Wildcats Sweep SEC Diver of the Week Honors
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman Seb Masterton and redshirt-junior Rebecca Hamperian brought in both the Southeastern Conference Male and Female Diver of the Week honors, the conference announced on Tuesday. The awards marked the first time that UK has had a diver earn the distinction since Levi Lindsey was named the Diver of the Week on Feb. 3, 2015.
The awards also mark the first time that Kentucky has had a sweep of the Diver of the Week Awards. The distinction had been bestowed upon the women’s program five times, while the men’s program had seen Greg Ferucci take home the honor nine times in addition to Lindsey’s award last season.
“I’m pleased for these two to both get the award,” noted diving coach Ted Hautau. “Each has respectively been leading our team on each side.”
Masterton had a weekend for the record books at the Miami Open, placing as the top collegiate finisher in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform dives, while also recording scores that rank in the upper half of UK’s top-10 performances in all three disciplines. The British product won the overall title on the 1-meter springboard with 378.10 points, besting his previous personal record by more than 50 points. He also finished second overall in the 3-meter dive with 384.90 points, another 50-point improvement for the freshman. Both his springboard scores are good for fifth on UK’s all-time list. Masterton also notched the fourth-highest score in program history on platform, with over 60 points of improvement over his debut outing in the event a fortnight prior. He finished fifth overall with 335.80 points.
“Seb competed very well,” said Hautau. “He had personal bests against some good Chinese divers. I was pretty impressed especially given he’s a freshman. His body is broken down after a long fall season and finals are looming.” Head coach Lars Jorgensen also commended Masterton, saying, “Seb has really been working hard this year, so it’s great to see a freshman get recognized this early.”
Hamperian, who has been battling with injury throughout the season, saw a much improved weekend at the Miami Open. She was the top collegiate finisher in the platform dive, and the second collegiate finisher in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. The reigning SEC Female Diver of the Year started the meet with a fifth-place overall finish on the tower with a season-best 200.85 points, less than 15 points off her career best. She then had another career-best performance on the 3-meter springboard, taking sixth overall with 282.65 points. On the final day, Hamperian took fifth overall on the 1-meter springboard with 283.35 points to wrap up a weekend of consistent scoring.
“Becca did a nice job. Coming back from injuries, she is doing high quality dives and showing a lot of mental toughness,” said Hautau. “It’s great to see Rebecca continue to lead the team after her successful season last year, and this is a much deserved award for her,” added Jorgensen.
Both divers will be back in action when Kentucky opens up the New Year by hosting SEC foe LSU along with Atlantic Coast Conference member Virginia Tech in a two-day tri meet on Jan. 8-9, 2016.