IM (1:49.83), the 400 IM (3:55.23) and the 500 free (4:29.58).
“Tristan Slater has improved radically. He’s really a surprise in the Southeastern Conference at this point in the year. We’ll expect more out of Tristan now that he’s shown his hand.”
Tennessee Invitational
Friday's Results
Final Team Standings
1. Louisville: 1,038
2. LSU: 914
3. Tennessee: 822.5
4. Kentucky: 543.5
5. Southern Illinois: 280
Platform Diving: 1. Mauricio Robles (UT) 404.00; 2. Greg Ferrucci (UK) 336.95; 3. Daniel Helm (LSU) 334.45; 4. Ryan Helms (UT) 312.30; 5. John Fox (UK) 296.70; 6. Kevin Leong (LSU) 294.85; 7. Jordan Mauney (UT) 292.25; 8. Zachary Peterson (UK) 270.70 ... 10. Brent Sterling (UT) 256.85.
1650 Free: 1. Riley Martin (UL) 15:14.59; 2. Craig Hamilton (LSU) 15:16.80; 3. Sam Petersen (UT) 15:22.23; 4. Carl Jones (UT) 15:34.61; 5. Travis Green (UK) 15:37.73; 6. Shane Kleinbeck (UT) 15:51.05; 7. Kevin Bandy (UL) 15:59.45; 8. Csaba Gercsak (SIU) 16:02.16
200 Back: 1. Pedro Oliveira (UL) 1:45.46; 2. Ben Scheffer (UT) 1:46.81; 3. Michael Young(LSU) 1:47.15; 4. Anders Storvik (UT) 1:47.36; 5. Nick Kunkel (LSU) 1:47.92; 6. Juan Lopez (UL) 1:47.93; 7. Simon Diefenthal (LSU) 1:48.94; 8. Lee Duggins (UK) 1:49.58.
100 Free: 1. Joao De Lucca (UL) 43.16; 2. Andrei Tuomola (LSU) 43.78; 3. Alex Forbes (UK*) 44.24; 4. Clint Johnson (UT) 44.99; 5. Tyler Reed (UK) 45.06; 6. Juan Arbelaez Osorio (SIU) 45.10; 7. Albert Lloyd (UL) 45.34; 8. Samuel Hoekstra (UL) 46.39.
200 Breast: 1. Carlos Almeida (UL) 1:58.47; 2. Addison Bray (UL) 1:58.71; 3. Kameron Chastain (UL) 1:59.41; 4. Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez (LSU) 1:59.74; 5. Kenny Crapse (UL) 2:01.82; 6. Tristan Slater (UT) 2:03.03; 7. Michael Haefner (UL) 2:03.82; 8. Sean Roddy (LSU) 2:04.69.
200 Fly: 1. Pedro Oliveira (UL) 1:47.01; 2. Riley Martin (UL) 1:47.51; 3. Frank Greeff (LSU) 1:47.81; 4. Kevin Bandy (UL) 1:48.09; 5. Matt Parsons (SIU) 1:49.54; 6. Martin Jungfleisch (LSU) 1:50.63; 7. Christoffer Wallin (UT) 1:51.39; 8. Ben Russell (UK) 1:52.28
400 Free Relay: 1. Tennessee (Henahan, Johnson, Harrison, Rairden) 2:57.10; 2. LSU (Tuomola, Greeff, Jungfleisch, Saco) 2:58.41; 3. Louisville (Young, Burtch, Chastain,Edelen) 3:01.07; 4. Southern Illinois (Wolfe, Badrawi, Parsons, Arbelaez Osorio) 3:01.46; 5. Kentucky (Russell, Reed, Lott, Green) 3:02.12; 6. Louisville (Linton, Schlytter, Ogle, Gunter) 3:03.08; 7. Kentucky (Thomas, Bullock, Gerotto, Kemme) 3:04.15; 8. Tennessee (Scheffer, McFall, Kleinbeck, Taylor) 3:04.56.



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