Divers Break School Records, Earn Silver Medals
Communications Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Juan Celaya-Hernandez and Lizzie Cui both shattered school records on one-meter and three-meter respectively, garnering silver medals in the process to wrap up day one of the SEC Championships at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center at the University of Tennessee.
The LSU swimming and diving team will return to action tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET with prelims in the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free. Women’s one-meter prelims will also follow at 1 p.m. ET.
Through one day of competition, the men hold third place with 154 points, and the women hold 10th overall with 74 points.
“We had an excellent day on the boards. Today is diving’s longest day with two events completed and four more to go over the next four days,” said head diving coach Doug Shaffer. “Juan’s second-place performance was one of the most exciting, nail-biting events I’ve witnessed in a long time.”
In the prelims, the LSU diving squad got off to a strong start after a combined four divers punched their ticket to the finals with three for the men on one-meter and one for the women on three-meter. LSU also tied with Texas A&M for the most divers competing in the championships.
In the finals, Celaya-Hernandez dove to an incredible score of 467.05 on one-meter to take second overall in his first postseason appearance. The freshman went toe-to-toe with Tennessee’s Liam Stone, who just narrowly edged out Celaya-Hernandez with a score of 468.30.
A native of Mexico, Celaya-Hernandez surpassed the previous school record on one-meter by well-over 50 points en-route to a terrific finish, averaging an unbelievable 77.84 points per dive.Celaya-Hernandez has also finished no lower than second on one-meter this year.
Sophomore Matt McClellan dove to a career-high score of 364.20 for fifth overall in the championships, placing him at No. 9 on LSU’s all-time list. Senior Andrew Suchla rounded out the men, finishing with a score of 336.25 to earn seventh place.
On the women’s side, Cui, a native of New Zealand, compiled a score of 391.40 for second place on three-meter to close out the day for diving. Cui bested former LSU diver Cassie Weil’s five-year record by just under 20 points and has yet to finish lower than second on three-meter this season.
“Lizzie battled through a rocky prelims to get in the final,” said Shaffer. “Then in the finals, she let loose and found her groove, placing second in a career-high score and new school record. She put the best list together of her life in this her first SEC Championships.”
In the 200 medley relay for the men, Logan Rysemus, Silas Dejean, Devin McCaffrey and Karl Luht finished in 10th with a time of 1:26.30. Jake Markham, Luht, Lewis Clough and Will Arthur also tallied an eighth-place finish in the 800 free relay, clocking the fastest time in the event this season at 6:30.20.
A full recap will be available on lsusports.net at the conclusion of each day. For more information and updates on LSU Swimming and Diving please visit LSUsports.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook at LSU Swimming and Diving or follow us on Twitter @LSUswimdive.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, February 15
10 a.m.-500 free, 200 IM, 50 free prelims
1 p.m.-Women’s 1m prelims
6 p.m.-500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, Women’s 1m, 200 free relay finals
Thursday, February 16
10 a.m.-400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free prelims
1 p.m.-Men's 3m prelims
6 p.m.-400 IM, 100 fly, Men's 3m, 200 free
Friday, February 17
10 a.m.-200 fly, 100 back, 100 breast prelims
1 p.m.-Women’s platform prelims
6 p.m.-200 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, Women’s platform, 400 medley relay finals
Saturday, February 18
10 a.m.-200 back, 100 free, 200 breast
1 p.m.-Men’s platform
6 p.m.-1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, Men’s platform, 400 free relay finals