Missouri gets pair of top-3 finishes in SEC Diving Championship

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | 10:48 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Missouri sophomore diver Lauren Reedy over rotated on her third dive during Tuesday’s 1-meter springboard finals at the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.

Reedy got scores of 2.5s and 3.0s for a score of 25.2 on her reverse 1 ½ pike. It dropped her to last place in the finals.

“That’s not what I wanted to do, but I just felt really lucky that I had three dives left that had pretty high levels of difficulty,” Reedy said. “I was just like, ‘You know what, I might be down, but I’m not out.’”

Reedy showed her resilience. She came back and finished in second place. It was the best finish by a Missouri competitor Tuesday in Athens, Ga., during the opening day of the SEC championship.

Also with a high finish was Missouri senior diver David Bonuchi. He took third place in the men’s 3-meter springboard, an event he won last year.

Reedy’s second place comes after taking 14th in the 1-meter springboard at last year’s SEC meet. Tuesday, she climbed from eight to second by scoring 63.0, 63.7 and 62.4 on her fourth, fifth and sixth dives in finals.

“Honestly, I just took a minute and kind of talked to God for a little bit,” Reedy said of how she approached her fourth dive. “I kind of thought about how much power he really has, and I just asked for miracle. That’s kind of what it felt like I got.”

Reedy finished with a total score of 322.5 in finals. Georgia senior Ann-Perry Blank won with a score of 325.5.

The three dives that got Reedy back into the competition were a reverse 2 ½ tuck, a front 1 ½ two twist and a front 2 ½ pike.

“My fifth dive is probably my least favorite dive to compete, and it ended up being the best dive that I think I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Reedy said. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten nines on a dive before, and I got a nine on that one. That was really, really cool.”

Reedy has two more events this week. She is scheduled to compete in the 3-meter springboard Thursday and the platform competition Saturday. Her best finish at last year’s SEC meet was sixth in 3-meter springboard.

“Second place was super awesome, but it would be kind of cool to win an event here, too,” Reedy said. “It’s given me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the week that I do belong in the top of the pack.”

While Reedy climbed up the standings at the end of Tuesday’s finals, Bonuchi slipped from the top. He led the men’s 3-meter entering the final two dives, but scored 49.3 on his penultimate dive. His average score for his other five dives in finals was 73.43.

Bonuchi, an eight-time NCAA All-American, returns to action Wednesday in the 1-meter springboard. He is the reigning SEC champion in that event.

Other top scores for Missouri were a pair of seventh-place finishes from both the men’s and women’s 200 medley relay teams. The Missouri men’s 800 free relay finished in eighth place, and the women’s 800 free relay came in ninth.

The SEC Swimming and Diving Championships continue through Saturday.

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