The Tennessee men’s and women’s swim and dive teams competed in the second day of the Tennessee Invitational on Friday at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center. Tennessee’s women lead with 920.5 points after the second day, and the men lead with 848 points.
The Lady Vols diving team didn’t have as many names on the scoreboard this afternoon for the 1-meter dive as Duke did, but senior Rachel Rubadue squeaked out a victory over a pair of Blue Devil divers.
Rubadue finished the event with a score of 283.05.
“To see Rachel step up and move up a spot tonight and get the win was very pleasing,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “She missed a little on her third dive, but she is rounding into form and it’s good to see.”
Rubadue wasn’t the only competitor for Tennessee to make it out of the preliminaries, as sophomore Lily Schneider finished tenth in the event with a score of 237.20.
In the men’s 3-meter dive, Tennessee All-American Zhipeng (Colin) Zeng finished second with a score of 393.90, despite falling on his third dive. Zeng had a rapid comeback up the leaderboard, but couldn’t catch Penn State’s Hector Garcia Boissier.
“Pretty pleased with the result tonight,” Parrington said. “Of course we would like to see Colin (Zeng) win, but he kind of got screwed on his third round dive. We were doing the announcer-less event, and he was about to go off and he heard a different sound and it kind of spooked him and he went off the edge.”
Zeng wasn’t the only Vols diver in the event, as freshman Matthew Wade finished in sixth with a score of 334.05. Keegan Richardson also made it out of the preliminaries for Tennessee, but failed to find success in the final, as he finished in twelfth place.
Both the men’s and women’s swim teams turned in dominating performances in the 400 medley relay event.
The women’s team had groups finish in first, third, sixth, and eighth, while the men’s team had groups finish first and third. The Lady Vols winning relay team included Megan Small, Erika Brown, Nikol Popov and Madeline Banic.
The men’s winning team included Matthew Garcia, Matthew Dunphy, Kyle Decoursey and Braga Verhage.
In the 400 IM, Tess Cieplucha captured the win for the Lady Vols with a time of 4:03:81, which is the best time in program history.
Tennessee was able to sweep both the women’s and men’s 100 butterfly, as Erica Brown finished in first in the event but was closely followed by junior Meghan Small. The men’s team was able to repeat the success, as Brega Verhage led the four Vols competing in the event by finishing in first.
Tennessee continued their success going into the 200 freestyle event. Stanzi Mosely collected the win for the Lady Vols and Joey Reilman narrowly beat out his Volunteer teammate Josh Walsch for the men’s title.
The Vols weren’t done with sweeps after that, as they made it three straight in the 100 breaststroke. Tennessee had five of the eight competitors in the women’s competition, and Nikol Popov was able to pull out the victory.
The men’s team had four competitors of their own, led by Dunphy, who collected the win for the Vols over Penn’s Mark Andrews.
The Tennessee men’s team continued its successful run with Garcia getting the win and Joey Reilman finishing in second in the 100 backstroke. The night concluded with the 800 free relay, where the Lady Vols team of Brown, Cieplucha, Moseley and Small defeated Duke’s group to collect the victory.
“We had a lot of great swims today,” women’s associate swim coach Ashley Jahn said. “A lot more best times today, and we are seeing a lot of people that will be headed off to NCAAs in March so that will be fun.”
The men’s team of Josh Walsch, Joey Reilman, Andy Thomas and Marc Hinawi followed the Lady Vols lead getting the victory over Duke and Denver. The Vols also turned in a fourth place performance in the event.
“I think it was one of the first times this whole season that we lost focus,” men’s associate swim coach Lance Asti said about Friday’s meet. “We had an event and a half where we weren’t really dialed in, but we did a great job of re-centering and getting back on track and finishing the session really, really well.”
Action will resume Saturday morning as swimming events begin at 10:30 a.m. and diving events begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center.