Cats Finish SEC Championship On High Note
Feb. 22, 2003
Auburn, Ala. - The University of Kentucky men's and women's swimming and diving team finished competition in the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championship at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb. 22. The men finished in sixth place with 270.5 points, while the women totaled 212 pts for a ninth-place finish.
Highlights of the day for the men were in the 200-backstroke and 200-fly. In the backstroke junior Joey Faltraco (1:42.99) finished third on his way to qualifying for the NCAA Championship in March and breaking his own UK record time of 1:43.96. Not satisfied with just one record, Faltraco finished the butterfly preliminary in 1:46.59 to break another of his records. Sophomore Daniel Cruz had other plans however. Claiming the eighth finals' spot with a 1:47.19, the Palm Coast, Fla., native went out and shattered Faltraco's record finishing fourth with a 1:45.72. Both men were under the NCAA "B" cut time of 1:48.07.
"It was sort of a surprise (to break the record)," Cruz said. "It was kind of in the back of my mind that I could do it, but I was more concerned with being relaxed and swimming a good race."
In the platform diving event, senior Clayton Moss finished second with a total of 564.45 points. Moss was also recognized for having the third highest individual point total with 54. With his 3-meter win and two second-place finishes in the 1-meter springboard and platform events, this was by far the best meet of his stellar UK career.
"It's great to see Clayton finish his SEC career like this," Diving Coach Mike Lyden said. "I felt like he should have won diver of the meet, but apparently the meet officials didn't see it that way. Regardless, I'm very proud of what he has accomplished and I'm sure he will continue his performance in the NCAA Championship."
The women's events were highlighted by freshman Shantel Commander's ninth-place finish in the 200-breaststroke. Her time of 2:16.10 was well under the NCAA "B" cut standard of 2:18.25. Fellow freshman Brennan Moore finished the 200-backstroke with a time of 2:00.46, also under the NCAA "B" standard and good for an 11th-place finish. In diving, freshman Jessica Thompson followed up her 1-meter finals appearance with a seventh-place finish in the platform event.