Retrum’s silver medal performance leads women to fourth place in SEC

The UK swimming and diving team started off the Southeastern Championships with a podium finish, an NCAA qualification and a school record yesterday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Senior diver Kari Retrum placed second amongst SEC divers on the one-meter board with a score of 313.95. Her silver-medal performance was an improvement over last season’s fourth-place finish and marked her third straight medal in the SEC Championships.

“This is so much more than I could have imagined,” Retrum said. “I set my goals high but this is better than I ever expected.”

Retrum’s performance helped lead the women’s team to a fourth-place overall finish on the night.

Retrum described the event as a godsend, but success on the one-meter board is nothing new to her. She has finished in first or second place in six out of seven dual meets this season.

Assistant diving coach Taryn Ignacio expected Retrum to do well throughout the competition.

“I knew she’d do well,” she said. “Kari’s a competitor.”

Retrum’s teammate, freshman diver Jessie Snowden, followed her, finishing fourth in the conference finals after placing third in preliminaries.

“As a freshman, making it to finals is great,” Ignacio said. “She’s worked so hard in practice, all she had to do was relax.”

On the men’s side, junior Stephen Andrews finished 10th in the three-meter while freshmen Justin Smith placed 13th.

The women’s 200-medley relay team, made up of seniors Jill Southerlan, Lindsay Myhre, Heather Bradford and Jenny Bradford, took fifth.

“I’m not really happy with getting fifth since we medaled in the event the last two years,” Jenny Bradford said.

Though the team failed to medal, their time of 1:39.33, its season-best, was good enough to automatically qualify them for the NCAA Championships.

The men walked away from the meet with a few victories as well.

The 200-medley relay set a new school record with a time of 1:27.14 and placed fourth.

The men are in fifth place after three events.