Tennessee divers Tori Lamp and Brent Sterling said hello to the NCAA championships on Tuesday, while senior Jodie McGroarty said goodbye to the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center as a collegian.
Lamp, a junior, finished in third place in the women’s 1-meter springboard at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships with 587.25 points over 12 dives, just behind winner Rachel Mumma of North Carolina State (599.40).
More importantly, though, she qualified for the NCAAs later this month.
After finishing eighth in Monday’s 3-meter, the SEC Women’s Diver of the Year was pleased finally to punch her ticket to Indianapolis, even though she could have still tried to qualify today in the platform.
“It’s definitely a relief,” said the Bearden High School graduate, who will join McGroarty, who qualified on Monday. “I was hoping to make it the first day, but getting in today is just as awesome.”
Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington also was relieved.
“Tori got up and competed really well today and assured her spot,” he said. “She hasn’t missed a dive since yesterday.”
In the men’s 3-meter held later Tuesday, Sterling, a senior who graduated from Central, became the first Tennessee male diver to qualify for the NCAAs with a score of 731.70 points. UT senior Jordan Mauney (667.15) finished seventh behind winner John Santeiu of Auburn (746.80).
While McGroarty was focused on the future and trying to make the NCAAs on Monday in the 3-meter, on Tuesday the fifth-year senior was taking a little time to look back on a career that has included a second-place finish in the SEC.
“I definitely thought about that a lot today and I think that’s why I was just relaxed,” said the Sheffield, England, resident, who finished fifth in the 1-meter Tuesday with 579.35 points. “It just really confirmed that I made the right choice to bring my life here. It just wrapped it up pretty nicely.”
But she is still looking forward to being competitive one more time as a college athlete at the NCAA meet next week.
“It’s a real high-pressure event,” she said. “Everyone is tired and it’s just see who can keep ahead of the game.”
The Zone B championships will conclude today with the women’s platform final at 12:15 p.m., and the men’s platform final at 5:15. Still trying to advance for Tennessee will be Lady Vols freshman Samantha Lera, who finished 13th in the 1-meter with 525 points, and Mauney.