Tennessee’s swim and dive teams turned in a solid opening night in Auburn at the SEC Championships, picking up five medals.
Tennessee picked up a pair of bronze medals early in the evening with sophomore Grace Cable finishing third in the women’s one-meter springboard with a score of 319.70.
"For Grace tonight in the finals, I am really proud of her for stepping up and getting on the podium," diving coach Dave Parrington said. "She really fought in what was a fantastic competition and was knocking on the door for a silver. Just really proud of her effort today with great competitiveness, and that's what we strive for."
Matthew Wade earned more points for Tennessee in diving, finishing third with a score of 420.20 in the three-meter springboard.
The Lady Vols picked up their first gold medal of the week by winning the 200 medley relay. The team consisted of Meghan Small, Nikol Popov, Stanzi Mosely and Erika Brown, who was the star of the event, swimming last for Tennessee and bringing Tennessee from fifth to first place.
"I think there is certainly some things to clean up as we look at the relays as a whole, but that was a phenomenal swim from Erika," associate head coach Ashley Lane said. "She is incredibly competitive and knew exactly what she wanted to do and that was to swim fast and get her hand on the wall first."
The Lady Vols would keep the momentum going in the 800-freestyle relay with a 6:53.27 time, the school’s second-best time ever, good for another gold medal.
"That was a really great performance against an incredibly strong field across the pool," associate head coach Ashley Jahn said. "It was great to see Meghan with a really composed leadoff and then Erika attacking the front half of her swim. Tjasa Pintar and Tess Ciepucha both had great swims to close it out and their best performances in the 200 free so far this season."
The gold medal marked the Lady Vols first-ever gold medal in the 800 freestyle.
Tennessee’s men’s 200-medley team of Matthew Garcia, Michael Houlie, Braga Verhage and Alec Connoly turned in a 1:24:04 time, the third best in school history, but the group came just short of gold, picking up the silver medal.
"I thought they swam with a lot of composure and they competed very well," associate head coach Lance Asti said. "To get silver in the SEC is a big deal and it set the tone for the meet. To start off by getting on the podium, bringing a lot of energy and having big swims really sets us up moving forward into the week."
In the men’s 800-freestyle posted a 6:20.28 time, good for seventh at the event and securing an NCAA B-cut time.
After the first day of action Tennessee’s No. 12 ranked men’s team is in second place with 160 points, 18 behind Texas A&M.
The No. 4 Lady Vols are in third place with 159 points but are just seven points behind Florida, who leads with 166 points.
Action from Auburn will resume Wednesday night.