Women's Swimming & Diving Headline
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida senior diver Monica Dodson (Franklin, Ind.) broke the Southeastern Conference record in the women’s three-meter competition (six dives) with a score of 373.85 Friday at the opening day of the 2011 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The SEC title is Dodson’s first, with the three-time All-American becoming the first Gator to capture the women’s three-meter crown since Robyn Grimes did so in 2001. Before breaking the SEC record, Dodson had previously held the school record in the event at home against Virginia on Oct. 11, 2010 (362.11).
“It was an incredible performance, from an even more incredible individual,” head diving coach Donnie Craine said. “It was fitting that it came down to the last dive, because she treats every dive in practice like a championship is on the line. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Leading Auburn’s Vennie Dantin by 7.90 points (312.95-305.05) going into the last dive, Dodson dove to a score of 60.90, giving her the SEC record at 373.85. Two divers later, Dantin needed a 68.85 on the last dive of the first night to defend her 2010 SEC title. The Auburn diver and previous SEC record holder in the event dove to a score of 63.00, giving Dodson her first individual collegiate championship.
Also having an impressive day was junior Kaylee Doback (Brandon, Fla.). Making her SEC meet debut, Doback reached the finals of the women’s three-meter event, finishing seventh with a Zone Championship qualifying score of 302.55. Doback also finished seventh in the afternoon’s prelims with another zone qualifying score of 314.30. Freshman Danielle Risley (Jacksonville, Fla.) also made her debut at the SEC Diving Championships in the prelims, just missing the finals with a 10th-place finish of 294.85. The Gators were the only SEC school to place three women divers in the top 10.
Earlier in the day, four Florida men competed in the prelims of the men’s one-meter competition. Junior Anthony Lewark (Davie, Fla.) and senior Jonathan Speed (Jupiter, Fla.) scored the first points of the meet for the men of Orange and Blue, taking 13th and 14th, respectively. Lewark finished the morning with a score of 292.90, while Speed concluded with a mark of 286.10. Making their SEC Championship debut, freshman Michael Lewark (Davie, Fla.) and redshirt freshman Christopher Jones (Palm City, Fla.) took 19th and 23rd, respectively. Lewark scored a 277.50 in his debut, with Jones racking up a 249.00 mark.
The UF men’s and women’s diving team will dive back into action tomorrow, Feb. 12, as the men dive on the three-meter boards, and the women take on the one-meter boards. For live updates of the meet, Gator fans are also encouraged to follow the swimming and diving program via Twitter or Facebook.
SEC Women’s Three-Meter Diving Champions at Florida
1982 – Megan Neyer
1983 – Megan Neyer
1984 – Megan Neyer
1986 – Megan Neyer
2001 – Robyn Grimes
2011 – Monica Dodson
Florida Finishers on Day One
12. Anthony Lewark – 292.90
13. Jonathan Speed – 286.10
19. Michael Lewark – 277.50
23. Christopher Jones – 249.00
1. Monica Dodson – 373.85*
8. Kaylee Doback – 302.55 (314.30 Prelim)
10. Danielle Risley – 294.85
* SEC Record