KNOXVILLE, Tenn. January 3, 2024 – Nick Stone posted a career-best score and Tanesha Lucoe took second overall in her event to highlight the first day of the Tennessee Diving Invitational on Wednesday. Day One Results!
Lucoe was the top performer to begin the competition, as she finished second on 3-meter. In a tight battle that saw first and fourth separated by less than seven points, the graduate student notched a score of 312.50 thanks to a list that earned four dives of 50 or more points. Her best dive came on the Back 2 1/2 Somersault Tuck, earning 61.60 to vault her up the leaderboard.
Also competing in the event, junior Maddie Reese was less than nine points away from advancing to the finals. She posted a score of 254.70 to take 17th in the event.
“Obviously disappointed that we had some injuries and illnesses on the women’s squad that decimated the team of divers that we could’ve had in today’s event, but I’m really proud of what Tanesha and Maddie did today,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “Tanesha came up just short of winning the whole thing. What I was really proud of with her was that she got off to a slow start in rounds one and two in prelims, but the rest of the competition was also a little rusty as well, and she was able to nail one dive and get right back into the contest. She held up and advanced to finals, where she almost won. I’m really proud of her mental game today. Maddie did some good things, but just couldn’t quite get over the hump.”
On the men’s side, Stone placed fifth overall with a mark of 321.65. During prelims, he threw down a personal-best score of 343.40 as a highlight on the day. Also competing in the finals was senior Bryden Hattie, who took seventh behind a 320.15 effort.
Sophomore Owen Redfearn narrowly missed out on a spot in the finals, finishing 15th overall with a score of 297.55. Freshman Harper Thornett notched a personal-best effort of 271.50 to place 22nd. Senior Jacob Reasor had a hot start to the day, placing near the top of the leaderboard after netting a 217.50 score through four rounds, but a missed final dive cost him a spot in the finals as he finished with a 270.00 mark.
Capping off the day with the men’s team event, the trio of Hattie, Redfearn and Stone dominated the competition en route to a victory with a 418.95—more than 60 points ahead of second place. Redfearn delivered a strong 207C Back 3 1/2 Tuck for 82 points to fuel the team performance.
“It was a pretty exciting day for the men,” Parrington said. “It was fantastic to see Nick pop off that personal best in the prelims. He did some really nice stuff. We made some changes to his list, and that really pad dividends for him. He was relaxed and confident, which was great to see. Bryden got in the final. He wasn’t as sharp today as I would have liked, but we focused other areas in the fall. We will get things cleaned up for him and add another big degree of difficulty dive for him. Jake was really good after four dives. We just need to get him back in the swing of things. Great job by Harper to get his personal best. Owen was really solid and just missed the finals as well.
“The highlight of today was really the men’s team event. They got up there and just dominated the team event, and it’s an event that is going to happen at the conference and NCAA levels soon. I think we are getting ahead of the curve a little bit. Those guys did a great job. Owen’s dive was a great way to cap the day.”
The Vols and Lady Vols return for day two of the invite Thursday at 11:30 a.m. The women will compete in the finals-only platform event as well as a team event, while the men will take on the 3-meter.