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Tennessee senior Ryan Helms recorded the highest score in the finals to vault to second in the 1-meter springboard Wednesday at the Georgia Diving Invitational in Athens, Ga.
Sitting in ninth place after the morning preliminaries, Helms’ final 6-dive total of 358.45 was the best of the day and he finished with a combined score of 640.85, good for silver.
Helms’ day hardly started as planned. His first dive only went for 19 points, so it was an uphill climb from there.
“Ryan was in last place after his first dive but battled all the way back to second place at the end,” Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. “He showed impressive competitive skills and stayed focused to be able to work his way back.”
Junior Brent Sterling nearly didn’t make the finals, getting the 16th and last qualifying spot in the preliminaries. He improved by more than 60 points in the afternoon contest, reaching fifth with 598.00 combined points.
“Brent also battled back today after his start, and I was extremely pleased with that,” Parrington said.  “As a team, we just had an extremely erratic morning.”
Both Helms and Sterling will dive in this evening’s 1-meter shootout. The contest features the top 6 divers. The diver with the lowest score after each round will be eliminated until only the winner remains.
Freshman Mauricio Robles finished 12th with a combined score of 570.40. Junior Jordan Mauney was 15th in 556.10.
John Santeiu of Auburn won the 1-meter competition with a score of 653.35.



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